Back to business for the under 12s on Sunday against a promising Ormskirk team that showed they weren’t prepared to travel to Gorton St to come second!
The weather was perfect and the ground nice and soggy: just what’s needed to have a good game of rugby!
The question was however: Could the boys follow on from last weeks great performance away at Lymm? Well, after a bit of a reshuffle with selection it was Ormskirk who made an early impression on the scoreboard, and there was an ever so slight feeling of: ‘oh no, here we go again…. we make a late start and have to chase the game.’ 0-1 Ormskirk
But, that’s where these boys have shown how much they’re developing as a team.
Captain Lucas took a pass from Joe at the restart as the boys set off on their first meaningful attack ‘down hill,’ with Heath just on his shoulder it was ominous as Ormskirk were forced to turn and defend. The emphasis this season is moving the ball and allowing IT to do the work. The early link-up play amongst the backs was looking good as Heath powerfully cut through a gap after brushing off a tackle. With a fair distance still to cover, his support runners were still catching him as he headed towards the try line. On this occasion they were not to be needed as Heath bagged his first of the day. 1-1
It was now the turn of the pack to show how they’re progressing: with James once again starting in the second row with Evan, Matthew linked form midfield with a fine flat pass to Evan. As the Ormskirk defence scrambled, Evan set up the ruck as Max, (pack leader), Taz and Matthew secured the ball for Joe at the base of the ruck.
James took a clever angle to avoid the tackler and claim his first try in an Eccles shirt! Well done! 2-1 Eccles.
From the restart, the Eccles boys pressed their advantage of playing down hill as Lucas charged down an attempted clearance deep inside Ormskirk’s half. He was rewarded for his endeavours and bravery as the ball deflected in his favour, Lucas managed to collect and finish for a well deserved score. 3-1 Eccles.
Heath suffered a nasty looking injury to the ribs as Jack came on to replace him. The swap was seamless as Jack soon got his hands on the ball after Max drove hard and straight, Joe once again looked for his runners. This time Shayne put the hard yards in as Adam then looked for possession. In an alternative role for Adam at full back, he took a smart angle before doing what he does best: sprint for the line with a defender or two in his wake! He was held up just short of the line but again, thanks to some great ball retention from the forwards, Joe again found space in the middle to dart over for a clean try. 4-1 Eccles
More changes came as Evan was replaced by Ollie, and Lewis and Alfie came onto the wings for Fletcher and Johnnie. Their eagerness was soon being rewarded as the ball handling from all the boys was appreciated by those watching. Again, Matthew (having moved into the second row) was pivotal with a fine pass to find Lucas. With Coz and Taz adding to the numbers at the breakdown, the ball came out cleanly again for Joe to find Adam. This time he wasn’t going to be held short of the line as he made sure the half time score provided a good lead to build on. 5-1 Eccles
The second period saw a rejuvenated Ormskirk side as they also introduced fresh legs. From the restart, Eccles (now playing up-hill!) knew they had to lift their work rate, regardless of the score line. Finn came on in the hookers role and Cameron came on for Shayne at tight head prop to use up the Eccles bench.
For the first five minutes however, it was Eccles having to do the defending. Lucas, in outstanding form, put in a wonderful clean tackle to halt an Ormskirk attack. As the ball was fed back to their supporting player, the Eccles forwards set up a defensive drive in scrum formation….for an ex-second rower, it was wonderful to witness and had me and Dr Dave purring! It was made all the sweeter to see backs joining as well with correct body angles, the drive returned the Ormskirk player to his starting point.
Johnnie enjoyed a great run down his wing to set a platform from which Joe could launch his strike runners. Jack hit the gap supported by Lewis as Joe chased his own pass to take possession before straightening his run towards the line. 6-1 Eccles.
With still some 10 minutes or so to be played, the boys were finally enjoying a chance to play some open rugby. Cameron got his hands on the ball and carried into attack. Ollie and Adam constantly and cleverly switched between full back and centre to keep options of attack open. Taz and Finn swapped hooking duties to great effect and Matthew was a constant threat with the ball in hand. Fletcher put in a powerful run up the wing but his boot just crossed the touch line! Shayne came back on for Max, who had also had a cracking game, and once more put in some real effective surges into contact as well as tackling like the scores were level!
James rounded off a perfect day for himself to claim his second to leave the final scores 7-1 Eccles.
- Coaches comments:
This was the performance the boys have been threatening for some time now! It was fantastic to see ALL the boys playing like this! They are beginning to gel as a group of young lads who can and WILL play for each other. This was proved on the side lines where the replacements stood urging their team mates on and eager to get involved. This is the spirit complimented with the attitude that will carry them through their development. The ball handling was wonderful as they finally showed some self belief. The tackling was immense and was verging on the offensive as they knew they would get possession back. To single out any individual on the day wouldn’t be fair but, Lucas led from the front as the Captain and the others all followed him, committed and without hesitation…. There was boys playing in different positions and boys who normally start the games, but this week were on the bench, yet nobody groaned! well done to all of them!
- Eccles Squad: Lucas (Capt), Matthew, Ollie, Heath, Jack, Johnnie, Alfie, Jake, Evan, Max, Lewis, James, Finn, Adam, Joe, Shayne, Cameron, Fletcher.
Big thanks to Referee Andy who kept the game moving.
Thanks to Vicky for the match stats and half time oranges.
Thanks to Paula who organised the bag packing on Saturday (its a logistical nightmare!)
- Training this Wednesday 29th Nov 6.30pm. All welcome including new starters!