Under 16 rugby report – May 16, 2015

May 16, 2015

Under 16 Match report – May 16, 2015

SPC v Scotch College

The U16 Team again matched up against an undermanned yet powerful team in Scotch College. The 13 that Scotch put on the paddock were all Year-10s and included two members from their 1st XV. Once again we had a squad of 22, which meant a bench of nine and lots of rotations. I think the VSRU needs to address the rules around lower numbers and also uncontested scrums at U16 level. In two matches this season we have clearly been disadvantaged by these rules and this should not be the case when we’re fielding a full squad.

Given this, again many of our players lacked game time. I feel especially for those that turn up to training and then we can’t give them the game time they deserve.-

Okay, enough of the complaints and onto the game report. I urged the starting line-up to show intensity from the get go and not to repeat our opening minutes against Brighton where we conceded two tries in the opening couple of minutes of the game. The starting line-up responded well to this and held out a fresh and sizeable Scotch team for 5-minutes before conceding a first try. From there our defence, especially out wide, was tested throughout the first half. Even though the score at half time was not flattering at 27-7 it was a much better overall defensive effort than against Brighton, that consolidated on the week before. We’ll continue to work on Defence out wide and defending an overlap in the next two weeks before meeting St Kevin’s on May 30th. In the first half Will scored a barnstorming try off the back of some great forward pressure.-

I challenged the playing group at half time to respond more in defence and to claim the ball so we could put some attacking pressure on Scotch. What was also pleasing at half time was how positive we all were, not one player was blaming anyone or -‘having a go’. Because of this some excellent points came from Jesse and Sam about how Scotch was playing this resulted in the decision to not post up as much as Scotch was looking to go wide every time. This was a crucial observation and led to our defence being shored up in the second half. The benefit of this half time break is an example of how we’re developing as a playing group and maturing both as players and technicians of the game.-

The second half was a superb performance where we dominated possession and defence. SPC won the second half 12-5; with the final score being 32-19. Second half highlights included some fantastic backline moves, and it’s worthy to note how improved our passing and handling was throughout the backline. Tries came to Joel who crossed the line with a powerful individual run on the back of a massive team effort that included runs from both forwards and backs. Mason picked up his third try form the season after three phases of forwards running hard at the line from a few meters out. Sam converted two tries as well.-

Some players of note:

– – – – – – It was good to welcome Mitch Fowler back to the team who brings real aggression and intensity to the line-up. Players feed off this and it was good to see guys like Fraser and Liam Findlay having some big runs with the ball.-

– – – – – – All the front row Mason, Jack, Jasper and Will played well and put enough pressure on Scotch that they went uncontested scrums after only two scrums.-

– – – – – – Joel had a strong game in attack and defence.-

– – – – – – Ryan and Leo again stood up in Defence and both had some telling runs with ball in hand

– – – – – – I was really happy to see Patrick O’Leary hit the ball at pace and beat his man. Pat is really still in his first season of rugby and through practice, listening and working on his game he has shown real improvement and won the confidence of his team mates.

– – – – – – I gave Connor a run at number-9 in the second half where he played really well with some darting runs and excellent ball feed to Sam and Mitch.

Finally, in my closing address I said coming off the park having won the second half and lost the game by 13-points is a miles better feeling than coming off having lost by 50-poits, which could have happened. The reason it didn’t is you all stood tall and backed yourselves, so well done.-