Under 9s Match Reports
Sunday 10th March 2013
Sidmouth v Honiton - (Away)
It was another bitterly cold day in Honiton. We were starting at 9am today to get the Dads off having to make breakfast in bed for the Mums on their special Mothering Sunday. It also meant we could get home in plenty of time afterwards to watch the England v Italy game.
Our previous meeting with Honiton had not gone as well as we would have expected and we were fully intent on setting the record straight, and to continuing our steady improvement since Christmas
The contest began with an opening try by Teddy Osborne, returning to the team after a bit of an absence. After a thrilling sequence of play at the restart we turned Honiton over and George Pierson-Lovesy forced his way through the Lacelads and ran in another try. A fantastic start, but could we maintain our intensity and play? Honiton responded in kind and upped their game. At half time Honiton was a nose ahead at 6 points to 5. Refusing to be down spirited the boys rose to the challenge and Ted Lindley levelled the score with a fine try. Somewhat fired up Ted followed up his try with a number of highly effective tackles, the best of which included catching a player on our tryline and driving him 5 metres back infield. The final score was a tie at 8 points each – a fantastic result given the scoreline between these two teams in the first encounter at Sidford.
Try scores; Ted Osborne, George Pierson-Lovesy, Max Meyer, Ted Lindley, Ben Sheridan, Ollie Brealy, and 2 for George Taylor.
A special mention also needs to go to Ben Sheridan – who not only scored his first try of the season, but also got totally involved in defence, smashing left right and centre!
The inter match prep talk was full of praise for the whole team's performance - especially their tackle completion, which had been missing the previous week.
The portents were clearly there, as although the Lacelads started with the ball, we immediately drove them 10 metres back into their own half and turned the ball over with 7 magnificent tackles. George Manley was raring to go and quickly gave us a 2 point advantage – using a heady combination of speed, evasive running and sheer determination in the tackle. Big James Allen was also a man on a mission repeatedly attacking the opposition head on with great shows of strength in defence and running straight through the Lacelad’s line in attack. Sidmouth were recycling the ball with tremendous effect. Everything was coming together, our tackles were being completed and we were winning turnovers. More importantly, we were not wasting the turnovers, but were able to use them to score! One particular green hatted member of opposition was becoming increasingly frustrated with Noah Innes-Kruger as the grey scrum-capped Siddy tackling machine seems back to his viral, destructive best – making huge hits all over the park, very ably supported by Messrs Benson and Brett. Although only a few individuals have been mentioned in this report, it has to be noted that this was a TREMENDOUS team effort – with everyone contributing to a fantastic game. Big hits, great running lines and support led to us winning more comfortably than the 2 point final scoreline would suggest.
Final score a win for Sidmouth 6 points to 4.
Try scorers George Manley x 2, Big James Allen, Taine Benson, Noah Innes-Kruger and Jimmy Brett.
As clearly as a couple of weeks ago when we won “ugly” against Tiverton, today was a day when we won “beautifully”. It really was gratifying to see all the elements we have been working on in the last couple of months coming together. But nothing is ever perfect….we were aided by Honiton using quite a narrow pitch, which negated their strengths posed by their smaller, quicker runners; and we are still, at times, far too narrow in both attack and defence – which allowed their quick runner to score most of their tries. However, this was by far the most complete display of the season by the boys! Fantastic effort – well done!!
24 February 2013
Sidmouth vs Exmouth
It was a bitterly cold, raw day with the odd flake of snow in the grey sky.
Sidmouth got off to a flying start with Jimmy Brett weaving his way through the Exmouth players to score a try in the opening seconds of the game. Siddy looked quite a different team from the one they had been last week, their tails were up and they were hungry for victory. Blistering play saw Sidmouth move the ball using the full width of the pitch. By half time the scores were Sidmouth 4 – Exmouth 3.
Going into the second half we knew we had to tighten our tackling and up our game to a new level to secure victory. We scored 6 tries in the second half to Exmouth’s 4. Particular note goes to Ollie Brealy who waved his fist in the air in celebration before crossing the try line to score. Other try scorers included George Manley, Max Meyer, Big Jim Allen and George Taylor.
Final score Sidmouth 10 – Exmouth 7.
The second game saw further improvement in the performance of the plucky Sidmouth side as we crystallised our superiority over our opponents. The game got off to a frustrating start with George Manley and Jimmy Brett denied tries as they mistook a line on the pitch for the try line. Unperturbed, we pushed home our advantage and pummelled Exmouth by 8 points to 4.
Try scorers George Taylor, Ollie Brealy, Noah Innes-Kruger, Rueben Bennett and an impressive 3 from George Manley.
It was great to see the team gel and show great talent. They are using players in a strategic and well thought out way. The only area of weakness we showed today was commitment to the tackle. All in all two great wins for the Siddy team.
03rd March 2013
With thanks to out erstwhile scribe, Mr B!
It was a grey, overcast and chilly morning when the Sidmouth team assembled at Okehampton College's rugby pitch.
For the warm up, and we really did need to warm up as the weather was bitter, the boys focused on space, making short passes and running in channels –continuing on from the themes introduced after Christmas.
Big James Allen, our captain today, won the toss allowing us first use of the ball. Jimmy Brett got us off to a flying start by running in our first try of the day – with hardly a hand laid on him. After the restart Sidmouth turned over Okehampton’s ball and Jimmy Brett ran in a second try for good measure. Fortunately for us the ref hadn't picked up on Jimmy's hand offs –and they were very effective, if a little contrary to the law... Our first game was a comfortable victory with Sidmouth retaining a two point lead throughout. Captain James Allen was communicating well with the side and giving an equal share of the ball. The whole team were performing like a finely tuned engine, each of them playing an integral part of the game, setting up tries for; Jimmy Brett (3) George Manley, George Taylor, George Pierson-Lovesy and Reuben Bennett.
Final score game one: Okehampton 6 - Sidmouth 8
Our inter-game chat was full of praise for the boys’performance, although there were two areas that our competition had spotted as a weakness and were taking advantage of. We were bunching in the middle of the pitch defensively, allowing them to outflank us and although we were making good contact in the tackles, we were not bringing the player to ground, allowing them to get free and continue their runs.
The second game saw some awesome and relentless tackling by Noah Innes-Kruger, at times too ferocious for the ref it would seem as Noah was penalised once or twice for high tackles (contentious in that the ref had unilaterally decided that a high tackle was any tackle above the badge on the chest, as opposed to the law that dictates a high tackle is above the shoulders). Oke's key ploy was to get the ball to their fastest player who had managed to force his way through our defence and score a number of tries. At half time we had a one point advantage. In the second half Okehampton seemed to come to life, spurred on by their fast player's success, coupled with our continued inability to complete the tackle once initial contact was made. In the closing minutes Okehampton ran home 3 tries which left us 2 points behind. Sidmouth's try scorers of the second game were Noah Innes-Kruger (2), Reuben Bennett (2), George Pierson-Lovesy, Captain Big James Allen, and Jimmy Brett.
The final score game two: Okehampton 9 –Sidmouth 7
This was a very frustrating end to the final score, as we were clearly the better team on the day –better technically and collectively. We were, however, exposed by our ongoing tendency to become too narrow in defence and to fall off tackles.
Sidmouth can take heart from their performance, the team effort was impressive. Every individual played their part with passion and enthusiasm despite the cold. It was another great Sunday morning watching the team developing.
Great work boys.
17th February 2013.
Sidmouth vs Tiverton (away)
A sunny and mild day for a change.
The Sidford team travelled up the M5 to do battle with Tiverton. Dave Manley did some sightseeing en route and called in to see how Honiton were getting on and enjoy a strong coffee. Fortunately he realised he was in the wrong place and dashed up the M5 in time for the match.
There are days in the evolution of any team where they just struggle to get going – almost like running in treacle! Today was one such day, and although the spirit was willing, the energy levels just wouldn’t comply (well for most at least)…..one boy lamenting that he had to get up at 6am…areal travesty :-)
Having said that, the mark of a good (and improving) team is one who can win even when they are not playing well – and this intrepid bunch of enthusiasts showed this today!
Tiverton somewhat perplexed us by opening the game with a forward pass. Hey ho - we gratefully accepted the ball, but were turned over after 7 tackles. The treat of a runaway try was abated by Jimmy Brett although Tiverton went on to score the first try after some formidable defence. It was quite a scrappy game from that point on. Whilst we were clearly the better team technically, a combination of poor decisions, inability to convert our opportunities and the odd high tackle curbed our progress. At half time the score was 2 all. The half time introspection covered using the width of the pitch and to make our tackles count. A continuation of the malaise and indecision of the first half saw the second half end with a frustrating final score of 4 – 3 to Tiverton.
The second game go off to a much better start with a focus on straight and direct running securing us an opening try. Tiverton came back at us and scored two more tries by half time after more passages of continuous defensive turnovers by both teams. In the second half Siddy dug deep and went on to score 4 tries (George Taylor earning a hat trick). Special mentions have to go to George Manley and Jimmy Brett who tackled ferociously all morning! Final score 5 – 4 toSidmouth.
Whilst today’s result was far more favourable than the first time we played Tivvy earlier in the season, when we were roundly beaten by a team running very good support lines; it does beg the question of how much better we would have been today had the energy levels matched the desire.
Still, it would be churlish to complain about the end result. Sometimes, the result IS ALL THAT MATTERS!!
It was a beautiful, sunny day in Sidford, blue skies no wind. A fine day for rugby. There are certain moments in a coach’s career that make the enjoyable sublime! Today was such a day, with Sidmouth fielding 2 full sides for the first time this season and being more than competitive in both games. It must be noted, with immense pride, that 4 of our squad played their very first game today, and acquitted themselves with commitment, dignity and passion!! Game 1. After Sidmouth won the start Honiton surprised us with their speed and organisation. Honiton scored the first try before Ted Osborne opened the scoring for Sidmouth – only for Honiton to strike straight back again. Reuben Bennett then ran straight at the opposition offloading to Ted Osbourne for a second Siddy try. After a period of slogging it out, with both teams showing solid defence, Honiton managed to side-step our tackles to score a third try. George Taylor equalised the scores at 3 all, but then Honiton managed 2 quick tries before the end of the first half. The second half started with a series of solid tackles by both teams. Honiton then scored two more tries and Siddy’s Ted Osborne ran in his third of the day . Honiton’s dominance in speed and attack lead to three more tries. The final score of the first game 10 – 4 to Honiton. This was a real baptism of fire for the newcomers and they can rightly be supremely proud of their first venture into the world of contact rugby!! Game 2. Sidmouth started badly, giving the ball away on their own touch line and allowing their opponents an easy opener. Honiton quickly followed up with a well-run try avoiding our best efforts to contain. Honiton were proving a formidable and well drilled opponent. The remainder of the half saw some huge offensive tackling and continued defensive pressure from Sidmouth, but Honiton’s extreme pace lead to a three nil score line at half time. Sidmouth started the second half but once again the blistering pace of Honiton was just too much for us to endure as two quick tries were scored. The mighty James Allen then scored, with Honiton once again striking back. Then came a fine combination of play with Jimmy Brett passing to Noah Innes-Kruger, who broke numerous tackles before passing to George Manley who forced his way over Honiton’s try line – a real testament to refusing to give up. As a coup de grace, Honiton scored two more tries, through great running and speed to leave the final score of the second game at 8:2. Today the better team won, sadly it wasn’t us. We were given a lesson in ball retention and use of the ball. They recycled the ball calmly in the face of relentless defence. Coupled with their pace, despite our best efforts and solid defence, Honiton proved their superiority on the day. Much of both halves was played tight to the touch line and we were forced into touch way too often to allow effective attacking use of the ball; coupled with our propensity to lose the ball in contact, we were unable to unleash our runners. Although the scoreline belies the closeness of both games, we take away many lessons from today!