U16s cement their place as Salford’s Number 1 side

This would be our first visit to Sedgley Park since our 29 – 29 draw in the Blacksticks tournament of November 2014. Games between the two sides have always had something of an edge to them with both sides vying to be Salfords number one team. Historically Sedgley have had the upper hand with their excellent facilities and depth of squad. However in recent years it has been Eccles who have rallied as a club and under the tutorship of Coaches Kevin & James have attracted and developed some of the best players at this age group in Salford and beyond.

Eccles got the game started and were immediately on top. From the very first minute to the final minute of the half Eccles were dominant and in complete control of the game. At one point Brad P was seen to get out his picnic basket, throw a blanket down and tuck in to a mushroom vol-au-vant and a glass of 1998 vintage vimto.

Half Time

Sedgley Park Tigers – 0

Eccles – 42 (I think)

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with Sedgley struggling to compete with a rampant Eccles in every area of the pitch. Eccles dominated the scrum, were imperious in the line out and were faster and aggressive at the ruck. In fact every aspect of play was controlled by Eccles. The Eccles lads are all at home now watching a minor celebrity eat the parts of a kangaroo that only Mrs Roo should have a go at and still Sedgley haven’t scored.

Eccles were on course to match their first half points to minutes ratio of 1.2 : 1.0 when the game took an unfortunate turn. The referee was occupied explaining to the Sedgley Forward why he was being sent off when Ellis P was struck with a blow to the face. The referee was left with no option other than to send off the second Sedgley player, presumably for violent conduct or for being a complete whopper.

Down to thirteen players and possibly concerned for the wellbeing of the players, the referee felt fit to abandon the game – another first for Eccles and a real shame as many of the lads were just getting up to speed.

Game Abandoned 0 – 56 (I thought we notched up more points, but this is what the referee told me)

No game next week so the lads can have a break, do some Christmas shopping etc in advance of our trip to Bury RFC in our first competitive fixture since September. Todays opponents beat Bury  25 – 15 last weekend in what they refer to in their match report as their local derby. Interestingly Sedgley had to lend players to Bury in order for Bury to field a Front Row.

It is interesting to see how many teams struggle with numbers while at the same time its boom-time in Eccles with players competing with one another for key positions throughout the team

Eccles U16’s Vital Statistics

Todays Eccles Squad

Starting XV

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

Bench Strength. Today the lads were benching about 420Kgs (560Kgs if you include Alex H)

Replacements –

David S – came on for Dan A at Hooker and slotted back in to his favoured spot like a hand in a glove. David and Dan both vying for the hooker position is proving fruitful for Eccles as the competition for this pivotal position brings out the very best in both lads. Dan went on to play at Scrum Half following an injury to Tannys favourite arm. Get well soon Tanny.

Alex H – replaced the impressive Kieron R at Number 8. I can only imagine that having been beaten and battered by Kieron, to see him go off and the big unit Alex H rock up would not make your day any better.

A change to the Second Row as James F and Matty L came on for the guys with remarkably similar stature, Oliver and James W. Alex and James are a different proposition in terms of Locks to Oliver and James being slightly shorter and more ….. robust??

Jack W replaced Max R on the Wing. Again two players who bring age old qualities of speed and strength to a position where they have an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time. This isn’t luck, it is something that has come through hard work and game time.

Alex T replaced Joey Soprano at Flanker while Joey looked for his wheel nuts. Alex put a good shift in, bringing power, strength and balance to the back row.

Ross A was given the impossible task of replacing the hugely impressive Shea S at Centre. Shea is bang in form but Ross picked up the mantle and brought his own game to the position. More direct than Shea, Ross brought energy and power to the game and must have been devastated when the game was curtailed so early in to the second half as he was just getting his mojo on.

He missed out last week but Liam W came on this today as a replacement for Rob S. A little like the Ross – Shea change, Liam is less direct than Rob and needed more time in the half to bring his game. He made a couple of penetrative runs and would have had a greater impact on the game as the opposition tired

Scores on the Doors

Sedgley Park                                                 Eccles

sedgleyeccles

Eccles Scorers

  • Josh G x3
  • Joe R
  • Dan A (I think Dan has been robbed of a try here!)
  • Shea S
  • Ellis P
  • Matt W x2 + 1x Drop + 4x Conversions

Eccles Men of the Match

Players Choice – Dan A

The much coveted EMoM from players went to Dan A today and who could argue. His speed of thought (only matched by his speed of lip) is often at the heart of what Eccles do best. Dan is adaptable and has gone from playing Scrum Half to now challenging the mighty David S for Hooker. Well done Dan – you had a stormer of a game.

Coach Choice – Josh G

Back from injury and straight in to his favoured Tight Head position in the Front Row Josh has gradually got back in to his stride over the last few games. This has culminated in him having an outstanding game today scoring a hat-trick of trys in front of his personal cheerleading troop The Hacketts.

Parents Choice – Ellis P

Is it possible to give 110%? If it is, Ellis did just that today with his ground shaking drives at the Sedgley defence. Interestingly Ellis won the parents EMoM by a single vote from Josh G 👀

Lost & Found

Found

  • Baubles
  • Tops
  • Balls

Lost

  • Has anyone found the following that were misplaced by Joey Soprano

2-cherries

Despatches

This report is even more rushed than last weeks but is benefiting from the some very good Single Malt.

Eccles won todays game at a canter, all the hard work that has been put in on Thursday nights seemed to come together from the very first minute through to the point when the red and yellow towel landed on the turf. I don’t even think there was a runner up in this game, such was the Eccles dominance. The lads need to keep this up now and ensure they are fully prepared for the cup game in a fortnights time.

We have witnessed some unusual calls from match officials in the past but for him to ask the Eccles Captain to tell the Eccles parents to be quiet is about as odd as they come. Needless to say, we were quiet!

A hat-trick of trys for Tight Head Josh G who had an excellent game today.

Well done Ed H for turning up on his Lambretta despite being injured to watch the game.

That take on the run from Harry C in the first half was outstanding and led to one of the many Eccles trys. Definitely one of the highlights of the game for me. Harry has in a rich vein of form at the minute having put in excellent performances in many of our recent games

Ellis P! What can you say about the lad. There were times last season when I though he was like a pan on the hob, constantly about to boil over as he moved from one fractious confrontation to the next. If anyone epitomises Eccles RFC U16s, their character, their togetherness and their ability to do the right thing it has to be Ellis P. He is now the calming influence, the voice of reason and on many occasions the person who stands up to ensure the game doesn’t descend in to carnage. Obviously, he’s still got a right gob on him, but no one is perfect.

Matt W took a couple of kicks at goal to get his eye in but by the end of the match he was kicking extremely well. Matt played a captains performance today, leading from the from in all areas and chalking up 21 points on the way.

Don’t forget that following the Bury game there is an intention to head over to watch Sale Sharks take on Saracens (17:30 kick off). Make sure you all get an evening pass, I can see it being a bit messy

Naughty Step

  • Jo ‘baubles’ Wright!
  • One from last week “Ed’s boot & Matthews new parting” – Ed seems to have damaged his foot in the incident and was unavailable today
  • Coach Kevin failed to deliver us from double digit points today.
  • Chris’tle was quite rightly chastised by the referee for walking across the pitch. You ought to know better Christopher!
  • Matt W for telling Brad P to get back in to position when Brad was just trying to get a touch of the ball.
  • And of course..
  • The snide puncher!

In all the time I have been watching Eccles I have never seen a game forced into abandonment. There is always niggle and occasionally this will spill over in to handbags but the game will go on and the lads (both sides) will put any bad feeling behind them and play for their shirt, their club and their team mates. What happened today was pretty disgraceful and something that retrospectively, some of the Sedgley players seemed to be ashamed of. The Sedgley coach seems to be a really nice and genuine bloke who puts in a shift and he was let down quite badly by some of his players today. I hope he manages to turn things around.

slugger