WPRFC u15s eat Crewe & Nantwich's lunch
WPRFC u15s 48: 7 Crewe & Nantwich u15s
...and they're off!
A great start to the season, with six new players and most of last year's squad. There was no sign of the traditional first-quarter-sleepiness or the more recent 'just muscle the ball down the middle' approach. The game was balanced, with the wings seeing a much ball this game as they did for most of last season, and a mix of pace, muscle and passing allowing Park to score early and often. The ball crossed the width of the pitch many times during the game. Attacks, although made in the centre, ended up on the left or right many times because the pack had drawn in a disproportionate amount of the opposition, allowing Charlie and others to range freely.
There were too many highlights, chiefly Charlie's free-play kick into space from inside his own 22, picking the ball out of the hands of the grounded C&N full back two thirds of the way down the pitch to then place it over the score line, as well as Bruce's frequent solo jogs into heavily-guarded territory, creating both yardage and overlaps.
The game was played over three 20 minute periods. WPRFC played three very different teams in each third, having ten players to spare. Each team performed well and to a pattern: gain inches and yards from the rucks, pass the ball and then run or pass wide, cutting back inside when necessary … and repeat. Park was intense in defence, too, at one stage keeping it going for ten phases well inside their own 22 yard, only eventually relenting for Crewe's single score.
Although Charlie scored five of the eight tries, most of them running efforts from a distance, the team played well together, mixing it up well between forwards and backs and between the centre of the pitch and wings. DanH scored his first try for the team, Ollie appeared to barge his way through the middle of a melee on his way to goal area, and Will ran to score on the left. Jack converted four of his eight conversions, interplaying with Charlie for many of the tries.
Defence was probably the main weakness today. Tactically stronger teams would have taken better advantage of Park's open-play defensive positioning. ...but a few intense Friday training sessions will tightening that up.
It was lovely to see the ball covering the width of the pitch again. A really encouraging start to the season. Much to be proud of.
Scorers: Charlie (x5 tries), DanH (x1 try), Will (x1 try), Ollie (x1 try), Jack (x4 conversions)
Man of the match: Charlie