Last week saw this team’s best performance of the season and we hoped that they would continue to build on their momentum and bring their good form into this match. Before the game, the lads said they wanted to put on a good performance to say thank you to Oli, who has been one of the coaches for the last few years - they more than did this and did him (along with the other coaches and parents) proud.
Rylee, who has greatly improved this season, led the Knights team out with pride as he captained the side to an emphatic victory. The lads started with good intensity seeing William, Jayden, Harry and Christian making early tackles and soaking up early Weston pressure. Weston broke our defence but Riley, as usual, nailed the attacker with a try-saving tackle. This summed up the game, the whole team gave one hundred percent commitment to each other. If a tackle was missed, someone else made sure they got the next one in, no one complained, they supported and encouraged each other and this is what makes the U13’s such a good team. Back to the match where there was excellent interplay between Jayden-Yoshi-Jayden and back to Yoshi who ran in the first try. We knew that the Knights were going to make this a game!
Weston came back after two Knights high tackles and scored a try of their own. Then Yosh dummies the defence after a strong ruck, skips and weaves through the Weston defence for his second try. We could tell Yoshi had had his Weetabix this morning, he looked eager and agile leading the attack. But Weston, fair play to them came back with a try of their own. Then Jayden ripped the ball, Joshua took on the charge, and the ball came loose but was grabbed by Wilf who scored our third try. At this point, the game is evenly poised with Knights just edging it and the first quarter whistle blows.
In the second quarter Knights started to use the width of the pitch more, bringing Samorree and Christian into the game. Early pressure from the Knights in defence led to a turnover and thus Yoshi was then skipping through their defence to score his third try. Wilf, again like an assassin, picked up one of the loose balls and scored his second try. Charlie and Theo did a couple of good ball carries and a strong Knights scrum saw Charlie going over the line for a try. A special mention goes to the forwards at this point who were putting in a lot of effort at the scrum. We still need to work on our scrummaging but there were a few improvements from last week which led to at least two tries in this game so well done the Knights pack. We need to secure a stronger platform at the scrum. In this quarter, the Knights dominated the Weston team on all areas of the pitch and went into halftime with a comfortable lead.
The third quarter went to Weston and was niggly as the Weston team tried to physically and psychologically torment the Knights team to get themselves back into the match. Lucan, Theo and William soaked up the forwards' pressure. Harry made a few great runs through the Weston defence but Weston defended well. Excellent handling from Jayden to Yoshi to Charlie and then to Wilf who went and scored his third try. Then tempers flared up, no surprise to see our very own Rocky Balboa aka Wilf “The Iron Fist” Hacker in the middle of it after being started on by a Weston player, but the team rallied around their teammate, pushed them apart and broke up the altercation quickly. Very good to see the players supporting each other at this point. At all times in the match, the Knights team remained composed and let their fine-flowing rugby do the talking for them. Drawing to the end of the third quarter it felt like Weston was picking up momentum after scoring two tries of their own.
In the fourth quarter Knights cranked up the gears and played Weston off the park scoring four tries against two from Weston. Jayden scored a great individual try which summed up a really strong performance from him with driving runs and hard tackles throughout the game. Again, we used our width with quick hands along the line to Riley who scored his second try. Harry took the initiative from the ruck and dummied and dived over the line for a try of his own. Then we pressured their defensive line from a scrum where Charlie got his second try of the match.
It was nice to see all the lads smiling when they came off the pitch after many near wins this season, they deserved this. This is by far the best team performance of the season – did you hear that!! It takes a team to win a game and all of you contributed for the full 60 minutes to take a well-earned victory. There are a lot of positives to take from this match. From the sidelines, the general team fitness seemed much better – so please keep up conditioning yourselves and training at home - its paying off (encourage them parents)!!
It was also nice to do man of the match with the Weston team after the game. Travis from Weston beat Yoshi in the drinking competition where Travis drank his drink while Yoshi poured his all down himself. Christian had a standout game today being one of the newest members of the team so well done to you, your tackling and handling were brilliant! Also, it was good to see Jack Long and Thomas getting stuck into the fray as the newest arrivals to the team. Outstanding – all round!!