With only 15 players available and against a big pack we knew this game would not be the walk over the the previous league game was before the Christmas break and we knew that everyone would have to work for the entire 60 minutes to get a result.
With a late drop out I had to put Sam Page in as Hooker for his first time and William Thomas in as loose head prop for his first ever game for Trojans. Our regular Hooker Keir I put in as flanker and I had to drop Brad from 10 to 9 as my two regular 9's were not available.
With a few other changes in position, William B jumping for the first time in the lineouts and Max H playing his first game for Trojans the boys started well and put Millbrook under some early pressure. However the first scrum of the day saw a large Millbrook pack push us back easily so we all knew we had to work for this. Lucky within 4 minutes we had a scrum in Millbrooks 22 and Gabe (8) picked and ran with the ball only to be taken down short of the line but Brad playing 9 picked up the scraps and was able to cross the line and scored our first try of the day. Dara stepped up and was able to convert it with a great kick and too the score to 0-7 within the first 5 minutes.4 minutes later Gabe was too strong for their defence and was able to cross the line himself to bring the score to 0-12. With nearly 10 scrums in the first 15 minutes we were now dominating them and comfortably winning our ball and occassionally poaching Millbrooks feed.Which gave our forwards more confidence and our backs more ball to play with. We saw lots of good link up work in the backs bringing Dara (15) into play a few times and running more yards than ever before.23 minutes in and Mark E went on one of his runs and was able to out pace and be too strong for Millbrook and was able to score his first for which Dara was able to convert again bring the score to 0-19 with 7 minutes to play. Millbrook had a couple of chances to score but with a bit of luck and fortune they were not able to complete. However the biggest scare of the first half was a well worked 3 man lineout by Millbrook. It was only ever going to one person and even Mr Magoo (Cartoon character not our former chairman) could see it was going to their large prop at the front of the lineout. However we still allowed him to run from just inside our half to around the 5 meter line without anyone taking him down. Too many attempts and a chest/shoulder tackle too place until Oli J was able to get his arms around the lads legs and bring him down before the line. A few seconds later the ref blew for half time and if it had gone a few more minutes we could of seen a try by Millbrook.
Half time Millbrook 0 - 19 Trojans Warriors
At half time I saw Sam Page having issues wiht his back so I put Keir back into his regular hooker position and let Sam Page play at flanker for the second half to give his back a rest. With only seconds of the 2nd half getting under way Sam Page made a couple of great runs with ball in hand and was able to gain some good yards with each (That lad must be one of the fastest props around when he has a ball in his hands!) Again some good handling in the backs and a great run by debutant Max H to score his first ever try for Trojans with 8 minutes gone into the second half making it 0 - 24 a few more scrums and now we were camped in their half and putting more pressure on Millbrook conceeded a penalty 5 meters from their line. So up stepped Alfie who quickly took the tap penalty while both sides were organsing themselves and for the second game in a row scored a try from a quick tap penalty! The words quick and Alfie dont usually go together but once again his quick thinking he was able to cross the line while everyone was discussing what to do. Now with the game 0-29 all our boys were starting to run well with the ball link up with each other and everyone was making a difference. By now with nearly 50 minutes played you can see some of our boys struggling due to the incredible amount of scrums taken place as well as the hard work running and gaining yards. However they all were still giving 100% and not one asked to come off. We stayed in the Millbrook half and after some good passing Alfie recieved the ball and was able to shrug off a few tackles and from approx 12 meters was able to get clear of the defence and cross the line again for his second of the day. Not bad at all considering he scored his first ever competive try 2 years ago (almost to the day) since starting playing at 5 years old. So 22minutes in and it was now 0-34 and there was still more from the Warriors. There has been lots of work on their lineouts and these work well in games and a great little move from just inside their half saw Sammy N throw the ball in and then run around to recieve it only to be the dummy runner and Mark came from from the back of the lineout to run down the blind side and make it as far as their 5 meter line only to be tackled, however during the tackle the ball was thrown and away and with in 60 seconds we were defending in our 22nd! if the ball would of been kept we would of won the breakdown and for sure scored which would of been a great finish to a great little move. However we were now defending and defending well and started to run from our 22 instead of kicking clear and showing confidence in our passing and running and with second left on the clock Mark made another strong run and was able to score his second of the day and close the game to finish 0-39
A good all round performance from all the players and a special mention should go out to both William T and Max H for their first game for Trojans and William lasting the entire game in the front row for the very first time in a competive game.With Max getting a try to boot! Also Keir and Brad who both played in different positions but both ran well with the ball and both defending well.
The final special mention should go out to Millbrook, who did not drop their heads once and always played with a smile on their faces. This team is a mix of U14 and U15's and all the boys stepped up on the day. I hope they get more players in the future and are able to field two teams (U14's and a U15's team) Well done guys you did your coaches proud.
Man of the Match was voted by Millbrook and was given to Mark E for some strong runs and good work in the break down as well as two good tries which easliy could of been double that.
Well done all but back to reallity in two weeks when we are back in leauge action and go away to Vectis and play a very strong team on the Island!