At last a fixture on ‘home’ soil…. (think that should read home ‘mud’!)…. for the under 10s of Gorton St!
The mental agility test for this week was how to accommodate 5 teams into a round-robin fixture where everybody gets a game….. we just couldn’t work out how many games we were supposed to have!! (that’s what happens when the coaches are ex-forwards) So, we had two teams who had three games!!
Ah well, we still managed to give debuts to another two boys in Joe and Finn. Both did superbly well.
Eccles Squad: Matthew. Maxwell. Ollie. Shayne. Scott. Ollie. Danniel. Adam P. Jake (Tas). Evan. Johnny. Joe. Finn M. Jake Y. Finn F. Carter. Bailey. Jack
In the game yours truly officiated against a Marple side, it was obvious from the moment the whistle started the game, that both teams wanted to play some running rugby! Eccles won the right to kick-off and looked to move the ball wide to Adam on the wing.
With a narrower pitch to contend with, it took a few attempts from both sides to realise they needed to play in their channels and NOT drift with the direction of the ball! Johnny looked to support in a more central role than normal, and it was this tactic that provided him with the opportunity to claim the first score. Danniel linked with the impressive Carter who stayed on his feet for Johnny to take a deft pass and loop to the right into the gap. 1-0
From the restart a strong Marple attack only broke down as their centre lacked some vital support into the contact area. Danniel got his hands clamped onto the ball to show great determination in stealing possession. From here a good link-up with Evan brought Scott onto the ball. From a standing start, he still had work to do but a sideways shift of his hips saw him launch towards the try line.
Danniel was next to claim a well deserved score. Again, a spilt ball in the contact saw Carter first to react to set up a ruck. Johnny stepped in at scrum half and Danniel received the pass to the right as the Marple defence had been drawn-in. Finn M, as always, showed what wonderful sympathetic hands he has out of contact as time and again he kept the move flowing. Evan enjoyed some great strong runs and some lovely body angles into the contact zone. Tas looked so comfortable in his hookers role in the heart of the scrum and in the loose!
Next on the score sheet was Johnny again: His reading of the game is an example at times. Marple then replied with a well taken try of their own. Their diminutive winger coming onto the ball at pace to finish nicely in the corner.
The second period was pretty much a similar script. Both teams played with tremendous dedication and conviction. Marples’ captain Brad was superb all over the pitch but even he couldn’t prevent the waves of Eccles attacks. Joe, on his debut, proved we have another speedster in the making with a well taken try! His pal Pikey was not to be outdone on the opposite wing keeping up his impressive tally in his first season with the club, and playing rugby!
Johnny is the name to dominate this weeks’ report from the ‘whistle’ as he finished up with 4 tries!
In our second game against a different Marple side, the boys had adapted to the narrow surface well before their opponents. ~ It was time for the wingers to show what they could do! However, they could only do this with possession and that was created in bucket fulls by Carter. This was how to put in a wonderful performance and NOT get on the score sheet (something Mark Dutton used to endorse every week!). Carters tackling was clinical and destructive at times. Danniel had an arm chair playing behind him ,where he could keep the wingers well supplied with enough ball to take the game beyond Marple. Joe and Scott alternated to rack up a 4-0 win! Some really good stuff from both teams.
Thanks to Vicky for the match stats and thanks to Andy from Marple for the attitude and commitment shown by his boys.
The next report is courtesy of our ‘pitch-side analyst’ ……!!
In our ‘other’ game over on our usual playing area, Eccles took on a strong Widnes side. The playing surface was never going to favour the speed merchants and the arm wrestle began in earnest up the middle. With their own big ball carriers, Widnes took the game to Eccles with some great rucking and clean set ball. It was Jack and Bailey who stopped a promising attack to regain possession for Matthew to stay strong into contact for the Eccles score.
Widnes came back immediately to threaten the Eccles try line and were unlucky in not getting a swift reply.
Maxwell and Jack linked up before Jake popped the ball to Finn, another boy on his debut. Finn showed his appetite to set off through the gap before delivering a neat feed to Matthew. Max and Jack ‘sandwiched’ Matthew’s scores before Ollie, playing out of position on the wing, ripped a ball to create his own chance for glory!
Shayne clamped his hands constantly around the ball to retain possession in the dire conditions. Jake Y took a big hit before getting back to his feet a little dazed, but unperturbed! Well done!
Thanks to Mike from Widnes.
A huge well done to all the boys who made it possible to enjoy some great rugby on a dour day!
The minutes silence prior to the game was very well respected from all.
No comedy Gems this week as the conditions never allowed for any…. but, take a look at the Eccles U15s match report by David Rapinet. Scroll down to the bottom of his report for a good chuckle! ….I can just imagine the U10s coaches adopting such a warm-up for some comedy value!