14 Mar '22

Bideford U10s Hit the Road to Cornwall

After a short break, Slee’s gang jumped aboard the Mystery Machine and headed across the border to take on South West rugby giants, Launceston. Always a tough place to play, and an equally difficult place to find, but when we eventually got there, the glorious sun shine that greeted us made for a day of entertaining rugby!
With healthy numbers similar to ourselves, both managers decided to split the squads an play on a rotational basis.
In our first match, the ‘Hot Shots’ started strongly down the slope.
Olly Bloodworth carried like a man possessed all day and his try count (not that we count!) reflected this.
Bomber Harris flew in to battle in his usual ruthless way and chopped down anything that moved.
Jacob had obviously been locked up in a cage all half term, offering a master class display at every break down. Beast mode!!
Cole W also had a tidy try haul showing some real pace when he got the ball in space.
Harry P had a fine game at 9 and got many of the attacks moving with some slick passing. He was ably supported by fly half Will Slee, who marshalled his line well, and at one point got the heads of the crowd moving like they were watching tennis on centre court with a sublime dummy allowing him to ghost through up to the middle to dot down. He went on to convert his own try.
As always, Alice ran strongly and tackled hard, also smashing the ruck with real passion. This was to her detriment, when a knee to her swede saw her removed for a HIA. Doc Simpson soon gave her the all clear to return.
Albert remained patient on the wing, but probably wished he hadn’t handled his brothers turbot at supper time – a couple of uncharacteristic knock ons can only be attributed to those slippery gloves! In his true resilient style, he bounced back and went on a series of very productive runs to help the team out.
And last but not least, Lil’ Will Price had a cracking morning, with some really neat passing which put us on the front foot. He was almost rewarded with a try of his own when he popped up on the end of slick passing move, only to he dragged down millimetres from the line – had he visited the Gingsters factory on the way down, I’m convinced the extra weight would have taken the tackler over the line with him! His tidy ball presentation still allowed the team to score though.
Now on to ‘Hot Shots Part Deux.’
Gaffer Slee launched an all out ‘Jack Attack’ with Hastings, Mitchell and Lynd deployed to do what they do best – run hard, tackle hard and smash the rucks. For their first half, they did this by the bucket load. Oliver Rhodes joined this party in another dominant outing against a Launceston side which had some stronger and quicker runners this time. Matthew tackled like a Trojan, and ran really well out wide. He took advantage of a strong rip from the dogged Jack M, who fed Matthew to streak down the wing and score. Taylor at 9 looked dangerous all afternoon, and was rewarded with a try similar to Matt Dawson’s blind side snipe in the ‘97 Lions test. Lottie at 10 took the ball to the line really well as she bossed it outside to set the runners going – Jack Lynd benefited from this, keeping his depth and hitting the ball at pace to gallop through for a try. Lottie’s running game was tip top and a joy to watch. Freddy marshalled the troops well in defence and smashed the ball up then required to do so – always with a smile on his face! Josh also looked strong in the carry and pulled off tackle of the day in the last play of the half when he scythed down a counter attacking opponent only feet from the line. And the returning Oliver Jackson also looked pacy in attack and passed the ball with real precision.
The second period wasn’t so clever, which, bearing in mind this group were immense in training was slightly disappointing. Collectively, they dropped off from their usual high standards and became spectators rather than players for periods of the match. To their credit, the team responded well to conceding a coupe of soft tries with some well worked tries of their own. However they were unable to escape Gaffer Slee dishing out some ‘hairdryer treatment’ – rumour has it Lottie was seen leaving the ground with a bandage on her wrist after Slee kicked one of his Gola boots in frustration across the changing room. (For any safeguarding official reading, this didn’t actually happen! Slee’s hamstring couldn’t cope with that!)
However, in a pleasant twist, Launceston offered us an opportunity to play a further final match, with all players involved and rolling subs. Normally we have opposition asking us to call it short, so to have some extra game time against live opposition was a real bonus. And it gave the chance for the second gang to show the Gaffer that they could redeem themselves. All of them did, and we left the paddock with happy management after a really good, sunny day out in Kernow.
Well played everyone, thanks to our hosts and thanks to the grown ups for travelling down with your player to cheers us on, it’s massively appreciated by the team!!

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