National Cup Round 2
Following a frustrating away trip in the first round of the National Cup and the rather scrappy affair of our last trip to Westcliff, there was no lack of motivation amongst the boys for this second round National Cup fixture.
A solid week of training including a run against the 3rd team left us fairly well prepared. The signs in warm up were good and the coaching team were left to set up cones, move balls, and pack up – exactly as it should be.
I don’t think we were prepared for what followed and the speed and quality with which the boys started the game. Within ten minutes they had scored two tries and taken a penalty for a 0 – 15 lead. Westcliff came back into the game and competed well in the forwards where we had expected them to be strong. An aerial challenge mid way through the half left both players struggling and as it was James’ first touch of the ball in under 18 rugby a very painful introduction. The Westcliff winger was served with a yellow card and we were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and extended the lead to 0 – 27.
At this point some of the tries had come straight off the training field and the hours of practice seemed like time well spent. There was also plenty of evidence to disprove the hypothesis that 17 year old boys don’t communicate which left a lot of the spectators looking bewildered and wondering what they were doing wrong at home.
Westcliff had a sustained period of time on attack just before half time and were well rewarded with a try to go into half time 7 – 27.
The second half didn’t quite live up to the expectations of the first. Westcliff fronted up on defence and were able to thwart a number of promising attacking moves. Our execution was good and we were able to control field position but we didn’t always make the right decision in the red zone, despite this we were able to extend our lead to 7-41 at the final whistle.
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There are no previous fixtures between these teams.