Year 7 and 8 Rugby – 26.09.17

I was delighted to accompany 34 Year 7 and 8 boys to St Ambrose yesterday afternoon for a hastily arranged fixture following ACA’s postponement of the pre-arranged fixture.  Ambrose are always very welcoming hosts but a force to be reckoned with on the pitch as one of the North West’s most formidable rugby-playing establishments.

As always, our opponents had a ‘cast of thousands’ (well, 30+ at each age group) compared to our relatively small numbers, so the boys were always going to find it tough facing several fresh pairs of legs throughout the games.

I was hugely impressed with my Year 7s, despite a lack of training and in only their second game (ever in most cases), considering the Ambrose boys had already played several fixtures and train three times per week.  There was a significant improvement from the Ashton game two weeks ago and the more experienced players (Freddie, Michael, Ollie, Ted and Jack) were given more game time to help co-ordinate those new to the game.  I would congratulate those boys for their commitment, leadership and the example they set to the others.

It was decided to play 3 x 10 minute sessions and Ambrose had clearly decided to put out their first choice 12 in the first session.  Despite some resolute defence, we conceded 4 tries in this period due to some inevitable naivety borne out of unfamiliarity with the nuances of the game of rugby, quite simply.  We rallied to score three fabulous unanswered tries of our own in the second session from Freddie, Michael and the flying Toby, who has taken to this new sport remarkably well.  Unfortunately, due primarily to fatigue, we couldn’t quite find it in ourselves to score the equaliser and Ambrose scored two further tries in the final session.  6-3 defeat to opposition of such calibre is something to be proud of and bodes well for future matches. 

Thanks and well done to all 18 boys who turned out.  Make sure you attend training sessions and I guarantee success will come our way.

It was also pleasing to have 17 boys available for the Year 8 fixture, including debutant Stewart Chaisty who played exceptionally well.  As with the Under 12s, our Under 13 opponents had a huge squad in attendance and the boys were faced with wave after wave of big, strong, fast and fresh lads.  With games of 20 minutes each way now at under 13 level, it was perhaps inevitable the boys would fatigue but they must be applauded for both their commitment and the quality of their rugby. It was fitting that we should score the final try to make the score 8 tries to 3 to Ambrose, a team undefeated thus far this season.  When I think back to the corresponding fixture last September, it is heartening to reflect on how well this great group of lads have come on.

A big thank you to Head of PE Mr Morgan who kindly offered to supervise the Year 8s from the touchline and particularly to Mr Edmondson, father of Harry, who leant his coaching expertise to proceedings as I was pre-occupied with the Year 7s on the adjacent pitch.

Looking like a great season ahead fellas so keep up the good work.

S Beeley