U16 win at home v Hoppers
Waterloo come through a tough game...but also credit to Hoppers.
Remember the TV Commentator David Coleman? He was a national treasure, fantastic at his job, so much so some say he was mustard, but he did make the occasional gaffe to the extent that Private Eye immortalised him in a column titled 'Coleman Balls'. Well we all make mistakes, none more so than your correspondent whose failing eyesight and lack of attention has recently led to tries being attributed to the wrong players and gritty front row work being credited to slightly built wings! Even the fantastic young men we have playing rugger make the odd mistake, they don't do it deliberately though and the look on the their face tells me how much this game means to the them. There were thrills and spills aplenty in this latest game but what was most important was that two sides gave no quarter and could troop off content with their efforts...well done all.
It was regular visitors Preston who provided the opposition today, always a good side and today no less powerful than ever, many are turning 16 (they were 15 last year) and it is becoming a mans game with big hits. This doesn't phase Danny though, playing in the back line he made at least four fantastic tackles on powerful runners to prevent line breaks, really brave work. There was a real arm wrestle for the opening twenty minutes, Hoppers starting off they way they intended to begin, before Adam Spence took off down the right wing, opened his legs and showed them his class, rounding the last man and cantering under the posts.
This didn't knock the stuffing out of Hoppers though, a forceful drive took them over the line but real grit from Harry Murphy and Josh Johnson amongst others resulted in the ball being held up...if it had have been dotted down it would have been a try. Loo scored again soon after, Joe Stuart showing real pace on the left, he's always been quick and here he showed he's still got the same legs as when he first played the game.
Into the second half and a try by Alfie Mutch, hitting the line at pace following good work by Kian and Kier, you don't stop him at speed from this distance. Next up Alfie again, this time a thunderous tackle which had his own team-mates wincing. The Preston boy was thankfully okay but as the ball broke loose there was a serious looking injury to the influential Hoppers centre, thankfully he was back on his feet and hopefully playing soon.
As Loo were able to replace players Hoppers became tired, space opened up and Loo were able to find a gap in the Preston armour, creating opportunities for the free running Jakob, Keir, Alexander and Benedict to exploit, resulting in several scores, before Ben Rowan powered over for the final try following a fifty-yard break by Jakob from the base of a scrum.
Its a tough sport and the knocks kept coming, Josh Doyle had to be replaced and you could tell by the way he was holding his collarbone that it was a shoulder injury. I never make predictions and I never will, but this boy can go far if he keeps on using his commitment and power to great effect. Credit to Preston for bringing absolute desire, power up front and a hard running back line. They were unlucky not to score at least once but is also to 'Loo's credit that they refused to concede, even at the death the game is not over until it is. Great game, final score 38-0.
Okay, how many 'Coleman Balls' can you spot above?