Sun 13
Teignmouth RFC
Under 14's
F Barrow (2), R Harris-Cotton
Teignmouth U13 vs Withycombe U13

Teignmouth U13 vs Withycombe U13

By Bill Roper
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Withies get season back on track with gritty performance against cherry and whites.....

With near perfect rugby conditions Withy were looking to bounce back from the disappointment of their performance against Exmouth the previous week. With most fixtures off due to the heavy rainfall, a depleted Withy team travelled down to Teignmouth to try to replicate the performance of last year.

However, mid-week preparations for the match did not go to plan with numerous key players still missing and a further 3 pulling out during the week due to injuries and illness. With a third of the entire squad out of action this really would be a stern test of resolve for the squad.

A high tempo warm up from drill sergeant Warren saw the boys pumped and ready to go - and with the biggest pitch ever laid out for a reduced 12 a-side match, they were ready to go.

From the off the tempo and intensity was high - the chasers immediately put pressure on the Teignmouth defence way into their own half and the Teignmouth attack struggled to make any ground. Several phases passed when the crash ball gave the break the home side were looking for and a powerful run from the big centre down the middle of the pitch gave the home side the lead.

With only 3 minutes on the clock this could have knocked the green and blacks, but it did the opposite and another good chase saw pressure straight back onto the home side. Sure enough the intensity at the breakdown soon produced the turnover it deserved and Withy were on the attack. The ball was like a bar of soap from the damp ground, but both side coughed up possession numerous times - however the territorial pressure was all coming for the green and blacks. Eventually Teignmouth opted to kick but the cross field grubber didn't do anything except give the Withy back line in form of Callum and Jason the opportunity to collect it on their 22, and with a simple offload to Fred, to beat one more player and cross the line to level the scores with just 5 minutes gone.

Q1 finished and score level - boys doing all the right things though. Time for a breather.

Another good restart again put the pressure straight onto the home side and they worked the phases back to the centre line. The Withy defence held firm with super endeavour from Ryan, Evan and Sam seriously nullifying the attack. That was until another line break, and a rare missed tackle, saw the home side go over to make it 2 scores to 1.

What was pleasing to see however, was that the boys were really up for the game and really applied pressure collectively. Noah was doing great job with Charlie at the breakdown - the latter starting to realise his power with some good contact being taken. The passing, whilst tricky with the soap covered ball, was still trying to get the wingers involved - Callum now sitting at number 10 was distributing the ball nicely to back line eager to exploit the space. And the tackling was excellent - blunting the threat of their larger players early doors - with Luke getting really stuck in with his best tackle count of the season so far. The forward group were doing a superb job of securing the ball for the back line to try to move wide - and when it did go wide, Withy looked dangerous.

Then a sublime moment of powerful running and skill saw the Withy forwards set up a move on the half way line - poised, the back line then moved the ball swiftly out - Ryan collected it and using his pace and power went straight through. Tackled well, he then offloaded the ball to Freddie just shy of the 22 before he stepped inside, then back out, to fox at least 3 defenders before crashing over to level the scores.

Withy were pumped. Another good restart saw the chasers pile on the pressure - quickly returning to the Teignmouth half. But they came back with a counter punch and cleared their line back up to the half way line. Steven M was doing a great job in the back line marshalling the troops and set Luke up for a cracking line break using his nimble frame to pierce the defence with a turn of speed. Eventually tackled, Joe, Charlie and the other members of the pack secured the ball - only for Ryan to receive the pass, weave past the defensive line which opened up like a Scotsman's suitcase and over he went. A fabulous try to take the lead.

Another close effort saw another Ryan try disallowed in the far corner - but half time and happy.

Although there were no further scores in the match, the game continued to be played in the Teignmouth half. A notable play then saw Teignmouth break through the line to sprint the full length of the pitch in an effort to tie the game. But an absolutely phenomenal try saving tackle from Steven brought the Teignmouth attack down short of the line....amazing effort from him to save the match.

Other notable moments saw Charlie clear out the ruck with bone crunching power - great to see after taking a blow earlier in the game. Ollie was a constant menace at the scrum and breakdown - a huge factor in being able to apply pressure quickly and getting turnover ball.

It was a good performance today - and the score could arguable have much more in Withies favour, but the pleasing thing about the game was the intensity and commitment to the team that came from every player. Once back to full strength I believe Withy U13s will be a force to be reckoned with....

MOM: Ryan - superb game with powerful running, offloading, general game intensity and awareness - topped off with the superb try.
Other Notables: Luke (tacking and speed), Callum C (distribution), Callum G (looking dangerous with the ball), Ollie (Menace at scrum), Evan (Sheer commitment), Freddie (superb day at the office), Charlie (AKA Raging Bull) for discovering (some) of his power), Steven (Match saving tackle), Joe (rucking), Noah (for backing himself), Jason (constantly being a threat down the line), Samwise (workman horse performance - rucking).

Thanks also to Warren for reffing.....

Next week is home to Honiton......details to be confirmed in the week so please look out for that.

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Match details

Match date

Sun 13, Oct 2019



Meet time



We are playing at the "Morrisons' Pitches NOT the main club pitch. The Postcode is TQ14 9AE