U14 v Southwold
Team performance matches the view - both great!!!!
Squad – Alex Gerard, Tommy Bunker, Kyle Kirkpatrick, McKenzie Bishop, George Welsh, James Carver-Hardy, Ben Sharplin, Jay-Lewis Matthews, Finn Mackman, Chris Cathcart, Jack Mills, Con Tyler, Noah Backhouse, George McFarlane, Jack Light, Jack Gibson, Brendan Edwards, Brandon Sargent, Josh Giles, Nathan Gardner, Josh Kirk.
Following a scenic drive up into North Suffolk we were met by a beautiful view of the coast with the winter sun reflecting off the sea. The quality view was matched by a quality game that was enjoyable for players and spectators alike.
Both sides started well making good use of their strong ball carriers. Line speed was evident and our tackling largely negated their main ball carriers. When our line was broken we scrambled well to track back and make the covering tackle. It is from this style of play that we open the scoring as we counter following a good turnover and Con finds a gap an opens the scoring.
Our forwards continue to work hard making good yards with each carry, however some strong tackling forces into making mistakes as we attempt to offload the ball a little too freely.
Smart play at the lineout sees Finn Mackman break around the front and make 20m before he is brought down. From the ensuing scrum Southwold work a very good backs move but our defence is disciplined, but we make sloppy mistakes at the breakdown conceding possession.
Southwold continue to use their main ball carriers but a regulallry turnover at the maul. From a very solid scrum that moves the large OSuthwold pack backwards we put the pull through the hands and George McFarlane shows them a clean pair of heels as he scores from the half way line.
After 13 minutes we make our customary six changes to ensure game for all who travelled. Our momentum remains unchanged as we start to mix forwards and backs in open play. Another counter attack follows from a ruck turnover and this time it is the yellow sleeves f Alex Gerard that is sprinting up the wing but he is brought down just short, over zealous clearing means we are peanlised at the breakdown. Another couple of penalties follow and Southwold move up the pitch.
Our scrum remains dominant and this gives the backline time and space which they use well. Con takes a great straight line and is put through the gap to score his second.
This time we add the conversion
Undettered Southwold continue to press forwards and a couple of missed tackles gives them a scrum 15 m out. Their big 8 takes full advantage and picks the ball up and bursts through a couple of tackles to score. They add a very good conversion.
With a short talk from the coaches the players organise the second half and it is clear they are adjusting to the defence. Jack and Chris are now sitting a little deeper at 10 to avoid the blitz from the Southwold 8.
A good restart is followed by better continuity and we win a penalty in front of the posts. We make use of the quick play and McKenzie is driven over the line.
7-24 with the conversion
Buoyed by this control and fluidity we continue to create space with the forwards working hard and then allowing the backs opportunity to find gaps.
Another try follows with Noah adding the conversion
With confidence high we look to be adventurous if the opportunity presents itself.
From a lineout in our own 22 we carry the ball to the line avoiding the blitz and a simple pass puts us in behind the defence. The forwards win several quick ruck balls before Brandon Sargent breaks and scores our final try
Southwold continue to apply pressure as they had all game and another series of penalties near try line sees them enjoy the final minutes inside our 22. Eventually the pressure tells and they crash over form short range.
A very good performance form a mixed side against a team that beat us comfortably earlier in the season.
Back of the day – Con Tyler
Forward of the day – Alex Gerard