RUGBY: Rugby St Andrews

Saints Under 11s at the mud run
Saints Under 11s at the mud run

Mud run for U11s and 1st XI prepare for Shield game

St Andrews RFC under 11s entered a team in the Military Fitness Mud Runs on Saturday. Due to holidays, they were only seven strong, but strong they turned out to be.

Being everyone’s first attempt at this kind of event, the lads were not too sure what to expect. However, after their warm up taken by their adult participant - Scott Marshall, they were all keen to get going.

All finishing as a team was the main aim and after a lap of the field they disappeared into the woods. Wading through the river was their first challenge and then up the bank to the net tunnel for a 25 metre crawl.

This was followed by muddy tunnels, slippery banks and various other obstacles, while the parents waited anxiously for them to reappear.

After a gruelling 40 minutes they arrived at the finishing line, wet, muddy, tired and all still together as a team. There was even a suggestion that they wanted to go round the 5k course again!

Saints U11s were: Nathaniel Galpin, Morgan Marshall, Kieran Baxter, Alex Garcia, Jack Kettleborough, Ryan Coss and Euan Marshall with dad Scott.

# Rugby St Andrews have benefited from two pre-season games against higher league opponents Pinley and Newbold, who will be playing their rugby in Midlands 2.

There were encouraging signs that intensive fitness and skills work had paid dividends in most aspects of their game. Ball retention and continuity showed a marked improvement even at this early stage, although both games exposed areas that will need further work if Saints are to challenge for promotion from East Midands 3.

The games were played over four quarters and, with a number of places up for grabs, Saints were able to try out various combinations. They won three out of four sessions against Pinley with some exhilarating running and handling for a final score of 21-12.

With a number of players nursing knocks from the Pinley encounter it was a weakened squad that travelled to Parkfield Road for the sterner challenge of Newbold.

Saints were shaded out by the odd score in each of the first three sessions. They disappointingly leaked tries in the final quarter but this was still a useful exercise and provided invaluable experience for the promising youngsters in the squad.

A third match in the same format is scheduled for this Saturday against Old Wheatleyans at Ashlawn Road (ko 3pm). Anyone interested in trialling for Saints is welcome to attend.

The first competitive game of the new season is on September 6 when Saints have a home tie against Rugby Lions in the Warwickshire Shield competition.