Saturday morning saw two U9 teams arrive at Allianz Park, home of Saracens on an unseasonably warm but drizzly day that was threatening more rain as the day went on. Our teams were 2 amongst 26 teams from London Hertfordshire and Essex who were seeking to qualify for the Allianz Cup finals. The most successful 12 teams from Saturday’s festival would progress to the finals festival.
Anticipating our often seen first game malaise, both teams were out ahead of their first games, warming up and getting themselves “in the zone”. Both teams made a spirited start, Mosquitos1 beating Medway while Mosquitos2 lost narrowly to Roslyn Park, who turned out to be one the teams to beat on the day.
We retreated back indoors to our makeshift camp underneath the East stand as the rain continued to fall. Mosquitos1 came out for their second game only to be told that their opposition had not turned up, so with the rain getting harder by the minute, the team were happy to bag the points for the bye.
Mosquitos2 second game was on the 4G astroturf of the main Saracens first team pitch. Sevenoaks were another strong, physical team who exploited the gaps that opened up in the first half. After a spirited team discussion at half time,Mosquitos rallied, closing down quickly in defence & spinning the ball wide to score twice with a couple of great runs from the wing; unfortunately too late to prevent a loss by one try.
Mosquitos1 first game on the astroturf was against Roslyn Park. It was a very hard fought and physical game. Both teams played exceptionally well, with the Mosquitos holding their shape and staying in their channels better than they had against Medway. The tackling was total commitment and most of the players had a few bangs and bruises to show for their efforts. Unfortunately at the final whistle Roslyn Park run in 3 tries to our 2.
The teams lined up for their final games of the day withMosquitos2 playing Tabbard and Mosquitos1 facing the home club, Saracens Amateurs, both on the astroturf. The rain, which by this time was siling down, was incapable of silencing our fantastic army of parents and supporters, who braced themselves against the elements and once again lined the touchlines to cheer the boys on. Well done to all the mums, dads brothers sisters and other family members, including Coach Adam’s mum who was clearly looking forward to being watching her boy play (I didn’t want to disappoint her, so I told her he would be playing a little later against some team from France, and she looked very impressed!)
Two further hard matches, but possibly the best that either team had played saw both teams win their final games to round off a very good day for all the players. They played hard, they were committed and they did their club proud. Most of all, they enjoyed themselves and had a great experience playing in the Allianz stadium in from of some of the Saracens players. Mosquitos1 were rewarded by an announcement at the half time break in the Saracens -v- Toulouse match that they had qualified, along with 11 other teams for the finals festival next year.
Well done to all the players, thanks to all the supporters and coaches.