Eeeebygum, weraluvleedayintlowcaltarnoWigun, Eccles tukon Orrell inwotwuzsposedtubehatuffgame. Sorry, being an ex-pat of Wigan I do find myself slippinintauldlingownowantgain.
To recap … it was a lovely day in the local town of Wigan, Eccles took on Orrell in what was on paper a tough game. We met earlier in the season in a tri-game at Tyldesley where a strong running, hard tackling team beat the U9s 10-6. Midweek preparation had concentrated on being up quick in defence to counteract their straight runners.
The kick-off was put back slightly to accommodate some late arrivals so warm up went on for a little longer than usual and a bit of giddiness started to creep in. This didn’t bode well and usual first warm up drill was then done at the end to try and get the team to concentrate.
After discussion with Martin from Orrell three ten minute periods was agreed and the game kicked off.
Team: Archie, Ben, Charlie, Guy, Jack, Josh, Lucas, Mitch and Reece
Orrell started the game. From the first whistle the Eccles heads were “ON”. Orrell runners were pushed backwards by the Eccles defensive wall. This was to be the pattern of the whole match!!!
With Orrell using all 6 tackles for no gain, the first pass to the running Ben gave him the momentum to break through four Orrell tacklers to touch down. From the restart the Orrell attack went nowhere again and this time the first pass to Jack saw him follow Bens lead, breaking any would be tackler to score. This pattern was followed again and again and at the end of the first period Eccles had a commanding lead and both Jack and Ben had three tries a piece.
The second period started much the same, all the Eccles boys wanting a piece of the action. Charlie followed the format of the first half, bursting through a number of tackles to score. Lucas was the next one bursting through only to tackled over the line and knocking on in the process. Guy took up the ball through the heart of Orrell to take the score to eight.
At this stage it would have been easy for Orrell to simply throw in the towel. But they kept pressing forward as best they could. As the ball was passed out of the tackle, Charlie was pulled back by the official for being offside and the whole of the Eccles defence stopped. This gave space on the outside for Orrell to cross the whitewash.
Any thoughts of a comeback was squashed from the restart as Mitch showed a clean pair of heels up the wing. Next up was Lucas who this time skipped through to, this time, correctly ground the ball.
Orrell were now making a better fist of things and at least gaining ground even if the tries were not being scored but were finding the Eccles defence too strong as sets of tackles were completed without troubling the scoreboard. However a loose pass from Eccles (note: the only one of the game!!!!!) saw the winger sprint away down the touchline for their second try.
With the Orrell tackling improving Eccles started to offload in the tackle and the quick ball gave tries to Josh and Jack to see out the second Period with Eccles leading 12-2.
For the final period the boys were asked to pass the ball more rather than stick to the (successful) one man rugby they had played in the first two periods. The offloading became faster and more proficient. Mitch and Guy both scored their second tries from quick offloads.
Enter Archie … the Hollywood pass specialist … looped a long pass missing out three players straight to speedster Reece and with the space available there was only going to be one result … try!
Orrell were still battling and scored their third try of the game with some well worked passing.
If you thought Eccles were going to coast for the last 5 mins, think again! Quick play from the tackle and a couple of passes later Charlie touched down followed by another try from Lucas.
Eccles did save the best passage of play till the last! The pass to Guy, 10m gain, quick ball to Ben, 10m gain, quick ball again to Jack, 20m gain, try saving tackle from Orrell but again quick ball and Josh in to score the final try of the game (again!!!)
A fantastic display against what looked like a very jaded and tired Orrell side. Fair play to Orrell who did keep going to the bitter end.
Final Score: Eccles (Jack 4, Ben 3, Charlie 2, Guy 2, Josh 2, Lucas 2, Mitch 2, Reece 1) 18 – 3 Orrell
Man of the Match: Jack (in the thick of EVERYTHING for the whole match!)
Whilst the above goes into detail about the tries what is not covered fully is the defensive effort put in by everyone. Before the game we was expecting running from deep so in training and just prior to the game we worked on getting up quickly from the breakdown to make the next tackle as soon as possible. The boys executed this perfectly throughout the match driving Orrell backwards at will. Special defensive mentions need to go to Ben, Charlie, Guy and Jack for being the main instigators of putting Orrell on the back foot for the whole game. In addition Orrell could have had three further tries but for the trademark flying last ditch tackles from Josh.
Well done to all, excellent performance