Earlsdon go down but are not out
By User 43282
The under 12s lose 2 games to nil to a strong Leamington team but have shown good progress over the season so far.
We played two games against an organised, committed and strong Leamington side, and unfortunately came off second best in both matches. This was partly due to a rake of impressive injuries; Matt T's being the most colourful (got most of the blood out of the shirt!) and also in the first game not making the first up tackles that we had done in recent fixtures. This is not to take anything away from Leamington, who ran strongly and used the ball well and both games were played in excellent spirit, our thanks to their players, coaches and supporters- reffing was a lot easier this week.
Note from Head Coach Stew Tilt (he waffles!!)
Rather than end the year on a downer, it is better to review the first four months of the season and look at the positives. In September, both Tom and myself had concerns over the season ahead. New players were needed and old hands needed to step up to the mark. After the usual iffy start against OCs (why can't we play them later in the year?) form dropped off badly, with some poor performances. However, things started to improve in November. The four, yes four! new players began to settle in to the team. Adam, with his searing pace and frightening tackling (though one tackle vs Leamington was so high, even our usual decapitator, Aiden was impressed), Ash, a recruit from another team, with some deft footwork and good rugby brain (needed, when everyone else is bigger than you!) Christian, quick and fearless, providing some extra bite in midfield, and Alex C. whose initial keenness is now being matched by a greater understanding of the game and never takes a backwards step. The usual suspects started to exert their authority on games. Aiden, a great natural rugby player, keeping his cool (mostly) to put in some rampaging shows-notably vs OLs, Darren, ruthless in defense and has even passed the ball! Matt T., battering forwards and some monster tackles (one vs Daventry changed the whole tone of the game), Gus, reliable and brave at scrum half and starting to organise the big lads more (they need it), and Alex M., feisty and daft-the perfect combination at hooker, probably the most consistent player so far.
Brad D. and Sean have provided respite for the main ball carriers and have been up for the battle, especially in game 2 vs 'Street, when other lads were feeling the effects of two tough games. Brad B. starting to use the ball better and showing more self-belief, he has the ability, just needs to use it more. On the wing, Matt M. is returning to the form he showed before his injury last season and has looked dangerous when getting the ball in space. Tom M. has nailed the fullback position as his own and though still has the odd "plane spotter" moment, is much more consistent. George's kicking has improved, though he must aim for the corners more-fed up of Matt. T complaining he never kicks it to his side! Liam has done well-working on the theory that if I can't see him doing nothing, he must be doing something!! And finally Tom K. possibly the smallest 2nd row around, but his commitment and willingness to put himself on the line for the team have been commendable (and he's stood in at prop against players 4 or 5 times bigger than him).
The upshot of individual improvement is the team has improved, when on their game they have proved a match for most and the wins we have, are well earned. Tom and myself look forward to the second part of the season with relish- there will be some tough games ahead but we are confident of surprising a few sides. Onwards and upwards!