Under 12s away at Burton, 6th October 2013
The first game of the season took us to Burton, traditionally a tricky place to get a result, to enjoy some dazzling rugby in the sunshine.
Our full compliment of 21 players turned up at Burton eager to get the first game of the season under their belts and their developing skills and enthusiasm produced some excellent rugby.
From the start it was clear that Walsall intended to play an expansive game and some excellent handling twice released Harry Bucknall on a run down the left wing before being he was bundled into touch. Some quick ball from our boys drove Burton back and slick passing set Ben Pitt free to sprint clear for the first score of the morning.
Burton hit back through their strong forward pack but these Walsall boys are becoming a determined bunch and, just after Cory Selby was unlucky to have a try disallowed, Sam Wellings straightened his run brilliantly and found Ben Stackhouse with a well-timed pass who side-stepped his way in for a deserved score. Burton scored again after making the most of some lax defending before Walsall were left ruing their luck yet again after Joe Pearce twice won line-out ball and burst through from short range only to be held up on each occasion.
Quick feet and searing pace from Ben Pitt saw him go over in the corner to extend Walsall's lead before the award of a penalty-try to Burton which, in the absence of any preceding warnings for foul play, baffled Walsall players and spectators alike. This scoring bonus encouraged Burton but it was the next 10 minutes of play that will hopefully go on to define the Under 12s season; despite the circumstances surrounding the penalty try and Burton's determination, Walsall's defence was exceptional with Ted Parsons, Ben Yau and Daniel Gilbert making key tackles when it mattered.
With turnover ball secured and then recycled by our forwards, Cory burst through the last line of defence to dot down and with Burton seemingly having little left in the tank, James Rogers made the result secure, scoring after a typically energetic run.
Score: Burton RFC 15 - 27 Walsall RFC
It was a superb team performance to kick off the new season and it was encouraging to see new player Daniel Gilbert and the returning Ethan Wild integrating into the group so seamlessly.
A special mention of thanks to all the parents for bringing the boys along, long may it — and the boys' performances — continue.
(Forwards) Joe Pearce (Capt), Zak Somani, Matt Howell, Ben Yau, Cory Selby, Kyle Austen, Jamie Mallaband, James Rogers, Sam Gannon;
(Backs) George Allbright, Ben Pitt, Ben Stackhouse, Ted Parsons, Alex Garton, Jake Mooney, Mo Perager, Sam Wellings, James Marris, Harry Bucknall, Daniel Gilbert, Ethan Wild