|Aberdeen Wanderers v. KRFC S1/2
The victorious S1/S2 Team
The latest fixture for the S1/2 squad required a journey up to Aberdeen for a return game against Aberdeen Wanderers. The squad travelled up with the whole minis section in what turned out to be a great day of rugby from all of the younger age groups at the Club.
The squad for this fixture: (S1s) Benjamin, Cameron, Craig, Harry, Jack D, Joshua, Logan , Matthew, Rhys, Rowan, Samuel, Scott S; (S2s) Ewan, Evan, Grant, Isaac, Mark, Scott A, Steven.
The sun was out and the pitch was in great condition for the game ahead which was played according to S1 law variations for the game but as a full 15-aside game of two 25 minute halves.
These two squads had met at the start of the season at Beveridge Park with Aberdeen coming away as victors by a single conversion. This game would offer an opportunity to see how far the team had developed through the season. Recent training sessions had focused on maintaining numbers at the breakdown and securing defensive lines.
The boys needed both these skills in their minds during the first 10 minutes of this game as the ball went to ground upon contact regularly. Aberdeen threatened the first try with line breaks but the Blues were quick to cover with chasing tackles. The Blues were working hard for each other. Importantly their opponent’s attacks down the wings (a weakness this year for conceding tries) were stopped with great doubling-up by the inside centres and wings, backed up by the forwards at the breakdown. It came as no surprise, therefore, that the first try came from the wing. The ball was won off the scrum, moved quickly out through the line and delivered to Isaac who had half the pitch in front of him. He stepped quickly up to and through the Aberdeen defensive line and ran the remaining half of the pitch for the try. Cameron’s conversion was successful. 0 - 7.
The game was evenly balanced and an unconverted Aberdeen score was no surprise. Aberdeen had moved from attacking the wings to pushing their bigger players at the back line. Some momentum at a breakdown short of the try-line took Aberdeen over the line to score and put the game at 5 – 7.
The forwards had clearly been embarrassed to let the backs get the first score in (!) and so it was their turn to put some points on the board. As has been reported before, Ewan and Mark form a powerful forward unit. Today that unit had the added power of James. Regularly powering through to clear out with his team-mates, it was from one of these breakdowns that the ball was released to Ewan who powered over for a score. Cameron converted to bring the score to 5 – 14.
This game was hard work for both teams and Aberdeen did not give up before half-time. They attacked the Blues’ try-line with the Blues resisting every pick-and-go and every break. The half finally came to an end with an Aberdeen knock-on.
The half-time team talk was relatively straight-forward: “keep doing the things you’re doing”. Changes were made to bring on players who had not yet played and a tactical change saw Ewan make a debut in the backs to fill a gap with Jack moving into the pack.
The second half started in the same way as the first half. Determined pressure from the forwards to get the ball to Isaac who had to run three-quarters of the pitch for his second try. This wasn’t an easy try though as he had to step inside two chasing defenders before the half-way line and one Aberdeen player kept with him until the very last. Another Cameron conversion made it 5 – 21.
Three more tries would follow for these young Blues. First was a pick-and-go from 10 metres out by Craig. A deserved score for his hard work throughout the game. Ewan, now playing in the back-line, burst through to score a try (his second) from the 22 handing off and stepping around tacklers. Finally, our leader on the pitch, Scott Anderson, made a magnificent break from a ruck, ducked a tackle, stepped inside another before being smothered. It looked like momentum would get him over the line but he was denied a reward for his skilful management of the game today. The good news was that Logan was lurking in support, snapped up the ball and squeezed through the mass of bodies to score. A conversion each from Cameron and Scott from these three tries would put the score at 5 – 40. This was the final score-line.
The all-S1 front row of Joshua, Craig and Benjamin worked hard all day. It was, therefore, little surprise that 2 of these 3 would need to be replaced towards the end of the game with injuries. Fortunately both Benjamin and Joshua are recovering from those injuries. Joshua takes the “wounded in battle” tag this week and rumour has it that he has wrangled some time off school and it currently annoying his brother (a minis player at the club) with his crutches. All the best wishes of the S1/2 squad go to him as well as our thanks for the photo opportunity he provided with Coach Dave carrying Joshua around the Aberdeen Wanderers pitches!
Joshua gets a lift
The outcome of this day was an outstanding game of rugby played by two very good teams. Our backs ran and defended all day while the forwards unit didn’t lose a scrum (and put huge pressure on the opposition put-in). The spirit of the game-play and the side-line support was excellent and a credit to all who attended from both clubs. The team-work and camaraderie within this group of boys is an example to all and they are a credit to the club.