Rugby is back!!!!!!
After what seemed like an eternity (only a month all be told) we had ourselves a game, high up in the hills and under the M62 at Littleborough. This is a place where “Brrrrrrrrr” is usually a term for summer temperatures and words for winter temperatures usually have asterisks in them! However it wasn’t that cold, was also dry but very muddy under foot!
Ben, Guy and Mitch were unavailable due to illness (hope you are better soon) and I think Mikey heard how muddy it was so we travelled up the M62 with 8 players.
Squad: Archie, Charlie, Josh, Lewis, Lucas, Nathen, Reece and Tommy
After initial discussions, Littleborough had 10 players so 4 quarters of 10 minutes were agreed and the game kicked off with Littleborough
Eccles, uncharacteristically got stuck in from the off. Tackle after tackle limited the Borough attack with Tommy and Nathan in the thick of it. Turnover ball and quick hands allowed Lewis to break the Borough line trudge into the corner for the first try of the game.
With no abating in the Eccles tackling a second turnover ball put Eccles back into attack mode. Some neat passing gave Reece space on the wing and gliding over the mud like pond skater he raced away from the borough cover to score in the corner.
Yet more crunching tackles kept the borough attack at bay again and again. In attack four phases of rugby concentrated the borough defence in localised area and Lucas broke away to dive in for a third Eccles try.
At this point I would like to end the match report but we are only a quarter of the way through. The players huddled in for the team talk and a complete new borough team took to the field waiting for the restart???? WTF ???? (What The Flip for anyone not knowing textspeak).
The next quarter saw borough open with 4 unanswered tries as Eccles were still in the huddle! Eventually Eccles got going, Nathan took on three defenders and two tonnes of mud to score and a jink inside allowed Tommy to evade the defence and squelch in. The half ended with the biggest borough player charging through the middle of the park only for one of the smallest Eccles players, Josh, to dip, engage with the shoulder, drive upwards to put the player on his errrr proverbial! Perfect technique, well done!!!
For the second time the whole Borough team was swapped.
The third quarter was one way traffic as the mud sapped the strength from Eccles legs. The fierce tackling continued fuelled by the increasing number of high tackles from Borough and to their credit there was no retaliation from Eccles lads. As tiredness grew, three breakaway tries from their own half gave them the lead for the first time in the match. A second try by Reece outpacing the Borough defence was the only consolation of the third quarter especially moments after the try a tackle into touch lead to an uncomfortable landing on his shoulder.
For the final time Borough swapped the whole team for the final quarter.
Further high tackles from Borough ensued as Eccles tried in vain to get back on level terms. Even though the tanks were empty, the tackling still continued from Eccles to the death and the final whistle was blown abruptly when Josh was picked up by a borough player and dropped almost on his head. Spear tackles at U9s … really!!!!!!!!!!!!
Final Score: Littleborough (both teams) 9 – 6 Eccles (Reece 2, Charlie, Lucas, Nathan, Tommy)
Man Of The Match: Reece (Two tries, excellent tackling, bravery for getting back on after the big tackle into touch)
This was the first match for a month and the standard of tackling from Eccles was fantastic and the effort put in was amazing as every single player gave everything in very difficult conditions. Borough resorted to many high tackles but discipline was maintained. Well done boys!
Things to work on include looking at where we are passing and scrambling for loose balls but overall a very good performance against greater numbers.
Next week (weather permitting) is a home game against Fylde. Speaking to their coach they have a squad of 40+ players so we have agreed that they will send 2 teams only.