U15's - Onwards and Upwards
By Mike Malley
The U15's power into the Lancashire Cup Final.
The under 15's made it to the showpiece Lancashire cup final at Leigh eventually snuffing out a tough challenge from Collegiate. We knew what to expect from them following a narrow early season defeat in the opening group game of the cup. They are physical, direct and look after the ball well. In the first 10 minutes we addressed this well, keeping the phases deep in the Collegiate half, not allowing them the yards that undid us in the opening game and forcing a couple of errors which we punished with 2 early tries from Rorio and Lightning. Collegiate resorted to kicking for territory and this gave the backs the space they needed to run the ball in leading to both scores. Matty converted both difficult kicks.
The last 15 minutes of the first half however were a real test for the boys, we went a man down as we saw yellow for a clumsy tackle and Collegiate used the advantage well crashing over from short range to make the score 5-14. The twins superbly charged down the conversion, small margins matter in a tight game which this was at this point.
Collegiate were firing at this point and nearly caught us on the overlap, a superb covering tackle saved the day but earned us another yellow card adding to the pressure. A couple of times we managed to hold them up as we defended superbly, eventually holding out to take the 5-14 lead into half time.
An early second half penalty was slotted by Matty to stretch our lead to 12 points. We then went on to increasingly dominate the rest of the game running in another 5 unanswered tries, Matty converting 2 and Leo 1.
Highlights were Leo catching a Collegiate kick which didn't make touch and bouncing 3-4 tacklers whilst clearing half the pitch to score and Matty's rear offload to Charlie who's pace and power sent him clean through a wrong footed Collegiate defence to score. Other try scorers were Jack B, Owen and Rorio.
A great win against a very good side, we play Waterloo in the final on the 28th. Thanks to Collegiate for a great game, the referee for doing a superb job and the boys for getting us to another final!