Under 14 B
The sun was shining and it was a perfect day for running rugby. The boys came into their first match of the season raring to go. After having seen their team mates lose narrowly they were pumped up to make sure the morning ended top Honours even.
From the off we looked to put pressure on the opposition and played in their half. We attacked and ran the ball with strong carries from Max Lach-Szyrma 13 and James Wells at 8. Our handling was good and we passed the ball through the hands and camped in their half.
There was excellent work from our tight 5 and our scrum was dominant as we push them back and won a scrum against the head. As we continued to apply pressure, there was great work from our flankers Tom Rankin and Rhys Barham who work tirelessly to win the ball. Our first score came when Henry Catterfeld crossed the line in the corner after a sustained pressure in attack. It was pleasing as it came after 3 or 4 phases of play and we battled hard to keep the ball alive. Unfortunately Oscar couldn’t quite convert from out wide. 5-0.
Fred Hunter controlled things well at 10 pulling off some good set pieces. Louis Beale ran things well at full back whilst our wingers Will Duncan and Brandon Parker both made ground with ball in hand.
Defensively we were strong and kept the opposition at bay, playing most of the game in the oppositions half. Max was standout tackler with an amazing try saving tackle on their pacey winger as he took him into touch. He was fearless in defence and tackled anything that moved.
We went into half time 5-0 up.
Although Reading Abbey had been on the back foot most of the first half they came out all guns blazing. They levelled the scores with a break away try from their star player, their winger, who ran half the length of the pitch to score. They missed their conversion right in front of the posts. He had been threatening to score in the first half and he finally got his just rewards. 5-5.
They then took the lead against the run of play and it was their danger man again blazing a trail to score. The conversion was missed. 5-10.
From that point on OA’s worked hard to get back into the match. Great work from our front row Tom Baker, James Skeels and Alex Dagenais and to win the scrums. Seeing as lineouts are new to us this season the lineout set piece was working really well. Good throw ins from Skeelsy saw clean ball coming from Henry Catterfeld and Tariq. Mylo distributed well to release the back line and had a few sniping runs round the breakdown. Our handling was assured and passing accurate, but if there was any criticism to be made it was that we would have liked to see the ball get to the wings more often.
Pleasingly we tried some set moves off the scrum with a couple of blind side moves that almost resulted in us scoring. James Wells picked up and went, making good yards before being brought down. Mylo called a “jingle bell” which caught the oppo unawares and released Max into space before being brought down short of the line.
Kicking out of hand was good from both Fred and Oscar as Abbey left space behind them which allowed for the kick and chase. Henry Catterfeld ran half the pitch after the chip and put pressure on their FB and tackled him to pin the opposite in their own half again. It was a tough game but we had the edge at the break down with Rhys Barham, Tom Rankin and James Skeels making a nuisance of themselves and winning turn over ball. Oscar kicked intelligently for territory and pushed us up the pitch. It was a good physical battle and at times it got a bit spikey but the boys all kept their discipline.
Our second try came from an interception move when Man of the Match Max intercepted a wayward pass and ran it in to score between their posts. Oscar stepped up to slot it between the post to make the final score 12-10.
What pleased us a great deal was that there were two very evenly matched sides but we felt we dominated in possession and territory. The commitment and work rate of the boys was excellent. Defensively we kept our shape and we played the majority of the game in their half. We built our scoring opportunities through team work, phases, continuity and sustained pressure. It was only a moment of individual brilliance that Abbey were able to break through our defence to score their 2 tries.
All in all a very pleasing mornings rugby.
Kim and Jules
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