Coming of age
The result only tells half the story
The U12s coaches are convinced that we have a talented squad who, on their day, have the measure of any team. We have runners, passers, tacklers and talent. But those same U12s coaches would also tell you that we we lack is "a bit of dog". Too often we can be bullied off the pitch because our team is made up of "nice, polite boys".
This match against against Bromsgrove might have been the game that changed that. This match against Bromsgrove might be the day a Rugby Team was born. We played 4 hard quarters against a similarly talented rugby team and didn't give an inch.
It hadn't boded well when after the first 1/4 we were down 3-1 despite playing a lot of the rugby. We just didn't look after the ball and fell off tackles when they ran at us. But then the boys decided to put that right.
Matt H was perhaps the catalyst with some determined tackling at the start of the 2nd 1/4 and when George found some space to scorch away for an early score we then found our mojo. We had stopped trying to score wonder tries from 1st phase but rather looked to look after the ball and build pressure. We scored again with Thomas U crashing over for a score and then one of Will T's favoured cross field kicks caused disruption and we benefited from a generous interpretation of the offside rule to score again.
But the boys took everything that the opposition in their stride and did their best to adapt to the referees interpretation (not something they are always good at) and no one missed any tackles. Indeed if anything there was as sense that there was real enjoyment in the opportunity to tackle with passion. The game had become a bit of a stalemate but we were playing a lot of the rugby and eventually took the lead.
Bromsgrove (who had similarly not taken a backwards step or missed many tackles of their own) came back at us, throwing attack after attack at our line but we held firm. 1 play saw our entire 12 man team holding up the ball and player up over the line to prevent them grounding the ball. There were no "nice polite boys" in the Bournville team in this match! However our determined approach did mean that we played on the edge and found ourselves committing a succession of penalties which kept the game alive as Bromsgrove battered our line before finally crossing for the game equalling score about 2 minutes in to overtime.
There were some tears and there was much frustration but the score was good and the draw was the fairest of results on a day when everyone left the pitch muddied and puffed out.
The boys should be very proud of themselves. This was a great performance that hints at a very bright future if we can continue to match our talent to this sort of dogged determination.