Glorious Yorkshire weather, an amazing backdrop and friendly Yorkshire hospitality welcomed the Eccles U16’s to the fabulously named Brewery Road, home to Huddersfield RUFC for the return match following our curtailed pre-Christmas fixture.
Unfortunately Coach Kevin was unable to lead the boys out and so Coach James took the reigns and what a fine job he did too.
As usual and despite injuries to some key players, Eccles were again able to field a nineteen strong squad with Josh G picking up the armband from the injured Matt W.
The first half was exciting but suffered from a number of interruptions as Huddersfield, initially starting with14 plus David S, became 13 with James F filling in for a Huddersfield lad who’s RSi had come back to haunt him as he went off with a wrist injury. Shortly afterwards, James left the field as Huddersfield found their own replacement.
Eccles opened the scoring with a try worthy of the professional game as Joe R collected a loose ball and in a drive reminiscent of Shea S, motored forwards, carrying the whole defensive line with him on his over impressive jawline.
Within minutes our visitor were ahead when their pacy winger raced past the onlooking Eccles players with a terrific mazy run.
Eccles managed to get their noses in front on the stroke of half-time as Ellis P scored in his usual bulldozer style and converted neatly with the last play of the half.
The second half picked up where the first half had left off with both sides giving everything for their colours. Eccles seemed to have the better of the play and possession but on too many occasions failed to get the ball grounded where it matters.
Huddersfield defended like – well, like Eccles – and hit Eccles on the counter throughout the second half running in three on the break. Eccles were quick to respond running in a couple of tries of their own through Josh G and Kieron R, leaving the game all square with less than a minute of play remaining.
The game seemed to be over with both teams on thirty three points. Huddersfield restarted knowing the next time the ball was to go dead, the game would be over. A good five minutes passed with the ball being won and lost in equal measure. Both coaches seemed to want the game to conclude instantly with honours even; parents wanted the game to come to a close so they could get to the bar; but the lads were not done, and it would be our hosts who would get the break as the ball is passed quickly from left to right and their impressive winger used his pace and guile to out-smart the Eccles defence and score the winning try.
40 – 33 Full Time
Eccles U16’s Vital Statistics
Todays Eccles Squad
- Josh G– Loose Head Prop (Captain)
- Alex T – Hooker
- Ellis P – Tight-Head Prop
- Oliver W – Second Row
- James W – Second Row
- Joe R – Blind-Side Flanker
- Albert T– Open-Side Flanker
- Kieron R– Number Eight
- Dan A – Scrum-Half
- Harry C– Fly Half
- Rob S– Left Wing
- Ed H– Outside Centre
- Shea S – Inside Centre
- Jack W – Right Wing
- Max R – Full-Back
- Bench Strength. Today the lads were benching about 600Kgs (180 of which are James F’s legs)
- Replacements – David S, James F, Ross A, Matt L
- AWOL – Matt W, Alex H Tanny K, Brad P,
Scores on the Doors
Huddersfield 12 – 19 Eccles
Huddersfield 40 – 33 Eccles
- Joe R
- Ellis P
- Kieron R
- Josh G
- Ellis P x 4
Eccles Men of the Match
Players Choice – Harry C
A game that was perfectly set for the Backs, Harry shone amongst his peers with his aggressive and tenacious tackling, intelligent running and sharp passing. His 100% style ensured Eccles had the very best of the play but didn’t come without its knocks, Harry bearing the scars of battle at full time down the length of his back. TCP works a treat on stuff like that according to Coach James
Coach Choice – Kieron R
Back to Back Coaches EMoM’s for Kieron evidence’s how well he has been playing over the last few weeks. Throughout the game his powerful style of play earned Eccles vital yardage as he continually called for, received and then took the ball forward beyond the gain line and setting up plays.
Parent Choice – David S
Unfortunately for the second time in a week I didn’t get around to collect votes for Parents EMoM but from the votes I have received via email, text and carrier pigeon, David S was the player with the most nominations. Starting for our hosts in a jersey that Max R would’ve burst out of, David gave his all in the Huddersfield Front Row until their late comers arrived and he switched to the Navy & White of Eccles. ‘Deceptively Quick’ is how he was described by a Huddersfield parent and I think that was a fair assessment of his running today – fast, powerful and compact.
No Coach Kevin today but the newly crowned Edge Hill University first XV Captain, James Wright filled in admirably. His arm was forced into making a number of changes to the starting line up due to reduced starting numbers, in game injuries and also lending players to Huddersfield.
Well done to team captain Matt W for making the journey over th’ills to cheer the lads on.
Tarnac – cobblestones – tarmac ….
Amongst the great play there some aspects of the game that Eccles will need to reconsider or work on for our upcoming Semi-final. Some uncharacteristically poor decision making led to one try not being awarded and at least one try being conceded. Line-Outs were again questionable in their execution, Eccles winning very few of their own in the first half
A bar with a selection of ales that wouldn’t be out of place at our own clubhouse was met with open arms by the Eccles parents. Copper Dragon and who can resist a Yorkshire Blond?
A Yorkshire heatwave today and yet most of the lads were wearing ‘skinnys’ under their shirts, but Rob S and Josh G take the prize as they were wearing what can only be described at 40 denier Tights.
Speaking with one of the Huddersfield mums, the lad who was airlifted to hospital in our last meeting is back playing again – however he injured his leg again this morning playing League.
Not sure what the content was but most of West Yorkshire heard Danielle ask Josh about his strap-on.
The physio skills of Physio Skills were needed again as Joe R managed to bend is leg 90 degrees to normal.
Ellis P showed his softer side as, just like Forrest Gump he carried the injured Flanker Joe (Bubba) from the pitch.
Forrest & Bubba
Thanks Ellis P & Physio Mark
Well done to the Eccles lads for showing restraint from their usual magpie activities.
David S and briefly James F both played for our hosts today – neither held back!
Good luck next week at West Park and also at Sedgley, I am away on a typing and rugby knowledge course so won’t be around until, like the man with the little blue pill, we have our semi.
Once again we have come across a group of great lads, parents and officials – Many thanks to Huddersfield RUFC for your kind hospitality
Fantastic Backdrop at Huddersfield RUFC
M62 West Bound!
Dan A managed to loose another jacket – let Leeann know if you find an extra coat (or 3) in your kitbag
It took the club a while to get the bar open but their great selection of beers and complementary pork pies – yes complementary…free….gratis…fer nowt! were very welcome
A few offside decisions, high tackles and other minor infringements were missed by the man in the middle – easily forgiven by 99% of the crowd as the game was played at a ferocious pace. The final 1% gave the ref some notes at full time
Chris’tle gives todays match official some post match notes