After two brilliant performances over the last two games, 2024 had started with a bang for this improving Knights team. A beautiful sunny day made the trip to Midsomer Norton almost enjoyable (apart from an early Sunday morning) as we braced ourselves to take on a strong Norton team. Last time we played they crucified us 40 to nil. We were a slightly weakened team and without enough players we had to borrow a Norton Player into our team. That’s not the best start we wanted. On the bright side it was great to see Jack and Michelle who had made the trip to support the team and we wish Jack a speedy recovery following a torn ligament in his ankle. Jayden led the team out as captain and put in a sterling performance worthy of a captain.
The first half it took us a bit of time to wake up and realise we were playing a match of rugby; our tackling was virtually none-existent and in that time, Norton scored two tries. But Jayden as captain was having none of it and leading from the front made a few good tackles and ran in our first couple of tries for Knights. Yoshi and Josh led a few breaks through the Norton defensive line, but our support was slow, and our players would get isolated, and we would lose the ball at the breakdown.
Riley was making crunching tackles keeping Knights in the match as Norton broke through our defence from our poor tackling. Eventually the pressure was too much, and Norton scored again. Theo made a couple of charging runs and Lucan was prominent in the forwards attack which saw Harry pass to Wilf and then to Jayden who went through for his third try. It was good to see Lucan stepping up and taking a pro-active role. Wilf “Iron Fist” Hacker went off injured but luckily later he rejoined the team showing his never say die FIGTHING spirit. Another element lacking in the first half was tactical thinking. Their players were bunched up in the middle of the pitch, but we kept on running into them rather than using our width and getting the ball wide where we had an advantage. The first half finished Norton 25 – Knights 15.
The second half started much the same with scrappy unforced errors. Our weak tackling made Norton look like the stronger team and they capitalised from our mistakes. Standing out from the rest saw Thomas putting in tackle after tackle, getting to his feet and tackling again – what a performance. Riley also cranked up the gears and as well as making try saving, bone splitting tackles, he picked up the team and scored three tries to put a marker in the sand for the rest of the team. In this half we started to use the width of the pitch better and opened their defence. The one thing we did really well is that we didn’t let our heads drop, we kept on going to the end showing great team spirit and keeping the scoreline respectable. We gained momentum towards the end of the match and Yoshi not to be outdone by Jayden and Riley weaved through their defence with his burst of space to score to get a try of his own and he had put in a good shift for the team.
Try Scorers – Jayden x 3, Riley x 3 and Yoshi x 1
Hit man – Thomas
Coaches player of the match – Riley
Captains player of the match – Wilf