Awesome, Awesome and Awesome!
For the first time this season Eccles U9s played a full game of fantastic free flowing open rugby combined with resolute and solid defence.
Before I get on with the match reports I want to extend a big Eccles welcome to Jack on his debut for Eccles.
After all the recent rain, hail, rain, snow (did I mention rain?) we had perfect conditions for rugby, blue skies, bright sunshine and a pitch, amazingly, soft under foot but not in the slightest bit muddy, in excellent condition.
Our opponents, Sale had similar numbers and so we were able to hold two concurrent games of 6x rugby.
Team 1: Archie, Ben, Charlie, Josh, Nathan, Reece and Tommy
The game started in typical Eccles fashion with two or three plays and then fumble the ball. Sale took full advantage to race away and score the opening try. Then came the rugby!!!!!
From the restart, three hard runs up the middle from Ben, Nathan and Charlie clustered the sale defence and then quick ball out to Tommy for a free run to the try line. On the restart Sale passed the ball to the “big man” (huge, twice the size of any Eccles player) and he was instantly tackled round the ankles by Tommy. The old adage “the bigger they are the harder they fall” was certainly true and the ball spilled out and quickly passed through the hands (yes through the hands) to Nathen for the second Eccles try.
The same tactic from the start from Sale, ball to the big man, was met with the exact same result, albeit Nathen with the textbook tackle. Ben latched on to the loose ball evading the Sale defence. 3-1. The “big man” was seeming to loose heart as the Eccles tackling was awesome. Sale did make the full six tackles but the ball was turned over. Three drives later and a pass out wide gave Reece the space to skip over for try four. With time ticking down in the half, yet more fierce tackling from Ben, Reece and Josh forced yet another turnover from which Nathan crossed the try line again for the last try of the half.
In the second half the Sale team must have had a stern talking too as they came straight out of the blocks scoring two quick tries courtesy of Eccles missed tackles. Tommy and Nathan were still marshalling the big man but Sale had got the offloads working and they used the quick ball well.
From the second restart Tommy jinked through the Sale tackles to score his second. Another spilled ball from Sale gave Reece the space out wide to restore the 4 try lead.
The Eccles tackling was starting to get lazy and the big man did get on the score sheet carrying most of the Eccles team across the try line with him … this is what happens boys, if you don’t take their legs! (I may have mentioned this once or twice from the side line)
Charlie then got on the score sheet with a typical jinking side step off the right foot try. Nathan and Tommy both went in for their third tries either side of Sale crossing the whitewash. Sale scored from the restart but to complete the scoring. Following a quick pass from Archie, Nathan broke away to touch down for his fourth try of the match.
Fantastic first half, superb tackling and some great passing rugby.
Final Score: Eccles (Nathan 4, Tommy 3, Reece 2, Ben, Charlie) 11-6 Sale
Man of the Match: (Picked by Alan from Sale) Tommy
Awaiting roving reporter report
Final Score: Eccles 13-3 Sale
Team A: Guy, Jack, Lewis, Lucas, Mikey (with his magic hat) and Mitch
Awaiting roving reporter report
Final Score: Eccles 11-8 Sale
The teams swapped round and the intel was passed on (tackle the big man, the tall one in the training top and the number 10 round the legs plus plenty of space out wide as they track the ball!). Did they listen? …
With ball in hand Eccles stuck to one man rugby but the sale defence could not match the power from Lewis, Guy, Jack and Mitch as time and time again yards were gained up the middle.
When Sale attacked the tackling was more, well muppet-esque (imagine Kermit the frog running to try and tackle – straight arms and flapping at the opponent). The game ebbed and flowed, try for try with no team grabbing a real advantage.
Guy scored three identical tries, taking the ball off the scrum half, aiming for the left wing and hugging the touchline to score in the corner. Not to be out done Mitch also scored three identical tries by looking at the Sale positioning and attacking the gaps, once free no one could catch him.
Up the middle Lewis was strong driving back two Sale defenders a full fifteen metres then offloading to the oncoming support. Lucas also chipped in with some cheeky runs and some chest high tackles (I still have James’ voice ringing in my ears “LLLLLLEEEEEEGGGGGSSSSS”)
Jack played well in his first (ok, second) game. He was always on the shoulder of the ball carrier and strong in the tackle (was given the responsibility to mark the big man) and kept him quiet in the second half.
Finally there was Mikey. Sporting a new “bonnet” he seemed to have a new air of confidence about him. Rather than staying away from the ball he was in line and took a number of drives into the heart of the Sale defence. He also showed his strength to charge into two would be tacklers and push through to score when it looked like he has been held up. Well done, much better performance!
All in all some good individual attacking performances but need to be more committed in the tackle.
Final Score: Eccles (Guy 3, Mitch 3, Lewis 2, Jack, Lucas, Mikey) 11-11 Sale
Man of the Match: (Picked by Alan from Sale) Mitch
Many thanks to Alan from Sale (not to be confused with Alan a Dale from Robin Hood) for being the match official (volunteered by Pete!!!!) and keeping the games flowing. Both games were excellent to watch and some good rugby from both sides.
Next week we are away at Bolton, weather/pitches permitting.