A frustrating morning at Birkenhead School saw the 1st XV go down 27-22. Indiscipline cost use with too many penalties against a referee that was happy to give them was our downfall.
The frustration of this was further compounded by our lack of willingness to play what we know works and an honest appraisal by Mr Boyd at half time, when we were 17-5 down, left some players feeling a bit glum but, to their credit, two good patterns of play straight after half time saw us pull back level before an opportunistic break by Gardener saw Morrow go over to pull us ahead. However, with 8 minutes to go we conceded a well worked try which was followed by a high tackle by Gardner which saw him leave the field on a yellow card. Hughes followed a couple of minutes
later for the same reason leaving a difficult few minutes ahead. Then the inevitable occurred and we leaked a try to lose the lead we worked so hard to get. With the clock dead we regained possession and were given one last attack but it was too little too late. Some soul searching by the squad at full time fully result in a more “together” performance v Ellesmere College on Wednesday.
A brilliant tackling display by the whole Colts team with Matthew Chan & Joe Ieong making some crucial tackles in a well fought match. Two contrasting tries from Josh Doyle, one with power from 10 metres the other a jinking 70 m run beating 4 or 5 defenders. Not to be out done, Ben Purcell bounced off would be tacklers and showed deceptive pace to run 60 metres to score. This gave Rydal the lead but 2 late tries scuppered any chance of a victory.
However, a performance that the team should be proud of.
This week the U14’s played host to Birkenhead school who have proven tough opposition in recent years. It was clear from the outset that Birkenhead were a well organised team, looking to play through the phases and work Rydal’s defence around the pitch. Our defence has been our major stumbling block this year, but not so in this match, with strong defensive performances from Cal Earle, Adam McGuigan & John Williams as well as the relatively inexperienced trio of Alex Starling, Patrick Burke and Ethan Chan contributing to a vastly improved team effort. Though much improved, it was still not enough to withstand the experience and organisation of Birkenhead’s back line, who produced some stunning rugby on a number of occasions to beat us around the corner to score.
We were not without tries of our own however, with Adam and Cal scoring a couple of wonderfully made tries to run in from 30 & 40m respectively. In all, a loss, but lots to be proud of.
Having already played Birkenhead earlier in the year, the u13a team knew it would be a tough and physical game. We started the game very well, giving the ball some width and having some early success with a well finished try by George. Throughout the game Rydal continued to have a lot of success with strong carries from Lawerence, Kosi, Llion and Zac Hay and some great offloads and passing from George, Will and Raif. The most impressive part of Rydal’s game was their defence, everyone stayed connected, made some great tackles and turnovers.
The game was very even with both teams taking the lead at different points. Rydal distributed the ball very well with Zac Roberts and Raif playing extremely well. It was the best team performance of the season so far with great communication throughout the game and were able manipulate the defence and attack open spaces, ending up deserved 6-5 winners
The u13b squad put out two even teams and played four games in total. There was fierce competition and the more experienced players, Liam, Ethan, Harley and Gabe all worked incredibly hard. Those new to the game, however, showed progress throughout the morning and, although all four games were lost, it was a valuable learning experience. Well played to Arun, who scored a sensational solo try as well as one other and to Ethan, with three, Gabe, two, Liam and Harley who were our other try scorers.