First XI vs Newcastle-under-Lyme
Despite taking a young group of players to this their first fixture of the season everyone acquitted themselves well despite having two or three players unavailable.
The host team started stronger and scored their first try in the fifth minute with their second ten minutes later, both following lapses in our defensive organisation.
A further try was scored ten minutes before half time after our defence was stretched across the field with the opponents playing probably their best rugby of the morning.
We turned around at the interval and immediately looked better organised, more composed and demonstrated more purpose and direction in our play. In the fifth minute, attempting a move which failed, Joe Morrow tidied up the loose ball and powered his way over the line from five meters out taking three defenders with him.
Twenty-five minutes later after applying considerable pressure Newcastle could not hold us out and Jake Palmer-Reid scored in the right hand corner to get within five points. In declining the kick at goal we failed to gather the restart before the final whistle went.
It was good to note that much of the preseason work clearly paid off and during Saturday’s performance several elements of our play only improved as the game progressed with younger and older players all making significant contributions.
Colts v Bramhall.
A crunching tackle by Sam Bixby and a pleasing performance from Nick Riding were the most notable aspects of a match that was as poor as the weather. Rucking and tackling will be top of the list at training on Thursday so a promising squad can start to play to their ability.
Thank you to those that attended training at New Field, particularly Year 7 pupils new to rugby. A very enjoyable session with learning at the heart of the session.
The U14s played three games of rugby and the usual “first game of the season mistakes” were furthermore compounded by the torrential weather.
Game one was against St James School for Boys on tour from Kent for the third season. We went down 3 tries to 2 in this game and things looked promising.
That was short lived and in the second fixture v Newcastle U Lyme to say we had an inability to tackle wouldn’t be an understatement! It wasn’t until we conceded our third try without touching the ball did we make a tackle. The game finished 5-1.
Our third game was against best side of the day, Bramhall High School. We fought back hard to level the game 1-1 before half time only to go down 3-1.
Lots of lessons learned and players of the day, largely for their defensive efforts, were Cal Earle, John Williams and Rhys Seenan. Most improved over the course of the morning were Suhas Shekar, Niall Richardson and Saul Sugarman.