Haywards Heath Festival - 9 Oct - U10s
By Steve Moss
Strong Performance at Haywards Heath
Our second festival of the season saw us take two mixed ability teams to Haywards Heath. Weather was great, kids and parents were up for it and all clubs played teams in the spirit of the festival so a really good festival.
We split into two teams, Hove 1 and Hove 2.
Hove 1 were set against Haywards Heath, Hastings, Worthing and East Grinstead. First up were East Grinstead who we haven't played much before. A really good start with both teams evenly matched although Hove sneaked a break-away try through Will Hayes to lead at half time. The second half remained a tight affair but East Grinstead scored early and from then on it was anybody's match. Both sides came close, but great defense repelled all further attacks and the match ended a really good draw. Great match to watch.
Second up was Haywards Heath, which was to be another great battle against our foes. Again, such a close match although this time Haywards Heath scored first against the run of play and they then got a bit of confidence up when they forced over a second try. Hove came back at them in the second half and Will Hayes got a try back in the corner, following a barnstorming run from Archie Holmes. Hove were on the upper hand, but just couldn't force the equaliser and it finished 2.1 to Haywards Heath.
The third match was against Hastings, and Hove did not show any hangover from the loss to HH, and spirits and confidence were high and they raced into a 2 try lead through Will Hayes and Archie Holmes. To their credit, Hastings came back and, on the back of some missed Hove tackles, equalised with two tries. However, it was all to play for, and Archie Holmes, who was having a great match, picked up a turnover ball following a great double tackle from Toby Heal and Hugh Sarker, and smashed through a couple of Hastings tackles (Toby Faletau style!) to cross for the winning try.
The final match for Hove 1s was another really close match against Horsham. Again, Hove took the game to Horsham and scored a great team try, finished by William Hayes in the corner. Horsham came back to equalise and it was tied at half time. Again, Hove started the second half brilliantly and another strong run from Archie, following great counter rucking by Ethan Usherwood, frightened the life out of the |Horsham players and he crossed for the lead. Despite heroic defending at the end by the whole team, they could not keep Horsham at bay and they scored with about a minute left and the match finished all square.
So, all in all, a great effort from the Hove 1 team. All close games but everybody stepped up this week and the teamwork and strong tacking was really effective. Well done to Toby Carden, Edward Campbell, William Hayes, Toby Heal, Archie Holmes, Sonny Hudson, Alfie Palmer, Hugh Sarker, Ethan Usherwood and Jack Tucker.
Hove 2 were drawn against Pulborough, Horsham, Worthing and Crawley. First up were Pulborough. Following a bit of a nervous start, it took a few big tackles from Dillon Moss and Olly Brooks to settle the team, and from then on the team opened up. Following a great burst through by Alex Kirwan, the ball was fed to George Cleary who sprinted clear for the first try. Great commitment at the ruck then meant we won a ball on the halfway line which Alex Kirwan received and sprinted and dodged to the second try. Heads were up for the second half and Alex Kirwan got a second similar try. Although Pulborough pulled a try back through a few missed tackles, heads didn't drop and Olly Brooks powered through for the 4th try. It finished 4:1, a great start.
Horsham were next up, but the team were ready for them. George Graham got much more on the ball this half and was terrifying the Horsham team with his powerful runs. Midway through the first half, after another Kirwan break, the ball was recycled through strong rucking from Patrick Jordan and fed back to George Graham who powered through for the first try. From then on, the game took a similar pattern to the first, with a further try from Alex Kirwan and 2 more from Olly Brooks sandwiched between a solitary reply from Horsham.
The third match was against a tough Worthing outfit. This was a much closer match than the first two and it was too and fro for a while, until Olly Brooks ripped a ball and sprinted over for the first try. Worthing were defending solidly and it took a huge tackle on a Worthing player from George Cleary to break their resolve. Confidence soared at that point and after another break, this time from Noah Powell and follow up counter rucking from Dillon Moss, Alex Kirwan was in like Dwayne Peel getting that ball out to Nathanael Andrawos who sprinted as fast as he could to cross in the corner for 2:0. Worthing to their credit, came back and scored early in the second half, but Alex was at the end of a good passing move and sprinted for the third try. It finished 3.1.
The last match was against Crawley and Hove were brilliant, completely dominating Crawley in all aspects of the game and it finished 8:0 to Hove. Unfortunately there are too many excellent tries (both team and individually created) to describe but the scorers were 2 for Luca Sell, 2 for Noah Powell, 1 for Alex Kirwan, 1 for Dillon Moss, 1 for Olly Brooks and 1 for George Graham.
So all in all a great effort as well by Hove 2. Complete rugby at times. Strong and committed tackling, great support and teamwork, brains switching on and using different players strengths when needed, and such elusive running. 19 try's scored, 3 conceded. Dominant defence and blistering attack. Well done to Nathanael Andrawos, Olly Brooks, George Cleary, George Graham, Alex Kirwan, Alessio Mandica, Noah Powell, Luca Sell, Dillon Moss, Patrick Jordan, Finn Crean.
Great festival. Great to see the other teams playing mixed ability as well. All the players stepped up. More tackles were made and more visibility of the development kids getting stuck in and supporting which is great. This is still a confidence game though at this age and we need to work on maintaining confidence levels during the matches and what to do when tackled with the ball. A few points to review at training
1) need to stop coming into the rucks from the side
2) need to rip the ball more - other teams are doing this much better than us
3) still not yet developing a passing game - individual runners are great but are not really being supported by outside runners and if they are outside runners are not being used enough.
Anyway not to distract from what was a great performance from Hove U10s! Onto Brighton!