Sun 09
North Dorset
Sun 9
14:00
Friendly
Academy
Pre-Season fixtures versus North Dorset & Dorchester at North Dorset RFC, Gillingham.

Pre-Season fixtures versus North Dorset & Dorchester at North Dorset RFC, Gillingham.

By Duncan Parker
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TROJANS U18 ACADEMY BIG DAY OUT


Let’s meet the bus at 08.30 on Sunday morning, go for a drive and have an "Eat as much as you want Buffet" before playing rugby in the afternoon. “What could possibly go wrong? they said”

So that was it, 38 players, a coaching group of 6, one bus driver and a trip to the Toby Carvery at Solstice Park, Amesbury. This was an “Eat as much as you want” buffet style cooked breakfast and we still had one player ask to stop off at a shop to get some snacks afterwards.

Onwards to Slaughtergate (A great name for a rugby field) just outside Gillingham in Dorset. Warren, the driver, carefully encouraged other road users that the size of his bus meant that he was not giving way on the narrow lane to the club car park, and they all seemed to agree.
Two balanced sides had been selected whilst the players enjoyed their breakfast and these were duly announced on the bus, and on parking up the two selected Captains for the day took their players for a 10 minute walk to get the journey out of their legs.

A normal Matchday warm-up ensued with some extremely complimentary comments from NDRFC members as to our squad numbers, commitment and organisation.

Due to a shortage of appropriate Front Row players, the game against NDRFC was to have uncontested scrums from the outset, it was the only part of the game to be uncontested! In comparison, on the adjoining pitch the match against Dorchester was definitely “contested” in all areas.

On a warm sunny day both games were played with high tempo, and with all Trojan players setting out their individual claims for the season ahead. There were many stand out performances across the two games with Sam Hill-Cousins and Harvey Ward scoring their hat-tricks against NDRFC, Ben Jenden kicking six conversions against the same opposition and Matt Jackson jacking four conversions against Dorchester.

Both Trojans teams showed enterprise at every opportunity, speed of thought was excellent, however; some of the ball-handling and positional sense does need work but to come away with two “wins” on the road, and a scalp such as Dorchester, who apparently had a full squad of U18 players on the pitch compared to the Trojans mixed age squad does bode well and shows that the trip was indeed worthwhile.
An excellent lasagne was enjoyed after the game and the players showed their solidarity wearing their Trojans after-match shirts – ensuring that the bar remained full long after the opposition players had gone home.

The trip home was a much quieter affair, the matches having taken their toll on some.

Thank you to those parents who made the trip to support the group and we hope to see more parents joining us for future matches – the boys do need your support.

We now look forward to the season and our first games on Sunday 16th with two away matches, at Havant and at Haslemere.

ONE SQUAD – TWO TEAMS

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Match details

Match date

Sun 09, Sep 2018

Kickoff

14:00