The season started out in September with so much promise, this would be the last season the lads play before moving into 15-a-side rugby at U14s, and the coaches were approaching this as the perfect opportunity to look at the lads in certain positions and start to formulate a team and strategy for their next steps. There was much anticipation amongst parents and players alike.
There was no rest for the wicked as our first game out against our old local rivals at Sandal was always going to be a very competitive and much anticipated match up. The games always bring out the best in our players and this certainly didn’t disappoint – a try on the final whistle by one of our new recruits, Isaac Jepson secured a last minute victory for ‘field’.
This set the tone for the balance of the season and the lads continued to play a very high standard of rugby, and in all conditions, wet and dry…….and of course cold. It was not without disappointment as we lost a very dour affair against Rochdale at home, where the lads just couldn’t seem to lift and play to their potential, and then a couple of weeks later were convincingly defeated by Sheffield Tigers in a one-sided affair, not helped by low team numbers, but no excuses, Tigers played exceptional rugby.
These proved to be our only losses and the team continued to play to a very high standard, and it was clear that they were getting used to their positions, and the freedom this gave them to play wide running rugby seemed to be the key to their success. The lads play their best when they are putting the ball through the hands and this so proved when they really began to hit their straps toward the premature end to the season with scintillating performances against Old Rish and Rochdale, both convincing wins in difficult conditions – the latter was a case of ‘revenge is sweet’, but showing how solid defence and controlling the ball gives you the platform to beat any team.
Generally, the boys have continued to develop and all of them know how important is it to play their role and do their job. There are those who are there to provide the solid if unspectacular bedrock and foundation, and then there are the razzle dazzle ball players who rack up the points – all of them equally important. They are a true team in every sense of the word now, good mates on and off the field and prepared to put their body on the line for the cause. It is a pleasure to watch them and coach them.
U14s next season is shaping up as a corker, let’s hope it lives up to expectations!
In closing, can I just say much thanks to all the parents for travelling across the wilds of Yorkshire & Lancashire, without you and your support we would not have the fantastic team we have…….nothing comes without sacrifice!
U13s Head Coach