Win, lose and draw
A great mornings rugby with Beckenham
A "bright and fresh", aka "bloody freezing" morning as we welcomed Beckenham U12s to Crescent Farm along with their counterparts from U15s right down to Minis and Micros....hard to believe that was some of our bunch of bruisers just a few short years ago !!
With getting on for 60 boys across the 2 clubs, we split into 4 teams, and decided to play a little round-robin of 4 x 20 minute matches all of which turned out to be really competitive and aggressive but played with a mutual respect and good sportsmanship throughout.
A word on the Beckenham player, Jamie, who was hurt during their warm up; he took a nasty whack to the back, but I'm pleased to say it was nothing more than some bad bruising; although he was fortunate that hypothermia didn't set in, after spending 90 minutes under a pile of coats and blankets waiting for the ambulance!!
We started with a match pitching our respective A teams together and it proved a great encounter; on balance I'd say they had the more powerful and direct running forwards and we had the nippier, slightly more creative backs. A draw was a fair result, 2-2 on tries scored.
We then pitched our B teams together, which for us contained a number of new players - but who were excellently guided through the game by some of our more experienced older heads. The likes of Lewis, Zeka and Draven who were all probably disappointed at being on the wrong side of a very tight A vs. B team call, responded in exactly the right way with energetic performances. Unfortunately at some key moments during the game we lost some intensity, missed a couple of tackles and came out on the wrong end of a 1-3 score-line, but it was a positive performance none the less.
After a short break we then played two mixed games. We're keen to ensure players gain familiarity in a forward pack or back line unit, but at the same time want to avoid a them and us situation across As and Bs and so decided to play 2 games, with A team forwards and B team backs and vice versa.
Both games turned out to be really tight competitive affairs, and went true to earlier form, with the strong Beckenham forwards playing well in the first game, rucking well and securing a narrow 2-3 victory. A couple of times our lads were guilty of white line fever, determined to crash over themselves, when we had 2,3 or one occasion 6 overlapping players outside who could have scored more easily; but I don't want to criticise too much after such a gutsy display.
In the second game it was the reverse, with Sidcup's backs using their pace to stretch the game and should have won more comfortably than their 3-2 win suggests; again a few lapses of concentration and a bit too much back-chat detracted from an otherwise impressive performance.
It was a really pleasing morning's rugby - and every player played their part so its hard to single out particular players for praise. However, one of our new players put in an outstanding shift, making tackles, driving mauls forwards, scoring a couple of tries and collecting some war wounds in the process - so well played Murat, keep it up mate !!
Thanks to David and his coaches and players for a great morning and as I said earlier some great sportsmanship; to all the supporters on the touchline and to all the mums (dads are allowed too I'm told ?!!) who served up the macaroni cheese that went very well (I think Steve Brown went back for at least 3 portions ?!)
We are at home for training next week, where we'll continue in our new format. I know its half term so for anyone going away, have a great time and hope its warmer than Sidcup right now. For everyone else, please be pitchside and ready to go at 10 sharp !!