Trafford MV v Eccles under 16’s 17th November 2013 Friendly
The Eccles under 16 s turned up to Macphearson Park for a friendly fixture and were looking to continue their unbeaten run.
Play kicked off and Eccles were soon threatening the line taking advantage of the penalty awarded for Trafford lifting too early in the first line out. From that Danny Wilson put in one of his attacking runs for the line. Trafford responded but were denied by Nathan’s solid tackle on the wing, then Cammie confident in full back position booted the ball down field to gain ground with Bob chasing to collect and then bull doze the opposition in to touch.
The next line out showed how Eccles are developing as a team and starting to introduce some strategic thinking into play with Stephen tipping Wiggo the wink for the short ball, which he cooly collected and set off on a surprise attack.
Possession see-sawed until Eccles were penalised for not dropping back the 10 yards when Trafford quickly re-started , Goso managed to turn the ball over in the next tackle and Eccles were back on the front foot with Cammie chipping and quickly chasing the ball down.
Eccles were going for it , Bob was in there tackling hard, as were the 3 Daniel’s who were doing what forwards do, Ivan was chasing and grappling well and Captain Keaton was in there creating breaks and passing. Joel and Nathan were looking after the wings, Jack busy looking for kicking opportunities and Jordan, Wes and Dean F. Posing threats to a surprised Trafford back line. Cammie was coming into the line from full back to be in the thick of it all, everyone seemed to be determined to get over the line and as play continued Eccles were awarded a penalty for Trafford lying over the ball, despite a really good effort Jack didn’t get the first score on the board.
Jack’s next kick was a cracker down field with Bob chasing but his follow up tackle must have been too much of a cruncher as he was penalised, it seemed to lead the way for Wes to put a few good ‘uns’ of his own in though, Eccles continued to put the pressure on. Jack on a jinking run with a lovely dummy pass, onto Cammie who off loaded on to Stephen, the momentum was with Eccles and it seemed a score was imminent then the penalty awarded to Eccles for hands in the rook was reversed, still no score and Bob reminded everyone that only Captain Keaton should speak to the referee…
Dean F and Goso were holding their own in the line outs and the scrums were evenly contested ,but when it was Trafford’s turn to attack – Eccles defence came back at them with text book tackles from Ivan and wingers Nathan and Joel , more try saving efforts with big smashes from Stephen and Bob and Eccles were up and at em. Trafford might have been shaken but undeterred and eventually and it appeared to take all 15 of them to pushover for the first try but didn’t manage the conversion 5-0.
Eccles seem to lose a little bit of heart as their concentration and patience was being tested, although it was frustrating it was clear to the observers including Graidson and Omar that if they could maintain the work rate , keep working together and apply the pressure then the scores would come. Stephen’s thudding tackles were taking their toll and he needed to go off and big Dean (Paddy) came on straight into the attack with a move from the scrum.
Play restarted after half time with Josh on for Goso at flanker and Jack was leading the attack with another of his ground gaining kicks, Eccles won the line out but faded with a fumble on the final pass, and Trafford lost their advantage by not releasing the ball quickly enough. As play continued to see saw in the Eccles 25 yard danger area pressure from Trafford culminated in them bursting through from the break down, heading for the line under the sticks only to be denied by Jordan stepping in with a try saving tackle he can be proud of. Play continued and despite Bob, the 3 Daniel’s, Wes and others grafting hard in defence, Trafford finally forced their way over for their 2nd try and managed to convert a tricky kick to gain a lead of 12 – 0.
It was clear Eccles knew they needed to dig in and not let the frustration take over, but it’s easier said than done. Cammie stepped up to collect the ball, gaining a good 50 yards with his well placed kick up field , then due to an injur Daniel Smithan needed to be subbed and Goso was back on, play continued with Daniel Wilson off on another of his speedy runs, Bob kept on putting in his crunching tackles and the rest of the forwards still looked up for it with the the Daniels, Wes, Dean Josh and Goso, working together to contest the scrums, and the backs looking to capitalize on the breaks Jack, Jordan and Cammie were looking to create .
Eccles absorbed a sustained spell of attack where Trafford started to look confident enough to put planned moves into play right under the sticks, to their credit Keaton, Wiggo and Bob got their game faces on and defended the line with a number of leg taking tackles followed by Dean F, Paddy and Keaton who with their combined strength managed to hold up a try, forcing Trafford to quickly pass down the line out to the wing where despite Joel stepping in to take the player into touch the 3 rd try was awarded, but the conversion hit the bar 17 -0.
Play restarted with a determined Captain Keaton stepping up to lead from the front, Ivan and Josh were in with the tackles, then Jack scooped possession passing onto Daniel who off loaded back to Jack and he was off on one of his probing runs passing to Paddy who was over the line. 17-5 and no conversion.
Trafford seemed a little surprised they had conceded the try and appeared slow to react as Goso caught the ball in Eccles own 25 yard area and off loaded to Wiggo who set off on a bursting break with Paddy coming in to collect the pass before setting off on a canter right down the middle of the field , slipping into 5th gear as the chase hots up, he changes direction to finally gallop in over on the near side corner for his 2nd try and Nathan converted with a good kick. 17-12 , shortly after being congratulated by his team mates Paddy came over to the touch line to continue his 2 tries celebration with his new supporters Ralph and Huey, then the referee blew for full time – final score 17-12 .
Mums summary – In the final quarter of the game Eccles were up against it, looking down and they could have been out, but instead the lads chose to dig in and play on to the final whistle, demonstrating a determination to achieve a final score that more accurately reflected their team work and continuing development.