U10s - Chichester Festival
Great Effort at Chichester!!
A really good start to the Festival season with a strong performance by the team at Chichester. There were two pools and Hove were drawn in the second pool alongside Brighton, Horsham, Haywards Heath and Chichester. With the sun coming out by 10am, Hove kicked off against Brighton, our local rivals, on hard ground but seemed to pick up the rucking and scrummaging really well and took a deserved lead with a powerful run and drive by Sam Worne. Resolute defending from the team meant we held out for a great first win.
Next up were Haywards Heath, which we played brilliantly against. Front foot defending and pushing them back in the tackle and the ruck, created real space for the speedsters and two great tries by George Cleary and one from Dillon Moss meant we were leading at half time. In true Haywards Heath style, they came back at us and scored three tries to equalise, but a great final play with some crunching tackles from Dillon Moss and counter rucking from Sam Worne allowed Jack Tucker to pick up the loose ball and cross for the winning try, 4.3.
Chichester were next up, but unfortunately for us, (not really in the spirit of the festival) they played 6 or so A team players and, despite a valiant effort from all, we failed to match their intensity and aggression in the tackle and didn't ruck as well as the previous two matches, and ended up losing 5-0.
The final match of the group was against Horsham, and it was a great effort by the boys to bounce back from the disappointment of Chichester. The first half started a bit flat as the Chichester experience was still impacting and we were a try down at half time. However, after a rallying cry from all, the second half was a blitz with a quick individual try from George Cleary levelling before Luca Sell picked up from a ruck and fed Patrick Jordan who darted into the corner for a good try. Strong defensive work ensured we kept Horsham away from our try line and, following a strong tackle from Sammy Trenchard which forced a drop ball, George picked up and scored a decisive 3rd try. So an excellent comeback and an excellent final pool win.
We ended up coming 2nd in the pool to Chichester which meat we went into a 2nd place playoff against Winchester from the other pool. At this stage a few injuries and exhaustion had set in, and Winchester got into an early two try lead, but Sam Worne pulled a try back just before half time. The kids threw everything into the final half of the festival, and were camped in the Winchester half for most of the 2nd period, but we just couldn't breakthrough in the end with the final score 2,1 to Winchester.
So all in all a great effort against some good teams with a significant 'A' team contingent. We matched all of the teams with commitment and effort but have certainly learnt some things from this festival to take away. Getting to the breakdown quicker and winning the ruck will be key this season and the intensity of the match and fitness requirements is a real step up from last year. However, a great effort by everybody and particularly the new kids to the team, Patrick Jordan and Jack Tucker, and a good first workout for everybody else. Well done to Edward, Alfie, George, Finn, Patrick, Alissio, Dillon, Luca, Max, Sammy, Jack and Sam. Thanks to the parents for coming and supporting and to Will Trenchard for supporting with the coaching.
Steve - 2/10/16