Life is for learning, so what did we learn from this weekend’s fixture?
1. Grubber kicks are not allowed in U12 rugby
2. Never trust a postcode lifted from the opposition’s website
3. If you are a terrible team manager that sends out duff directions, your punishment is to keep doing it until the season end, and most importantly
4. The Derby RFC U12s can play sustained offensive & defensive rugby in the worst of conditions!
Game 1 Derby started this match with the rare luxury of substitutes which meant the player rotation kept the energy up and added fresh momentum every so often – credit to the coaching team. From Finlay’s first kick Derby were keen to make ground and run with the ball in hand. Some early strong running from Ben showed the rest of the team what was possible, as he ran right over the top of one of the opposition. Try 1 came from some good play along the line which saw Luke H go over for a great team try. There were a few more examples where the boys broke the line and this clearly started to tire Notts out. Tom capitalised superbly by breaking a couple of tackles and sprinting right down the touchline to score Try 2. Calum kept any hopes of a Notts comeback at bay with his trade mark ferocious tackling.
Try 3 came for Finlay when he gathered the ball well and burst forward to score in the corner, and Try 4 came for Amani when he scored at the end of one of his many strong mazy runs. It was one way traffic now and the match was sealed by Try 5 from Ethan who took the ball over in the corner and then Sam who took a glorious interception and ran half the field to go over for Try 6 with the last move of the match. I would say that this was the best half of attacking rugby we have witnessed this season.
Game 2 was chalk and cheese from the first match with the majority of play in our half as the boys faced a relentless barrage of pressure from a good Ashfield side. It tested all the reserves of strength, determination and tackling skills that the boys had, in driving rain and icy wind – but they were equal to the challenge.
Ashfield had a try disallowed for a foot in touch (the referee is always right) but never looked like scoring, while our breaks were restricted to long kicks to chase, one of which nearly paid off at the very end.
The match ending with no score to either team, but much for our team to proud of in the manner that they dug in and saw the game out.
So despite the dismal weather & dodgy postcodes, the boys once more showed their resilience in the face of physical strength as well as their ability to run the ball when the space allows. All in all a good day out!
Match Report by Alisdair Hamilton