Christmas cobwebs blown away!
By Mike Malley
The u15's showed strength & depth in a good morning's rugby away at Caldy.
The weather was dry, still and not to cold considering it was January in Caldy which can be quite open to the elements. On top of this we had quite a healthy squad available including returning wounded Ewan, Sam W and KB. Add to this new boys Jacob, Dan & Cam S and we had nearly 30 boys allowing us to split them into 2 teams playing 2 x 20 minutes each against Caldy's sizeable squad.
Jack D captained the Greens leading by example with a great scrum half performance. However we conceded a try within the first couple of minutes. Following a penalty for a high tackle Caldy kicked accurately for touch giving them a 5 metre line out which in turn lead to a rolling maul which took them over our try line as we failed to get behind it enough.
The slowness of the forwards to get into position was the only grumble we could really have with the greens though as they went on to turn the game around with 2 quick tries. Jack (Darby i think) superbly charged down a Caldy kick to put them under pressure on there 22. As they scambled to clear the ball he then dumped them into touch and from the following line out the ball went through several hands before finding Owen on the overlap who crossed and cut in under the posts to give Matty an easy conversion.
Darby's strong running caused Caldy all kinds of issues as he used a mixture of brute strength and quick feet to get Caldy back peddling all morning, the only issue was that he was to often on his own but not for the second try when he popped it up to Rhys in support who in turn span it out to new boy Cam S. Cam scored a great try on his debut kicking the bouncing ball 2-3 times until it popped neatly up for him to cross.
We then spent the last 7-8 minutes of the 20 defending superbly as Caldy enjoyed the lions share of both possession and territory but try as they might they couldn't find a way through our well drilled defensive line.
In the second 20 we scored the only try 2 minutes in despite turning the ball over to them from the kick off. Caldy's forwards tried to capitalise on this attacking aggressively and we flapped at a couple of tackles until Darby somehow popped up with the ball on our line, made 50 yards, found Owen who span it to Ethan on his inside for a great length of the field team try.
Caldy still dominated possession and territory and they looked certain to score 10 minutes in when a speedy winger made a break down the wing, but for Josh's superb covering tackle to dump him into touch they would have been level.
The game carried on in the same pattern with Caldy dominating possession but with an increasing penalty count gifting us the chance to clear our lines and keep hold of the lead.
In the third quarter the Reds completely dominated a one sided contest apart from the last 5 minutes when we switched off. Our back line was just to pacy for Caldy to cope with. Within 2 minutes Lightning had crossed following a nice run down the wing from Whit who found him with an inside ball to put him in and Rorio, with a length of the field effort and a nice skip over the diving full back to go in under the posts. Jack B took over kicking duties from Matty slotting the conversions.
Despite going a man down to a daft yellow card we scored the next decisive try to put some daylight between us and kill any remaining hope Caldy had of a comeback, Jim kicked cross field to find Leo coming in at pace. It wasn't an easy take but Leo made it look simple to score under the posts!
A good solo try from Lightning made easier by some sloppy Caldy tackling followed before Joe E scored a great try the resulting kick off. As the ball bounced and the Caldy full back hesitated Joe showed great pace to kick the ball from under him to put himself clean through albeit with a bit of work still to do to collect the bouncing ball.
In the last quarter we scored 2 more quick tries from Rorio and Lightning before we really switched off to allow a spirited Caldy in with 2 late tries. We really do need to learn to play to the final whistle! Caldy certainly did!
A great post Christmas run out today, both teams played well against good opposition, the scoreline probably not reflective of the possession and territory that Caldy had, the difference was our defence and execution when we had the ball in hand.
Thank you to the ref who did a superb job, Caldy for the hospitality and the lads on both sides for a great mornings rugby.