Slee and his Band of Merry Men (& Ladies) headed off to Mid Devon to do battle with a Crediton squad blessed with numbers similar to ourselves, meaning 2 matches for the price of 1 in the thick red mud!
This was our first competitive opportunity at giving the proper U10 rules a crack with rucking, mauling and scrummaging now part of the game! Having only touched on these at the back end of summer, and a couple sessions since Christmas, there was much anticipation in the air!
As a group of coaches, we couldn’t be more pleased with how all the players adapted to the new ways. In both matches, they put their heads, hands and bodies in to places where only the brave dare to venture. The teamwork was fantastic, each player played to their own skill strengths, then when needed put their body on the line for the team. It was wet, cold and sticky, and we picked up some bumps and bruises, but all played with a smile on their face as they contributed towards some great rugby!
With Rich, the St Mary’s duo of Lottie and Taylor played a good double act at 9 and 10, rehearsing training moves from the breakdown. Both ran and passed with real purpose to get the team going. Zac showed real confidence, using his long legs to cover some serious ground at pace with ball in hand. Hugo was patient on the wing, also making some excellent ground. With his flowing locks, and covered in the red mud, many thought the elusive running Matthew was an orang-utan on the loose. A chorus of ear piercing screaming nearby sounded like the residents of Crediton were running in fear, but it was actually Jack M calling for the ball on the adjacent pitch!
Jack Hastings maintained his impressive form with strong running and Poppy continued with her meticulous organisational skills to gel the team together. Days like this were made for Freddy, who crashed it up all morning and looked at home in the scrum.
Both Albert and Josh were brave as ever, strong in both defence and attack. On the whole a super team spirit, leaving Rich redundant as they made all the on field decisions themselves!
With myself, we had a squad of 11 meaning frequent rolling subs kept everyone fresh.
From the off Jack Lynd, who was awesome all morning and Jack M, who’s clearing out was strong, put the Crediton line under real pressure with the sort of line speed tackling that allowed Jacob to get in and steal the turnover with great frequency. They were ably supported by Olly ‘Cobra Kai’ Rhodes who’s solid tackling tested the TMO. The reliable trio of scrum half Harry P, Slee Jnr (the taller one) and Olly Bloodworth provided our attacking platform ensuring we touched down some well worked team scores. Henry was patient out on the wing, with some last gasp tackling, yet adapted well when he switched to 9. Will Harris showed that dry January was having no effect on him, with another tackling masterclass display. Cole ran through the mud like it didn’t exist with a real turn of pace, and Alice was immense in both defence and with ball in hand as she battered the Crediton players.
Another very good day at the office, made all the better by the families that came to support – thank you for making the effort to bring them and cheer us on with such enthusiasm! Sorry if your washing machines took a pounding!