Festival at Whitehall
Great rugby against friends old and new.
Firstly an apology – reports have been few and far between of late - but to give Kev H something to read on Monday morning in the office over his coffee, back to weekly reports for the last few games.
A quick reflection on tour - suffice to say a great performance at Newton Abbott and a fantastic tour will live long in the memory – two teams and two lines of young men standing face to face in the mud knocking lumps off each other….a game with a bit of everything - epitomising the values of rugby… in my view it was only spoiled by the fact that it was not a draw - which it deserved to be – the extra two points that a penalty try gave splitting the teams that were otherwise inseparable. 17-15 to Newton Abbott in the end but a great game played by both teams in a fantastic spirit.
It was back to Earth with a bump today after yesterdays sunshine with a damp and cold early start for the Under 14’s, just the conditions you want for 6 hours at Whitehall from 9am registration to final whistle at 3pm this afternoon for a festival of rugby with friends old and new.
4 Under 14 teams today – Kingswood and Whitehall locally, Cinderford from the Forest of Dean and Bridgend making the long trek from South Wales. The format was round robin with 15 minutes each way 15 aside.
So ensued a great day of high quality rugby.
The Knights had a full squad of 20 players at the start – 2 or 3 less by the end but hope all will be fit for Weston next week.
The first game was against the class team of the festival, Bridgend. The Welsh team were strong in almost every department and well drilled. The tackling from the Knights was excellent with Stav closing down one wing expertly and not allowing a free passing Bridgend team the width they craved. Dylan, Billy, Josh and Elliott were also tackling well in the centre. The Knights line was however crossed for three tries. A cameo role from Harrison was ended with a trip to casualty for a suspected dislocated/broken thumb – get well soon Spike. A bit of poor handling and a lack of structure/organisation was the difference between the teams. Excellent work by Keyan allowed one try for the Knights with a final score of 17-5 to Bridgend.
Next up were an equally well drilled Cinderford team who had a couple of excellent players. From the kick off Batu took a great catch and travelled 65 metres untouched for the first score of the game – excellently converted by Matt. This was an initial flash in the pan for the Knights and 5 unanswered tries followed down the slope from Cinderford before the Knights woke up to the game. CJ and Billy crossed for good scores. Great work from Ollie at fullback taking numerous high balls in his stride kept the score down. The scrum was functioning well with a great push on - driven by Billy Dan and James in the front row. Sadly knocks to James and Dan put them out of much of game three and the second half of game two. Liam, Josh and Max filling in well in the front row. A final try from Cinderford gave the final score of 34-17.
The Knights were never over-run and held their heads high against some excellent opposition and both teams will be very welcome on our fixture list for next year.
Elsewhere in the festival both Bridgend and Cinderford beat Whitehall and then had a hard fought game against each other which Bridgend came out on top in. Some excellent controlled rugby by both teams with extended periods of possession across multiple phases from Cinderford and excellent running and passing from Bridgend – much to be applauded from both teams.
The final game today was a local derby against Whitehall. A more front foot approach with Mac and Joe controlling things at 9 and 10. Sam returned to the fray after a knock in game 1 and almost scored in the corner. Excellent drives by Liam, Bailey and Lee almost resulted in scores. Matt set up a great try with an audacious round the back pass when he was running out of space. The Knights showed a lot of spirit to rally in this their last game of the day and tries from Billy (2), Elliott, Keyan, Josh and Max and conversions from Billy, Joe and Mac gave the Knights a great 36-0 win.
Overall a great days rugby….
Stav was selected as player of the day, his defensive qualities today against high class opposition were exceptional.
(Please do let me know if I have any inaccuracies or have missed anything major – 07813000889 Cheers Chris)