Walden U16's take a brilliant win in awful conditions
After a slow start and two tries down the lads played exceptionally well to dominate the game and take a well deserved win
Awful conditions; cold, raining and very windy, not really what the lads wanted! A hastily arranged game against a very strong Saracens A team which we knew would be a real test.
One minute in and they had broken through our defense to score, it was looking a little ominous we didn't get organised properly . The Saracens 8 was very strong, a great ball carrier who did more damage from the scrum and breakdowns to create more space, Walden's tackling was a little off and they scored again out wide, no conversions so a 0-10 lead to Saracens. Walden then upped their level of play, the self belief was creeping back in and we retained far more ball. Alex B took a head knock and had to come off, Aidan coming on and immediately getting into the game with tackles and powerful runs. Ming then came on and again made an impact with powerful direct runs into the Saracens defence, retaining ball and recycling cleanly. Walden then commenced a superb series of phases, Hugo, Beau and Ming carrying and supported with excellent control in the breakdowns. They patiently took the ball with two metres of the line before it was popped out to Alex who grub kicked through a hole and touched down under the posts. Back in the game.
Against the wind in the second half meant a big workload as Saracens were looking to kick for territory. Harry was outstanding at the back, very well supported by the wingers and returning each kick to make significant gains, very calm and great thinking play. Again Walden built the pressure and showed tremendous patience to keep the pressure on Saracens, working through phase after phase before Ryan drove over for the try, Alex taking the extras for a 14-10 lead. Walden kept up the play, keeping it tight when necessary against a very strong Sarries defence; in particular the line speed of the centres was impressive. The fitness of Walden was really impressive, they kept up a high work rate right up until the final whistle. A run of three penalties on the stroke of full time threatened the score line but Walden defended well, winning the last line out to seal the game.
Very well played to all the lads. Beau was motm for an incredible performance, such strong ball carrying and tackling. We looked like we had 8 back row players today and that control won the game.