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U16's - Match centre

Firwood Waterloo Rugby
Old Rishworthians / Bradford Salem (Select XV)
Sun 22 Apr 11:30 - Friendly Full time

Waterloo produce a real Lancashire Hotpot against tough Yorkshire opposition

Thunderous contest provides the ideal warm up for Lancashire Cup final.

I'm quite sure Patrick Barclay is better prepared and I've never read of Martin Samuel having to apologise for not having notes of the game but for the second match running I've failed to hit the 'save' button on the phone and the notes are wiped! It's getting a little embarrassing, what with awarding tries to non-existent players and essentially making reports up on the hoof, but here goes.

Waterloo had traveled to Calderdale to play Old Rishworthians earlier in the season, claiming the spoils in a feisty game despite a powerful start from the White Rose outfit. Always keen to seek out top class opposition Coach Brookman invited them for a return fixture, well-timed as a final warm up game ahead of the sixth consecutive Lancashire Cup final for his charges. The Yorkshiremen went one better this time and teamed up with their previous Yorkshire Cup final opponents Bradford Salem and brought a strong select XV over the moors to raid into Lancashire.

As is often the case, as the opposition trotted out there were a few glances which suggested "Ey up, these look like big lads" but also as usual no backward steps were taken by the Waterloo boys and within a few moments Keir nearly scored from a devastating turn of pace, taking the ball beautifully from a gentle pass but was cut down just shy of the line. A penalty for a high tackle resulted shortly later, line out ball was won, fed right and over Joe Stuart went, beautifully converted by Jakob.

Next up the forwards drove over after combining well and Alexander bounced off a number of tackles to secure a third try. All good so far, however the visitors were becoming slightly fired up and secured a try of their own just before half time. Taking a tap penalty left before crashing right and once the ball was recycled going over from close range, well converted 19-7 at HT.

The coaches had selected a large squad and rung the changes early in the second half, not that you would notice as the replacements continued to stand up to anything the visitors threw at them whilst creating opportunities of their own. The visitors became increasingly frustrated (not helped by Josh Doyle driving over and another excellent conversion to make the score 26-7) though the Waterloo boys put their shoulder to the yoke, dug in and kept doing the basics, demonstrating the hard work that has reaped dividends over the years. FT 26-7.

The Rishworthian coach spoke maturely and sensibly in the clubhouse, noting the challenges involved in managing headstrong 16 year-olds, thanking Waterloo for the fixtures and recognising the effort all involved had made to travel for the two fixtures, always seeking to test the squads further.

So, one final game awaits for the boys as junior players and all are looking forward to that fixture at Aldwinians RUFC, Manchester on 29/04. Best of luck to the squad and coaches, you couldn't have been more committed over the last few years, with many players representing the club for 10 years and others blending seamlessly into the team and bonding well, several players have reached Lancashire Cup final teams in their first full year of rugby. A great bunch of lads and absolutely dedicated coaches.....it's just a pity your correspondent can't be at the final, which in the interest of accurate reporting may be no bad thing.

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