Round-up from Sunday’s junior games
U10s: Rugby St Andrews 16 Newbold 10: The squad was ready for today’s local derby, after having had a good run out last weekend against some of Leicestershire’s best sides.
The game was played superbly, with Clement, Nicolia and Dan offering great strike runs. Beating lots of defenders. Joseph and John brought a more direct approach with real purpose, which sucked in loads of defenders allowing Ella, Tom and Leo (1) to attack the space out wide and provide great link work.
Cormack was great in support as was George and Zackary who cleared rucks and were constants around the breakdown. Misha was awesome in attack and never shirked his tackle duties, putting in some great cover tackles. Theo had one of his best games in the blue shirt, running great support lines and getting the ball away from rucks, as did Leo (2) who charged into defenders and showed great strength going forward. Noah played a great game strike running hard and linking well. Ben and Jackson were hugely effective in attack but most importantly got some great rips in defence which swing our D into attack. These things win games. This earned Ben his Steve McQueen award for this week.
Lots of super stuff this week, passing into space, offloading, rucking and strike running.
Our key work on is defence, we need to lift our confidence levels in this area. We have training next Sunday, so D will be our focus.
U11s: A strong St Andrews performance against an under par Newbold side, saw the home team run in a hat full of tries in the cold Autumn sunshine.
RSA U11s continued the strong form they showed last week against Rugby Lions with an impressive performance from the entire squad. The squad is now starting to take shape as the lads and Mollie mature into players with specialised positions in mind. Our big forwards; Scott, Lee and Dan punched the holes through the middle that allowed our speedy backs to pour through.
This ‘route one’ tactic worked time and again, and allowed Luke, Oscar, Connor, Gareth and Ben to rack up the scores.
U12s: St Andrews v Newbold
It was a good natured but physical contest today with Newbold bringing greater numbers and a better organised team to the Ashlawn ground after their foundation year last season. The focus today was for a stronger lower position in contact, looking to use the strong windy conditions to our advantage and as ever getting into that correct tackling position.
The opening run of play was a bit disorganised from the outset with poor discipline and positioning in the set pieces. Binding in the scrums was too loose and there was a tendency for movement on the put ins which needed a reset. Wozza managed a solo try in the middle after a double movement try was denied to him only moments before. Liam continued his good run of form and was in a good support position at a tackle and a quick sidestep saw him go over on the right. A good switch by Wozza from open to blindside at the back of a scrum found Evan in some space allowing him to score the first of his three.
A nicely weighted free pass found Finley in the right position and he took advantage of a small gap to score his try. It was good to see players supporting him either side which also gave him options to pass. That Go Forward principle of play whilst defending saw a couple of forced fumbles by Newbold near their line and both Callum S and Matty F capitalised for points.
Newbold had some really good carries in the middle and a good deal of continuity was seen but there was a good defensive line by Saints and there was no way through.
Some very fast runners on Newbold closed Evan down when he went on a winding run across the pitch and they were unlucky perhaps not to drive him into touch. A long dive for the line however saw him go over in the corner. A high kick-off saw Newbold waver under a difficult ball and Matty F who had a great tackling game today was there to fall on the ball for his second.
The third period of play saw a lot of determination by Newbold who really defended well and showed some great spirit in attack. Scoring went their way without reply with a lovely run down the left wing. Andrews lost their composure at this time and simple easy possession and handling was replaced by a scrappy period of play and it was Newbold who showed the better discipline. A tendency to creep forward into an offside position at the kick offs, scrums, rucks and mauls will surely be punished more as the season progresses. The referee is looking to keep play active and use advantage wherever possible. Play to the whistle at all times but try to keep that offside line discipline!
A great solo effort by the Newbold wing saw him score a superb try down the left touch line. A quick burst of speed saw him slip a couple of tackles and he kept going straight. Even Evan who covered across well to intercept couldn’t stop him. Dylan made a lovely break on the half way line in the last minutes and surprised himself by streaking clear of the defence to make his mark on the scoresheet.
With Newbold having to carry a few injuries from last week and having no substitutes it was perhaps much easier for the Saints to keep their momentum. Well done to both sets of players for maximum effort though in blustery conditions.