Well, after a fantastic first day coming runners up in our group, we were patiently awaiting the fixtures for our 'Shield' competition. As it was, we came best runners up across the 6 groups so we made it into the main 'Cup' competition.
This came as quite a surprise to the boys and nerves were obviously present seeing that a majority of the group winners in the festival were comprised of mostly 'A' Teams from clubs who had entered up to 3 or 4 squads.
So, our first fixture was against Tring 'A' Team in the Quester Finals who had won every game in their pool without conceding a try. As expected, this turned out to the toughest game our boys had ever played. Trying tackled hard and had a good combination of speed and skill. That said, the boys stuck at it and tried their very hardest. Unfortunately, the previous day had took its toll on several players who were carrying knocks and replacements had to be regularly made. At one point we were running out of players despite having a squad of 12....
Despite this, the boys battled hard and managed to keep Tring to only 4 tries, no mean feat considering they had walked other fixtures with wins of up to 10 nil. No one could fault the effort and bravery shown by every single players so hats off to all them. A 4-0 loss was nothing to be ashamed of.
Having been knocked out of the Cup competition were then into the play offs to see where we would finish in the festival. Our next game was against Laugharne who we had lost to the previous day 4-1. We knew what to expect, a strong tackling aggressive side who play different rules in Wales. A tackle is not a tackle until the player is taken to the ground. While our lads (playing to England RFU laws) are used to being held up, or holding up others until the tackle was called, the Welsh teams were all coached to get players to the ground. So we found on many occasions that when held up and tackle was called, the Welsh teams did what they knew and continued to drive our players into the ground. This wouldn't be so bad if our boys were used to this, but in relaxing to pass they found themselves being upended. Fair play to the boys though, they got on with and matched Laugharne's tackling with our own tenacious defence and strong running. The game was much closer than the scoreline would suggest. Laugharne won the game 6-4, which when considering they had only conceded 1 try the day before was a great result to our boys.
Max scored 3 tries and Danny scored 1.
Afterwards, Laugharnes coaches and players were praising our boys on what they found was their toughest ever opposition whilst also having the best attitude they had seen from an opposition.
Thats some compliment and its to the players credit that they received such comments.
So overall, we placed 7th out of 24 teams. Not too shabby at all.
Obviously away from the pitch, the players, families and of course coaches all had a great time. These tours are fantastic way for the kids and families to bond and there was plenty of that throughout the weekend whilst socialising with others also.
Thats what the rugby family is all about.
A fantastic way to end the season and I know everyone is looking forward to next season. In the meantime however, I look forward to seeing you all at the Celebration Day on Sunday 21st June.