On Saturday, February 25, through John Styles’ massive organisational skills, OAs U10s were privileged to play a 10 minute fixture against Hertford during half-time in the Saracens fixture vs. Sale Sharks. Watched by an Allianz Park crowd of 9,000, the players showed great commitment to their rugby and unfazed by their surroundings, landed a quality try for the parents to celebrate at this auspicious event.
That same evening, a compact squad of U10s travelled to Hertford on a damp and windy evening to take on squads (of various sizes) from Chesunt, Woodford, Hertford and Letchworth. We took two wins and a draw from the four matches with some stalwart defending and some expansive team play. It rained hard on occasion, the wind blew, the ball was “as a bar of soap” for much of the time and the photography suffered badly – but OAs were galvanised by the event. Had it not been for the discipline of the interval hooter, we may even have squeezed out a couple more scores. A really positive experience for all the players to experience competition on the main pitch under the lights.
A big thanks to our friends at Hertford RFC for making us welcome and running these floodlit fixtures. To round off a great weekend of rugby, a further three OAs teams ventured east to face Hertford once again on Sunday morning. Each team played closely fought matches, with no more than one try the difference in the majority of games. Tough tackling and a high work rate kept the boys warm against the elements.
Great team work with moments of individual inspiration and interceptions leading to break-away tries bringing deserved praise from the crowd, impressed by the stamina of both clubs in fast-paced games lasting the entire morning. Well done to all involved and a big thanks to our hosts, organisers and coaches.