“Not Straight Sir” – U16s capitulate to Rossendale

We were welcomed to Marl Pits, home of Rossendale RFC by yet another beautiful late Autumnal morning for the second of our October East Lancashire fixtures. The first team pitch beckoned, which as it does for our lads when we get the opportunity to play on the hallowed 1st team turf, clearly lifted the Rossendale boys.

The Eccles squad, still badly affected by injury were boosted by new recruit Ross A who joined the action midway through the first half with good effect.

Rossendale are a robust squad with a good mix of power, speed and aggression; unfortunately the latter came to the fore too often and eventually boiled over when Brad P complained about a blatant high tackle. A box quickly was brought on to the field for Brad so he and the foolhardy lad could converse eye to eye. One thing we all know is the quality of handbags that Brad carries is second to none; you can keep your Guccis and your Michael Kors rubbish, Brad is all about the Hermès

Stand-in captain Alex H took the bull by the horns and gave the Eccles lads a reminder of the potential knock on effects for the Club and particularly the 1st XV of pitch battles

The Eccles line out, so dominant in recent games failed to make an impression today, not helped by some dubious decisions around the direction of travel of the ball, but nevertheless, our line-out struggled.

Scrummaging wasn’t as solid as we have been used to seeing however when you are constantly affected by injuries to your front row it can be difficult to find a settled rhythm. In truth the outcome of an Eccles injury which meant that scrums were uncontested may even have helped our cause this week – something that would never normally be true.

Stand-in coaches the Marx brothers, who did a fine job of keeping the lads fired up throughout a difficult game made some key in-play decisions including swapping the backs around in order to combat the pace of the Rossendale winger

All in all, a bad day at the races for Eccles who battled hard against a strong side. No match on the 16th and I understand from Coach Kevin that there will be no Sunday training either as many of the lads are touring sixth form colleges.

Our next fixture is at home to Heaton Moor who we have historically competed well against but against whom we capitulated badly at the end of last season. Moor have some very good players and we will need to be properly prepared and ready to play the Eccles brand of rugby if we are to take anything away from the fixture

Eccles U16’s Vital Statistics

Todays Eccles Squad

Starting XV

  1. David S – Hooker
  2. Alex H – Loose Head Prop (Captain)
  3. Ellis P – Tight-Head Prop
  4. Oliver W– Second Row
  5. James W – Second Row
  6. Joe R – Blind-Side Flanker
  7. James F– Open-Side Flanker
  8. Alex T– Number Eight
  9. Dan A – Scrum-Half
  10. Harry C – Fly Half
  11. Robert S– Left Wing
  12. Shea S– Inside Centre
  13. Max R – Outside Centre
  14. Jack W – Right Wing
  15. Brad P – Full-Back

Replacements – Kieron R, Ross A


  • Ed H – Injured
  • Matt W – Injured
  • Matty L – Injured
  • Albert T – Injured
  • Josh G – Injured
  • Archie H – AWOL
  • Coach Kevin – polishing his sporran
  • Coach James – AWOL

Scores on the Doors

Half Time 19 – 0

Full Time  39 – 0

*although the referee could not confirm this as correct due to having had “a big night last night”

Eccles Men of the Match

Players Choice – Brad P

As the last line of defence Brad saw lots of the ball today, whether it was collecting a kicked clearance or tackling the man on the break. To be nominated as man of the match by your peers has to be the highest accolade

Coach Choice – Brad P

“The backs played 8 times as hard as the forwards today” said stand-in Coach Mark Skillicorn and Brad was absolutely the hardest working of the Backs. Very well done Brad

Parents Choice – Harry C

Yet another sterling performance from Harry C sees him pick up a MoM vote for the second game in succession.

Notable Mentions

Where the heck is Chris’tle when you need him

A big thank you to our stand-in coaches the Marx brothers of Mark Skillicorn and Mark Candland who picked up the reins of Coaching duties

Like Eccles, Rossendale do not have a Junior Colts team meaning their U17s must either play up a year or miss out. They have a very strong Senior Colts squad though and were able to lend 6 players out to Oxton last week; this must make it very difficult for the U17 lads to find a game…. Makes you think!!

Welcome back following their League commitments Kieron R and Shea S, with lads brought their game today and played a vital role in the middle of the park

Rossendale U16s have also been blighted by injury of late and had to pull players in from their U15s for their heavy loss to Rochdale last week……makes you think!!

Hard to believe that this report from last Sunday is about the side we played today


Dan Gogh needs a mention for his better than average knowledge of the rules

Well done to Ross A for a terrific debut today. A couple of tremendous tackles capped off a great debut

Thanks to my mate Ian for making and delivering to me a bacon sandwich. Top Man!!

A big thank you to Rossendale RUFC for hosting todays game (and unlike last season, actually turning up) and for giving the lads the opportunity to play on the magnificent 1st team pitch too

Fair play to todays referee for apologising to the Eccles rugby brain that is Dan Gogh, for a refereeing error 👏🏽 👏🏽 👏🏽

Thanks to the Matt W and Josh G who both still out with injury but still came along to cheer the team on.

No significant injuries to report out of todays game. Alex T, Joe R and Ellis P all took knocks but will no doubt be available for selection in our forthcoming fixture to Heaton Moor

Quotes of the day

Todays referee when the ball went out of play from the Eccles restart

“what do I do now?”

from the Rossendale winger

“thats no way to speak to a 17 year old”

Makes you think!!!

Naughty Step

The whopper with the potty mouth, limited vocabulary & intellect who was less than pleasant when shouting at Joanne

Post match food was apparently “not very good” and “not a patch on Eccles” – nice pint of Wainwrights though, served by one of the Rossendale U16s….makes you think!!!!

Amongst other things, lots of line-out throws were clearly not straight