Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Match Report - U14s v Rugeley R.F.C.

Fri, 23 Feb 2007 01:54

Old Yardleians  44  Rugeley  5

Rugeley were new opposition for the U14's and, due to a delay on the M42, they did not arrive until 11.30.  The delay allowed Old Yards to get in some practice before the match and with Richard organising the forwards it was left to Stuart's Dad to give some advice to the backs.  For the second match running, there were only sixteen to select from and there was a need to change the team around.  With James, Dan Green, Michael and Dan Griffiths back, David moved to No.8 and Dan Griffiths moved to fullback.  Again, the weather was favourable and the pitch was in excellent condition.  Everybody was glad to see Kevin Grant as referee as his approach to both officiating the match and coaching during the game is welcomed by all, especially the players.

Old Yards kicked off and the match was fairly even at the start with most play being in the middle third of the pitch.  After 4 minutes, however, Old Yards took the lead with a classic 'training ground' move (those extra minutes before the match came in  useful!).  From Old Yards put in at the scrum, Callum played the ball out to Shaun, Andrew made the decoy run from inside centre and Shaun missed him out in passing straight to Tom.  With the defence opened up, Tom ran through from halfway to score under the posts.  I do not know who were the most surprised, the opposition or the Old Yards players!.  Shaun proceeded to kick the extra two points to give Old Yards the early 7-0 lead.

The match then went through a scrappy spell as Old Yards let themselves down with poor handling and knock-ons to give the advantage back to Rugeley, although they were finding it very difficult to break the home side down and get any meaningful attacking moves going.  Old Yards started to cut out the unforced handling errors and were looking strong in the scrum and dangerous when breaking with the ball.

In the 15th minute the home side extended their lead after good running by first Stuart and then taken on by Michael.  David took the ball on before passing on to Dan Green who made a jinking run in avoiding tacklers and crossed the try line near the corner.  Dan stepped up to attempt a long-range conversion kick but his kick went wide although the keen-eyed referee spotted that Rugeley players had run out to charge the kick before Dan had commenced his run up.  Although Dan was unlucky with his first kick, he was more so with the 2nd kick when it smacked against the outside of the post.

Old Yards were now having most of the play and were looking impressive in the scrum against a heavier opposition.  Winning one against the head, allowed David to pick up at the base of the scrum.  Driving on towards the line, the home side forwards were denied as the referee decided that they failed to ground the ball after going over, resulting in a 22m drop-put to Rugeley. 

Not unusual for the U14s, a bit of back-chat started to creep into the game and they conceeded a penalty.  From the kick Dan Griffiths, playing his first game at fullback, caught the ball around halfway and ran all the way to score in the corner after brushing aside tackles to give Old Yards a 17-0 advantage.

Rugeley were finding it very hard to get out of their own half as Old Yards kept up the pressure with hard and fast running. With the last play of the half, the home side scored again with an amazing try.  George Drabble somehow received the ball on the left wing and made a run across the face of the posts before going over the line in the opposite corner.  This was great play by George showing confidence and determination to score.

Half Time - Old Yardleians  22   Rugeley  0

With thoughts of the previous match and the implications of a high score, Old Yards could have taken their foot off the gas and eased off but Rugeley were a little too strong for that.  Two minutes into the half, the home side scored again after good play down the right.  Breaking from halfway, Andrew passed out to Stuart who made good ground before passing on to Tom who was up in support.  Tom was tackled short of the line and the forwards were quick to get up in support, allowing good ball for Callum to pass to Shaun, who in turn fed Andrew.  From 5m out, Andrew saw a gap in the defence and dived full length over the line.

Old Yards were now playing some very good rugby and linking play well from forwards to backs.  Support play was good and there was more passing than the normal individual running.  It was of no surprise when they scored again after 38 minutes as the backs were running with pace and power.  After winning the ball in their own half, David ran on and passed to Stuart who cut inside and scored under the posts.  Shaun increased the lead to 34-0 with the successful conversion.

The home side were looking very dangerous when they broke into the Rugeley half and in the 49th minute extended their lead further.  Old Yards won the ball in their own half and good play by David and Michael allowed Tom to run on and score under the posts for an unconverted try.  It was not long before Old Yards scored again as George made another cross field run and passed to Michael who unselfishly passed to Stuart to score although he could probably have gone on himself.  With the score at 44-0 there was an easing off by the home side.

In the final minute Rugeley received some good fortune and were rewarded for their non-stop effort.  This was virtually the first time in the match that they had been able to get into the Old Yards 22.  Rugeley kicked the ball on and Dan Griffiths touched it down for a 22m drop-out but the referee decided that there was no downward pressure on the ball and a Rugeley player ran through to touch the ball down for the try, much to Old Yards' disappointment.

Although Rugeley were an inexperienced side they did not lack effort, particularly in the scrum where the home side had to be at their best.  The scrum was very solid, providing a good platform for Callum to release the backs and also winning some against the head.  As usual, the Old Yards backs provided both pace and power and passed the ball around a lot more this week.

Thanks go to Kevin for his refereeing of the match.

Full Time - Old Yardleians  44   Rugeley  5

Team:  James Lawler, Scott Wilson, Dan Green, Austin Hughes, Alex Patrick, Michael Scott, Shannon Killarney, David O'Grady, Callum Killarney, Shaun Morris, George Drabble, Andrew Cox, Tom Scott, Stuart Adams, Dan Griffiths. 

Replacements:  Sheldon Du Plessis

Scorers: Tries - Stuart (2), Tom (2), Dan Green, Dan Griffiths, George, Andrew
Conversions - Shaun (2)

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