This Sunday was poised to be a torrential downpour and so armed with cagoules, umbrellas and waterproof bags stocked full of the food from the kitchen cupboards, we made our way to Barnet RFC for the first mini festival of the season. As the day played out, we were actually quite fortunate with the weather and, although we suffered the odd shower, the weather held out surprisingly well. Nevertheless, the gazebo was a must and thanks to everyone that helped with putting it up. Thanks also go to everyone that mucked in during the day with tag belts, tags, catching practice and substitute coaching to help get the players ready for their games.
Barnet RFC had laid on an action packed programme of matches and a fast paced turnaround between games and so thank you all for making sure that the food and drink was kept in rapid supply during the few minutes that we had between each game to ensure that the players kept their energy levels up throughout the festival. We were all very grateful to Barnet RFC who had clearly spent a great deal of time setting out the pitches, preparing the parking and organising food at the clubhouse. Congratulations to Barnet for being such great hosts!
I was delighted that so many players at Under 6 and 7 level managed to make it to this festival. We value every player’s contribution to training sessions and so it is fantastic that they are all given the opportunity to put the training into practice. This consolidation of skills, which they have learned in training, gets put into action in match situations to provide the best development rate. As such, the immense improvement made during the morning was tangible to see. Aided immeasurably by the Parents, all of our players were ready and raring to go throughout the day and this meant that we maximised this vital development opportunity at such an early stage of the season. Well done everyone!
For the matches, we divided the players into three equal teams with a Coach in tow for each team. Overall, our three Harrow teams played against representatives from Barnet, Welwyn, Chess Valley and Chesham. From the outset, it was clear that the Harrow players were keen to show their skills and ready to have fun while playing some great rugby. During the festival, I observed outstanding play from all the Harrow teams and I have picked out a few key skills that are well worth highlighting:
- Defensive commitment: Every player tackled with great tenacity and put the effort in on every defensive set.
- Continuity of play: All the Harrow tries were scored with a contribution from every player on the team; whether this was creating a turnover through making a key tackle, running forward with the ball into space or supporting their teammates.
- Using broken play to our advantage: We maintained excellent positioning in attack and defence to ensure that when a ball was dropped by either side, we were first to the loose ball and then quick to make progress to the try line.
We will continue to develop our rugby skills as the season progresses but, at this stage, the whole team can be justifiably proud of the results that they have achieved through the dedication and determination that they have shown.
We are home again for the next session (8th October) where will host the Old Grammarians for joint training. This will be a good chance to learn from another team and test our skills before heading to Old Verulamians on the following week (15th October) for another joint training session. I look forward to seeing you all again on Sunday.