Sunday 02 March.
Eccles Squad; Danniel, Ollie, Maxwell, Mathew, Seb, Charlie, Adam, Ben, Finn, Ethan, Alfie.
With enough players to put two teams out (albeit after borrowing two Bolton players!) the U8s looked to continue with the exciting brand of rugby shown against Heaton Moor in the previous game.
‘Team Bates’ took on the hosts Tyldesley ‘Bongs’ with the ‘Coaches Team’ taking on Bolton. The evidence was there for those watching that these lads are desperate to be introduced to the contact game next season! However, – now here’s the tacticians view; we still need to concentrate on the basics of the game, despite the mundane task of having to take the oppositions tags, of retaining the ball when we have it and not cheaply giving it away. A wise old rugby player once said that a game won 3-0 is the same as a game won 40-0… its the fact that the opponents did not score that wins a game! (& no, it wasn’t Andy Brunt!). So, if we persist on handing the ball to our opposition; expect them to score!
That said, there was more progress than regress on show as debuts were given to new boys Adam from Lewis Street School and Ben, our rugby league exile and son of an ex-first team mate from (not too many) years ago! Both these boys look to be a great aquisition with direct running, good hands and an eye for the gaps and a great attitude. Both got on the score sheet, and desreved to do so.
The contact area was a tremendous contest with no room for errors. Both teams ran hard at each other with Mathew and Maxwell, as usual securing the middle for Ethan, Charlie and Seb to hit the gaps at pace. The combinations are there to be seen and we hope that this transcends to next season! Ethan finished well after Maxwell, who momentarily forgot he had to put the ball down to score, ended the day with three. Adam, growing in confidence each time he got hands on the ball managed his first game for the club, with three also.
Bolton posessed some real strong runners and kept the pressure on the Eccles line with two very well worked tries. Finn, a master of taking tags so cleanly, kept the Bolton score line with in reach for Eccles. Mathew grabbed two scores and Charlie looked to keep the attacks alive with some great hands out of contact (keep it up as there’ll be plenty of tries to come from this!) . Alfie showed just why these boys are ready for their next phase of rugby as he proved solid in front of his opposite man. A real good all-round contest by both teams.
The report from ‘Team Bates’ – playing against ‘Bongs’ – continues in much the same vein; high scoring with tries being exchanged, but, with the eye of a DoR highlighting room for improvements; too much posession was handed over because the Eccles attack line was too flat. Had we attacked from deep then the result may have been more generous, but a 10-9 win was indeed fair on the day. Captain Danniel continued his recent great form with ball in hand and Ollie managed to swing his hips from one side to another, to grab two.
Training this weekend, Sunday 9th March. 10.30am. All welcome… including new players!