Eccles Squad; Jonnie. Danniel. Ollie. Maxwell. Ethan. Sohan. Mathew. Callum. Jake. Alfie. Bailey. Seb.
So, it was to the last game of the season for our U9s! It is incredible to think that this time last year, they were just finishing a season of playing tag rugby… and now, they have progressed to competing with some of the best U9s teams from around the area in full-on contact rugby! Fantastic!
We split into two teams to accomodate the numbers that BP are blessed with. Yours truly took a team and DoR Bates and ‘Dr’ Dave took the other group.
The last few training sessions have concentrated on moving the ball through the hands, from one wing to another in order to create the attacking spaces for our flyers to hit. Now the question raised by the team I officiated over, was, why did we choose to neglect that for most of the game?! When we eventaully did look to put the support runner into the gap, Jonnie, Callum and Ollie went for it. All three boys getting on the score sheet with fine tries. Where we did let ourselves down was in our lack of support for the ball carrier into contact. Mathew was at his best in taking the ball up and time and again, he made the hard yards but at the vital moment, his support players were watching the childrens entertainer tying ballons in the shape of a poodle outside the club house!
Sohan continued his progression as a fine ball carrier also, as he took his cue from his centre partner Mathew, clutching the ball firmly before waiting for instructions from his support. Callum again displayed his lethal ability up the wing with two great tries and Jake looked to pop some lovely passes out of the tackle zone. Jonnie appears to be a natural scrum half and Captain as he barked at his team mates and took his oportunities well!
Sometimes however, we need to understand that there is occasionally a force that will prevent us from putting any game plan into practice… and that is the opposition!
‘Park were always dangerous on the attack and exploited the gaps when they appeared. We tackled with absolute determination and halted their attacks time after time, but it was BP’s recycling game that pressed an advatage for the home side.
Mathew and Ollie put some of the best defensive hits in I’ve seen this season, but we could just not quite gel as the complete unit. Yes we can pass at speed and with precision… yes we can carry the ball without fear of spilling it…. yes we can hit the contact area with the correct body positions…. and yes we can tackle!
Now, when we do get all this together, we are a fantastic tight-knit team with a wonderful spirit and a great work ethic.
This is what we have done all season, so lets not forget this!
Our DoR and ‘Dr’ Dave reported the following on the games they looked after;
From the first minute, the Eccles boys took the game into the heart of the BP defence with Bailey driving direct before setting up the ball for Capt Danniel. Without hesitation, Danniel swept out wide to finish neatly over the line for the first of his three on the day.
Max loves playing the game on the forward foot and time and again gave his team mates a solid platform to atack from. Seb and Ethan showed that we have some wonderful talent on our wings with their usual display of quick feet. But, they are nobody’s fools when it comes to defending either! Alfie showed his concentration when he set up Danniel after timing his pass to perfection… well done Alfie!
Danniel took one on the nose (as did Toby by the way…. but I said I wouldn’t mention that!!) and after a few minutes on the treatment table, came out like the Tasmanian Devil before bagging his first hat-trick of the season… well done Danniel!
So all in all, a real contrast in performance from the boys in both teams on the day. It was not for the want of committment however. These things just happen.
Now to finish on a high;…..
The progression of this group of lads has been absolutely delightful to see. Their enthusiasm for the game has never wained, even in the depths of winter! Their approach to training has been so dedicated… and all of this with me and Chris screeching at them after they’ve dropped a pass or forgotten how to catch a ball! But, the biggest satisfaction comes when other clubs and officials comment on our boys’ behaviour and their attitude and respect for all concerned with the game.
So well done to all of you!
Thats it… until summer and pre-season training. So I wish you all a happy healthy break and we’ll look forward to next season!
Thanks for your support, it really makes coaching that much easier with it!
A big thanks to Paula as our ‘unsung’ manager and making sure we comply by the RFU laws and regs, as well as covering the admin work and making sure we’re legal!!
From the coaching staff of the U9s!
Comedy gems from Sunday;….. I’ll not tell you about Toby as I gave Ollie a 3 hour rollicking!….. Jonnies shorts making him look like a young ‘Andrew Ridgely’! (this is what happens when dads are in charge, Dom!) …. the entertainer in the club house (who I thought was brilliant!!)… and anyone else who didn’t know M27 8LZ was the biggest playing field in south Manchester! (you know who you are!!!)