Eccles Squad; Mathew Ollie Sohan Jack Alfie Danniel Maxwell Jonnie Bailey Ethan Jake Ben Finn
The U9s made the short trip to our neighbours over the other side of the river to enjoy another superb series of games against a well orgainised TMV.
We split into two teams; so, consequently this report is divided into two views, one from the ‘Ref Cam’ (namely, my blurred vision) and the other from Dr Dave our ’emergency repair man.’!!
Trafford kicked off and scored virtually straight from the whistle. Zach, their tall Capt, ghosting through none-existant tackling, with our defence still worried about getting their boots soiled in the bog that occupied the middle of the pitch! Mathew realised it was time to lead by example with his first crash run of the day, as he lay down a marker for his team mates to follow. Ollie looked to support Mathew on his shoulder before taking his typical snake run up the middle. Scores level.
Again from the re-start, Eccles were found half asleep. Ollie then took matters in his own hands by putting a tremendous tackle in on the MV center. The loose ball was claimed by Jake who carried it forward, before slipping it to Ben. In the heavy conditions, Ben tried desperately to shake his opposite number by taking him on the outside. He was stopped just short of the MV line for Bailey to time his run perfectly to crash over the line for the first of his 4 tries!
The lead was then increased through Mathew. He took a fantastic line to hit the shoulder and take a wonderful pop pass before scoring his second try.
After the break, Eccles took to defending the prized lump of dog muck sat proudly in the northern half of the pitch. After the MV coach made the brave move to dispose of it appropriately (like a Bear Grylls challenge… with all the boys fascinated with its consistancy and texture!) the game resumed with Ollie putting some great tackles in and adding to the score line. Mathew then came up with his ‘power play’ as he drove into the heart of the defence, continued to pump his legs and managed to shake off three tacklers and stretch for the line! By now, MV could only hope to move the ball to the wide channels where they realised their best attacking options lay. Ben had other ideas; he organised his own defenders and looked to hit his opponents around the legs in the tackle.
Bailey caused bedlam every time he got his hands on the ball. Sohan showed some excellent body angles into contact to keep the ball secure. Jake played through the pain of a twisted ankle to feed his runners and Alfie constantly forced his opponents to take less favoured options. First game to Eccles and played with some tremendous committment and spirit from both teams.
In our second game, the boys had truly warmed up now! Mathew and Baileys powerful runs threatened on each attack. Ollie’s tackling was ferocious, and his running provided him with a further three tries. The boys played through their tiredness against a fresh set of MV legs, yet despite the occasional loss of concentration in defence, they put in another display stuffed with the right attitude that would not allow them to give up. Proud of them all!
In our other games overseen by Coach Bates and ‘Dr Dave,’ produced an outstanding performance in their first challenge. Jack, again had a storming game, producing two tries and some intelligent contact play. Danniel turned in one of his best games so far as he played just behind Maxwell, Finn and Jack to feed our flying wingers, Ethan and Jonnie. It’s beginning to all take shape for the boys who are now identifying each others strengths in order to gel together as a unit.
Maxwell took a great pass from Danniel to arc round to the wing berth where he made like George North to steam in for his first of two. Finn then took his turn in presenting the ball cleanly for Jonnie to sprint over the line.
The pattern of play is evident now; our ‘Big Chargers’ take-it-up to make the gaps for our ‘Speedsters’ to exploit! Simple eh!!
However, we need to work on transferring the ball away from the contact area quicker, as well as getting our passes off to the wingers when they are in a better attacking position than the ball carrier. Eccles took the game 6-3
In their other game, the boys adopted a bit of role reversal! MV are blessed with some flyers of their own and once given a half chance, they’ll take it! Despite their best endeavours, the Eccles boys just couldn’t lift their game to that shown in the first encounter. MV taking the spoils deservedly.
All in all, another performance (again, from both sides) played in the right attitude and showing all the committment to continue the growing reputation this set of boys are developing.
Next Sunday 8th March see us take on the biggest challenge so far; away against Sale Sharks U9s!
You can do it boys, but we NEED to concentrate on the basics!
Comedy Gems of the day; Bailey’s impression of a wet sponge when scoring in a puddle / Maxwell’s claim on [still] being our best winger / MV’s ‘fertiliser’ that sat proudly in the top half of the pitch / Ollie’s idea of putting our new hand warmers in his boot to warm up his feet!