U9s Win Is Tripletly Impressive
By Jonny Fairclough
Jack, Sam & Tom star as U9s win at Rochdale
Game 1: 1-6 Won
Game 2: 4-10 Won
Rochdale were great hosts on a day for open running rugby, and the quality of opposition meant that Wigan had to deliver a high quality performance to secure victory at the impressive Moorgate Avenue ground, and deliver they did – none more so than Harry H with another super-human tackling display, topping this week’s overall count with 27. Add to this 5 tries and 6 offloads and I’m sure you’re beginning to get the picture. I’m not sure what he had for breakfast but it clearly worked.
Finlay & Will both added 2 tries apiece, however the difference in execution couldn’t have been more contrasting. Fin’s speed & swerving saw him outthink and outpace the cover defence beautifully, whilst Will smashed over from close range once and from 40 metres out when he suddenly looked a bit miffed that Rochdale had upped their intensity and decided he should too – straight out of the Archie Smith playbook that one! Good tackling contribution from them both as well.
Noah was very pleased to tell everyone about his try scoring effort this week as well, backed up by 11 tough tackles. Noah is the ultimate team member who just throws everything into his running and tackling and is fearless in both skillsets. Lukus was always a danger with ball in hand - his graceful running at speed is a delight to watch, and his great hands and ability to offload successfully is growing week-by-week.
Despite Harry being exceptional again, Ollie was awarded player of the match after contributing strongly in all areas: 5 tries (all pretty much strong barnstorming efforts), 13 tackles & 7 offloads, and so it was no surprise that he was right in the thick of it when Rochdale fought back in the 4th quarter.
The special mention award this week goes to debutant Toby. What a display on his first outing under RU tackle conditions. Fearless in all area, adding a try and 16 tackles – all of which were bone jarring efforts. Well done!
Game 1: 10-13 Won
Game 2: 7-7 Drew
Having secured our fixture late in the week (due to opposition withdrawal) we headed over to Rochdale knowing we would be in for a tough test. This didn't deter our boys, who met the challenge (and their opposition) head on coming out of their two games as aggregated winners. Both George and Benito had great games leading from the front scoring some fantastic tries (6 for George, 5 for Benito) and both put in a huge defensive effort.
The team were massively assisted by some strong, direct running from Archie and Harry B, with Archie turning in a particularly impressive morning with 6 tries and 9 offload assists. He’s pretty unplayable when he hits the opponents’ defensive line at speed – and you can only imagine the opposition dread on seeing him heading towards them.
However, performance or ‘performances’ of the morning came from brothers Tom, Jack and Sam (the 3 sets of twins according to Warren - or triplets to us ordinary folks) who tackled themselves to a standstill.....(well almost). There was hardly any lead left in Mike Smith’s pencil after recording the stats this week! Sam (2) & Tom (1) also added tries after breaking the line on several occasions. The trio really built on their midweek tackling drills to deliver a fantastic group effort and take a well-deserved family man of the match award. The boys were challenged prior to kick off to see which one of them could top the statistics, and members of the crowd we're overheard quoting 'tactical masterstroke' by the new member of the coaching team, or was that Warren just mumbling to himself? Their unselfish play was also summed up with 20 team assists for Jack and 22 for Tom.
It's fair to say, with no substitutions available, the lads put in a 'full shift' today.....Hardly surprising that the boys couldn’t quite squeeze out the energy for that final quarter win, but in picture perfect rugby conditions in the Lancashire hills this was another super performance. Well done to all!
Parents' Man Of The Match - Oliver
Coaches' Man Of The Match - Jack, Sam & Tom
Top Tackler - Harry H & Jack
Top Passer - Tom
Top Try Scorer - Harry H, Oliver, Archie & George