Under 9 Rugby Update

12 Dec 2016

Under 9A at Witham Festival

The Under Nine A’s are ‘The Invincibles’

On a cold and crisp Saturday morning the A’s faced some schools that were keen to inflict their first defeat of the season. All the boys knew what was at stake and were in the mood to not let up on their quest for an unbeaten season. The first game of the tournament was against the formidable Witham Hall B team. The B’s were not in mood to roll over and the match was a closely fought 3-0 victory. Next up were the toughest team the A’s were likely to face all season, the mighty Bedford Modern School. From the start it was clear the boys were playing against a very well drilled, organised team who commendably wanted to play expansive rugby. The A’s went 0-1 down and it looked like they were going to struggle. The wheels could have fallen off and their response would define their season. They didn’t have any possession and although tackling like their lives depended upon it, without the ball they simply couldn’t score. Witham final got points on the board with Price who smashed through from close range and Taylor finished off the opposition with a typically speedy run down the wing. This was the boys’ closest match and we had beaten a better technical side, through sheer guts and pressure from defence. Next came and went Stamford A’s and B’s and then a closer match against Barlborough Hall, in which the boys’ tackling and aggressive defense meant that they really took the fight to the opposition.

The stage was set for the final game against Laxton and as neither team had been beaten during the tournament, it really was a fitting final match. The opening minutes were close with Laxton having a lot of the ball. The possession told and they scored the first try. Witham hit back straight away through Price. Again aggressive defence meant that the ball finally ended up in Taylor’s hands for him to run from one side to the other and score in the corner. Laxton heads began to drop and Powell who had been utterly awesome all morning dived in the corner to score the third try. The whistle blew and the boys had smashed it and ended the season unbeaten, unbelievable stuff.

All the boys had played their part: Spilsbury’s epic running and fierce-some tackling, Powell who grows in statue every game, Graham’s intelligent play and aggressive tackling, Price with his powerful running and leadership skills, Yablonka-Clark with his power and ‘never say die’ attitude, McKay who was a nightmare for defenses to tackle, and would rarely miss a tackle himself and was a superb captain, Taylor who is, and is going to be a most excellent winger. A huge thank you to the crowd for your support, it is much appreciated. Mr. Cudmore and I, shall watch the boys progress with interest and wish them every success as they move up through the school.

Under 9A’s storm to victory at Worksop College Prep. - Won 8-2

Under the guidance of new management, namely Captain Price and Vice-Captain Spilsbury the boys travelled to Ranby, looking to maintain their undefeated record. Home advantage is key in Under Nine matches as often the travelling team start slowly, having left their match minds on the bus. In the warm up Worksop looked good with the ball in hand, but there was little evidence of their tackling ability. The boys were told to start strongly and to hit their opposite numbers hard. The opening minutes saw Worksop holding up the opening Witham attack, and Witham gave away some silly penalties, which let Worksop off the hook. But the pressure told and the boys scored in the corner. From the restart the Worksop game plan was clear ‘give the ball to the big lad until he stops’. He was a big lad (!) and took some stopping, but crunching tackles from Spilsbury and Yablonka-Clark, meant that he was stopped before he got up any momentum, and this seriously limited Worksop’s attacking options. Typical mazy ‘through the eye of a needle run’ from McKay resulted in a superb try, Taylor, Spilsbury, Price, Yablonka-Clark and Powell all got their names on the scoreboard before half-time. The spread of try scorers shows us the options we have available. A really pleasing sign as the boys move up through the school.

In the second half Page scored a wingers try in the corner and Graham nearly got a reward for all his hard work, but was held up at the crucial moment. All in all and good day at the office, and Witham ran out deserved winners at 8-2. The boys played well and although they needed to move the ball before being tackled at times, to keep the pace of their attacks going, their tackling was good and this won them the game. No better shown than a last ditch tackle from Price resulted in Worksop not scoring, but with our next attack we went up the other end to score. Playing for each other makes this a very decent Under Nine team.

To be mentioned in dispatches: Alfie Spilsbury for his excellent tackling and really taking the game to the opposition.