U16 Match Report - Rounds 5 & 6 D&W Cup
Into the last four.
Early pressure resisted to produce an unbeaten pool campaign
For the final two pool games of this seasons Dorset and Wilts U16 Cup campaign, we first had to make the trip to Sherborne, followed by a home game the following Sunday for the visit of North Dorset. In the knowledge that winning one of these last two games would secure the pool win and put us through to the Cup semi-finals, we also knew that both opponents would be looking to increase their own tally and chances of progression themselves. There would be no danger of coasting or complacency.
Greeted in Sherborne by changeable wet and windy weather, the boys started nervously, and tried too hard in the early exchanges, making some mistakes and coughing up the ball. An early penalty on the scoreboard settled the nerves and the boys then put together their patterns and maintained continuity to add three tries before half-time. Sherborne nicked a clever intercept try close to the end of the half to open their own account. The boys started brightly in the second half and added another four tries by the end. A tough day out, Sherborne competed every ruck and made life very difficult.
A warm day in Wimborne for our final pool game, although overnight rain had left the pitch in a sticky condition which was sure to test the handling and possession skills. The first half was a real tussle and the lead changed hands several times with both teams scoring tries and exerting pressure. We led 12-8 at halftime, although we had given away too many penalties which had put ourselves under pressure so the half time briefing called for a change in attitude for the second period. Tries for both teams in the third quarter and the game was delicately poised going into the final fifteen minutes. Keeping hold of the ball was a real problem, but the boys played with ambition and enthusiasm and managed to cross the whitewash for two more tries to make the scoreboard a bit more comfortable going into the last five minutes. Hard conditions had made for a disjointed and stop-start game, but the boys came through the early scares and pressure to complete the pool competition with six bonus point wins for an unblemished record.
It's a great achievement to reach a third Cup semi-final in four years, but we'll be working really hard to turn that into a third final appearance, having been losing finalists at U13 and U14. It has been a real squad effort with every player making a valuable contribution to the success of the team this year, well done all.
5 March 2017
(A) v Sherborne RFC Won 42-12
Scorers: Tries: Alex (2), Barnaby, Ben, Elliot, Johannes, Robert T.
Conversions: Jake (2)
12 March 2017
(H) v North Dorset RFC Won 29-13
Scorers: Tries: Alex (2), Dan (2), Jake
Conversions: Jake (2)