Sunday 3 November 2013

U9's v Woodrush

Under 9s

Old Yards v Woodrush

Match Report – 3 November 2013


It was a cold and sunny Sunday morning when the Old Yards welcomed Woodrush for their first home match of the season.  Again, Old Yards had a good turnout comprising Alfie, Ben, Frankie, Fynn, George, Harley, Harvey, James, Kieron, Louis and Will.

Unfortunately Woodrush could only manage a team of 6 but the Old Yards squad helped them out with Harvey, Keiron, Frankie and Louis all volunteering to assist by playing a half each for the Woodrush team.

The first match started well for Old Yards with the recent training beginning to show when they got a turnover over ball with six tackles.  This was rapidly followed by two tries from George and Frankie.  Woodrush got one back before Ben and James scored to extend the Old Yards lead.  On the final play of the half Woodrush (through the Old Yards volunteer) got a try back to leave Old Yards leading 4:2 at half time.  The second half followed almost the same pattern as the first with Old Yards extending their lead through tries by Harley,Kieron and Ben.  Again the tackling has improved and twice Old Yards got the ball back through six tackles or by forcing their opponents into touch.  The remainder of the half was even with two tries by Woodrush matched by Harley.

Final Score: Old Yards 9 Woodrush 4



Ben​    2

George.     1

Frankie      1




The second match almost followed the same pattern as the first with Old Yards taking an early lead with three tries from Ben and one from Louis,  Woodrush struggling to break through the Old Yards tackles.  A sudden burst of energy saw Woodrush get two tries back before a try by Frankie put Old Yards 5:2 ahead at half time.  The second half showed Old Yards increasing the pressure and getting possession through 3 lots of 6 tackles or forcing Woodrush into touch.  Two tries each for George and Louis were matched by only one from Woodrush to give Old Yards and early lead.  The strong defence continued with Woodrush getting through only once in response to two tries from Harley and one from Ben.




Final Score:  Old Yards 12 Woodrush 4


Scorers.   Ben4

Louis.     3

Harley.    2

George.  2

Frankie.   1


Clearly a good morning for Old Yards with some strong defensive play and good forward running – the mix of try scorers showing that anyone on the team can score.  However, there is still work to do in terms of maintaining the defensive line more effectively, getting the team to spread out more and, for some, to increase the power of their tackling.  Something we can try to improve next week when we take on Old Edwardians.

Thursday 31 October 2013

U11's v Old Salts match report

"It does not matter how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up" - Vince Lombardi

If you apply Vince Lombardi's measure of courage then the 11 Old Y's players certainly demonstrated theirs on Sunday against a bigger and much stronger Old Salts team. Their mixture of 11's and 12's seemd slightly more 12's than 11's despite reassurances from their coaching staff.
A great turn out this week saw the following 11 players representing the club,
Toby Good
Josh Talliss
Jimmy Robertson
Ollie Lonie
Dan Hayes
Jake Lowe
Chris Harrison
Ollie Dickson
Josh Hull
Lewis Zimmerman
Ethan Hart
Congratulations to Lewis on his first ever rugby match and a mention to both Jimmy and Chris for their second.
This week the boys were always going to be up against it but I think they almost held their own in the first half. We saw quite a lot of the ball and surprised Salts a few times in winning the ball in a number of contact situations. It does demonstrate that when playing a bigger team speed to the contact will often mean that you win the ball. After an initial try by Salts, Old Y's replied with two tries of their own. The boys speed and great defence looked to provide the platform for an improbable victory. Salts however regathered and with their size and strength started to run straight and hard at their generally smaller opposition and also utilise their size advantage in the rucks and mauls. The end of the first half saw us down 5 tries to 2. 
As the second half progressed we found it more and more difficult to cope with Salts size and their team grew in confidence. We weren't able to match their physicality and struggled with playing a 20 minute half. The game against Claverdon was made up of 4 x 10 minute quarters whereas this was the first time that the boys had played 2 x 20 minute halves. Having to continually defend against a bigger team and take the hits in the rucks and mauls was too much and Salts put 6 tries on us without reply  in the second half.
Ultimately the score was inconsequential. It was a good game and the Old Y's supporters could really see the effort put in by the players.What did impress was that the lads kept going, kept getting up after being knocked over trying to make the tackle and most importantly, kept their heads up throughout the game. Maybe if we had passed a little more and run them around throughout the game then the score would have been closer. Again it didn't matter. It was a hard lessen but worthwhile and one that every team needs to go through.
We have training this week and again lots to work on so look forward to seeing you all there on Sunday at 10.30am


Tuesday 29 October 2013

Under 7's v Old Salts

U7s: P3 W1 D2

Team: Wills, Charlotte, Amy, Jake, Rio, Carys


The U7’s together with several other age groups welcomed Old Salts to Yards on Sunday 27th Oct.  This was our first home match of the season, and with plenty of pitch side support basking in the glorious sunshine, hopes were high…….


Our team, bolstered with the experience from Rio soon settled down to play some fast(ish) flowing tag rugby. Early on in the first game both Wills and Amy showed keen attacking intent with some powerful and elusive running, which proved no match for the Old Salt’s defence, both of them scoring some great tries. Despite a strong fight back from Salts in the latter half of the game their coaches conceded that we pipped them on the try count, and so won the match. Well done Yards!


The second and third matches were also close scoring affairs, and we stayed in contention thanks to the mazy running of Jake and direct running from Charlotte, both of whom scored some great tries in these games. Carys also showed her great rugby skills with some fine displays of direct running and quick sharp passing to keep the attacks flowing. With Tom and Thomas cheering on from the sidelines, Wills continued to show his finishing flair by scoring a brace of tries in the final match.  We also saw Rio  finding his rugby feet and danced through the opposition to score a well deserved try.  However, a couple of fumbles from the home side allowed the opposition to score breakaway tries, resulting in both of these matches being tied.


Overall another great performance from the U7’s team, and with continued hard work, and practice, the team will continue to improve and become great champions.


On a final note, Rob does not want to draw to our attention to the fact that both the matches he ref’d in, resulted in a draw. This was purely coincidental.  However, to be on the safe side please do not refer to the matter within a 50 mile radius of the club house……


We hope to see you all next week and also welcome back flying Flynn for another home game, this time against Woodrush.  Please let us know if you’re available so we can plan accordingly.  As always, if you have any friends in Year 1 or 2 who may be interested in playing, please invite them down so they too can enjoy the fun.


Rob & Pete (Coaches….& now Refs….)


Tuesday 15 October 2013

U 11's v Claverdon

What a difference a week makes in terms of the weather and what a great test of character for the young rugby player and of course their parents.
Again a big welcome to our new players Jimmy and Chris. After only one or two training sessions they were thrown in at the deep end (an apt metaphor given the weather) and both gave great account of themselves.
This weeks team of future stars were
Ollie Lonie
Jake Lowe
Josh Talliss
Toby Good
Josh Hull
Ollie Dickson
Ethan Hart
Jimmy Robertson
Chris Harrison
With us adopting the new 'Shaping the Game' rules at the start of the season, we were required to have a minimum of 9 players which we managed to achieve. We also borrowed two players from Claverdon which allowed interchanges. This year, we are able to play either a game of 2 x 20 minute halves or a derivative of this. For this game we decided to play 2 games of 2 x 10 minute halves.
If a coach can be a happy with a loss then our results over the two games were extremely encouraging. When put into the context that Claverdon had played in two festivals in as many weeks and therfore at least four games, it was a mighty effort. I would also say that a number of their players appeared to have spent some time standing in what the local farmer's herd had deposited on the adjoining pitch. There were some big U11's!!!
For the first 10 minutes, the boys were obviously thinking more about the homework due in on Monday than their rugby. Claverdon put 3 tries on us in the first 10 minutes and it wasn't looking encouraging as we were a bit 'rabbit in the headlights'. The half-time break appeared to give the boys the time to collect their thoughts and switch on. This was evident in the second half where we defended better, our rucking and mauling improved and some good running resulting in a split 1-1 half. As we are counting points rather than tries this season, a 20 points to 5 loss.
The second game saw further improvement with the boys gaining more confidence as the game progressed.  Claverdon had a squad of 14 players available on the day and despite this we appeared to be more dominant in the rucks and mauls with periods of solid defending as well as some good attacking runs. A 10-10 half-time score line was indicative of us finishing stronger than our opposition but unfortunately two defensive lapses towards the end of the second half produced 2 late tries to Claverdon. The final 20-10 scoreline was not really indicative of the way the boys played and that we finished stronger as the game progressed was what was most pleasing.
The whole team contributed and there were many positives to take forward to training next week. There are also a number of thing that we will need to work on as well.
There were some great individual defensive hits with Ollie Lonie, on more than one occassion targetting their biggest player with crunching ball and all tackles. Ethan and Ollie Dickson again took the ball forward with some evasive runs and Josh Talliss, obviously benefitting from those off-season ballet lessons, pivoting 180ͦͦ°  a la American football style, leaving a number of defenders standing still.
Toby and Josh Hull also made some good runs and Josh showed his capability with the boot with some good re-starts and free kicks, both of which are skills that can take some time to master. Again young Jake Lowe continued to showed great ability in the mauls, ripping the ball off much bigger opponents. I was standing next to one of the coaches on the side line when he commented on Jake's strength when he took on their biggest player in a wrestle for the ball (and won). Our rucking and mauling improved as the games progressed and the Claverdon coach also commented on how successful we were in turning over their ball and how well we mauled against a much bigger team.
Congratulations must also go to our two first timers Jimmy and Chris. As mentioned above, neither have had extensive rugby experience and going from structured training to the apparent randomness of a game is a big step. It's a good test of a players ability to quickly process everything going on around them. Despite some initial hesitation and the odd forward pass both Chris and Jimmy contributed to the game as much as the rest of the boys.  I spoke to the Claverdon coach after the game and informed him that we had two first time players and he noted that he wouldn't have known it from watching the team play.  Quite a compliment.
There are of course a number of areas where we let ourselves down and if done better on the day I think we would have probably won. Despite some good attacking runs we didn't capitalise by passing before going into contact (as did Claverdon in a good passing move leading to a try), we missed too many tackles, and we spent too much time going backwards before going forward.  We have areturn fixture with Claverdon and it will be good to show what Old Y's can do.
A huge thanks to the travelling band of spectators who showed their support for the team in less than perfect conditions
We have training next week at the club, and this will be a great opportunity to build on the momentum from the game. Hopefully the weather will be slightly kinder and we will have as many of you as able to attend.
Well done lads and see you next week.
John Gaffey/Richard Talliss
U11 Coaches

U7's v Claverdon

Subject: Old Yardleians U7s Match report Vs Claverdon


U7s: P4 W2 L1 D1

Team: Wills, Sophie, Charlotte, Amy, Bayley, Jake & Matthew


A fantastic start to the season by the U7s, despite the atrocious weather. 


We played a well organized Claverdon team who had several more players to call upon than we did,  nevertheless we got off to a winning start.   During the first game we saw some great running rugby from Wills who scored 3 great tries, easily outpacing the opposition. There was also some excellent support work from both Charlotte and Amy who managed to stay close to the ball carrier to receive try scoring passes.  Fantastic work!

During the second and third matches Claverdon were able to rotate fresh legs onto the pitch so we struggled to win the next two matches, drawing one and losing the other despite some great defensive tagging from both Matthew and Jake.

However, the team rallied well for the last match and after some inspired substitutions from the U7’s coaches, the introduction of fresh legs in the form of Bayley and Sophie provided an injection of pace that stunned Claverdon and secured us a well deserved victory.  Great work!


We were really pleased with the team’s enthusiasm  and their keenness to play, & especially pleased with how Charlotte and Matthew quickly settled into their first completive matches.   We are really proud of them all.


We are now looking forward to our next match, and in particular having Flynn back in the team,  which will really add an even greater cutting edge to our attack.


Well done Yards!


Your coaches Rob and Pete.


Sunday 28 July 2013

Message from the Chairman

 I realised when I had the date put on the web that with the holidays just starting that the meeting would be poorly attended, but I forgot what a globe trotting bunch you are. Nevertheless Dave Adams and myself carried on with the meeting as a couple of important decisions had to be made.

As the first Sunday in September is the 1st when many will still be lying on the beach, it was decided that registration would take place on the 8th and 15th September.We all know how important these dates are to the Junior Section and we must get it right.

Over the next 2 weeks we will promote the club in the local newspapers inviting any of the the local community who want to get involved in Rugby to attend the 2 open days which will coincide with our registration dates.We will concentrate on boys and girls aged 7 to 12 and hope we get a good response.
We will decide which teams we can run when we know the outcome of registration. We all know we need 2 or 3 players in each age group to become a real rugby force and hopefully everyone will work towards this aim.

We decided last year that we will attempt to put a complete calender of fixtures together during September so that we avoid some of the problems of last year. The great news is that Dave is prepared to continue as fixture sec and we will need to look at areas such as. 
We are confident that all will be well for the start of next year. 
 It is so important that we take every advantage of the coaching courses available to us. I have just received details of a LEVEL 1 Course to be held at Stourbridge on August 11th. Please contact me if we have any takers.

WORLD CUP 2015. 
The  LEGACY OF THE WORLD CUP will be so important to the club and I hope we can take full advantage of what is going to be a wonderful occasion.

For those who have not received details of my new email address it is

Because of comitments in France etc I will not be available to the extent that was possible for the last 2 years. I AM NOT DISAPPPEARING BUT WE DO NEED MORE PEOPLE TO GET INVOLVED,WITH A STRONGER COMMITTEE TO ENSURE WE ACHIEVE OUR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

News Bulletin

2015 world cup.

As you may be aware the UK is hosting the 2015 world cup and Villa Park has
been selected as one of the venues. We know that South Africa, Australia and
Samoa are involved in that pool with one more team to be decided. Games are
to be played on the 26th and 27th Septemberand the Yardleians have been
selected to help in hosting the event. Our involvement can be as much or as
little as we want but I am hoping that both players and coaches will want to
assist the Birmingham Rugby Partnership. We know that we will need 4 named
ambassadors aged between 16 and 20 and many other helpers to make sure the
programme runs smoothly. The next meeting to be held at the villa ground
again is on the 25th July and any one wishing to attend in an official
capacity, please contact me on my new web address.

Coaches  Meeting.

I know what a globe trotting lot you are and that you will be disappearing
to all points on the compass, but it would be nice to have a pint and a get
together to chat about the forthcoming season. If you can make it please
come along, I might even buy the first round. I propose Friday 26th July at 7.00pm. 

Sunday 9 June 2013


Hoping everyone is enjoying the sun!
Things are still happening at the club and most importantly;

1) Improvements to the club house and grounds are continuing at a pace. Next weekend Nat West are visiting the club to see how we are spending £4000 grant they have given us via the RFU. It would be great to have as many volunteers as possible at the ground either on the Saturday or the Sunday from 10am onwards. If you can use a paint brush hammer or spade your help would be much welcomed.

2) On Friday BMW came to the club to present the trophy they have sponsored for our young player of the year. That honour went to Tyrell Peters the under 17 winger. This was followed by a curry night quizzes and lots of drinking which all seemed to enjoy.

3) The RFU have donated one free place to any coach who wants to take the old level two coaching course, which involves two Sundays and homework. Anyone interested please contact me ASAP. 


Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Old Y's U10 Redditch Festival Sunday 14 April 2013

Unfortunately the weather didn't quite deliver what was promised but I think the rugby more than made up for it.

The U10's travelled to Redditch for their Festival (along with the U7's and U8's), for what turned out to be an entertaining and enthralling series of encounters against Redditch, Kings Norton, Woodrush and Old Eds.

It was good to see almost a full team out following weeks of bad weather and school holidays. Seems a lot of excess energy needed to be expended.

Our team this week consisted of;

Dan Hayes, Oliver Dickson, Josh Hull, Ethan Hart, Oliver Lonie, Jake Lowe, Josh Tallis and the welcome return of Toby Good. Toby came off second best after a session of extreme BMXing.

Special thanks must also go to our honary Old Yardleians who helped make up the magic 9. These were Jacob and Liam from Old Eds (how they manage to get a squad of 15, I'll never know), Louis +1 from Kings Norton and Squirt from Redditch.

With 5 teams playing we ended up with four games of 8 minutes per half, although at times it seamed that not a lot of attention was being paid to the clock.

Our first game was against Woodrush. We have enjoyed a number of close games against them but have managed to come out on top in our recent games. It was a good start to our Festival with an 8 tries to 2 win for Old Yards. Not having played together as a team for some time, it was a good game to start the day. Our scrum was dominant with Ollie Lonie, Dan and Ethan combining well to win most of the oppositions put in as well as our own. We tackled well and obviously ran well with most of the team participating in the scoring.

Our second game against Kings Norton was always going to be a very different matter. They are a very physical team and you could see the impact of that in our team at half time and at the end of the game. The boys had to do a lot of tackling and put a lot of work into the rucks and mauls which were noticiably more intense. The boys took it in their stride and went about their work and only just went down by 3 tries to 1 in what was a tense battle between two good teams.

Redditch were our next opponents and the return of the largest 10 year old we have ever seen. He was certainly a test for our tackling and it took a few collisions leaving the tackler sprawled out on the ground before the boys started to go for the legs. Well done to Ethan for pulling off a number of great front on tackles on him which showed the way for the rest of the team. The boys also combined well to save a certain try after a prolonged Redditch attack on the Old Y's try line. Great deterrmination. Lots of good mauling and again young Jake proved that strength and technique will almost always win over size. He even came close to winning in a one on one contest for the ball with the giant Redditch player. Josh Hull put his body on the line a number of times and at the end of the day learnt a very important lesson in not leading with your head. Both Josh's made some great runs in all games and were rewarded with tries. Redditch were leading 2 tries to 1 going into the last 2 minutes and it looked as if we were going to score after a number of attacking phases close to their line. Unfortunately a turnover in the very last play of the game saw a breakaway try against the run of play resulting in a 3 tries to 1 win for Redditch. The boys were naturally very dissapointed after this game as they had stuck with it right to the end and had the belief that they would score and tie the game. A fantastic effort on our part and it was great to see the determination right to the end.

The final game saw us take on our local rivals Old Eds. The last time we played them we scored 15 tries. Thanks to Liam from Ed's who backed up for his second game and he seemed to really enjoy his time playing in the scrum against his own team. The game proved considerably tighter than the last time we met and we did put together some good passages on play passing well in attack and tackling with enthusiasm. Toby played one of his best games and used his strength in running with the ball but more importantly in his contribution in the mauls. Again our scrums were very dominat with Ollie Lonie, Ethan and honarary Old Y, Liam timing their push just right with the put in to win most of the scrums. A good end to the day with a 4 tries to 0 win. Unfortunately we needed Redditch to beat Kings Norton in order for Old Y's to play in the final. This didn't happen so that was the end of the road for boys for the day.

Redditch played Kings Norton in the final which I was asked to referee and predictably, a strong Kings Norton team ran out winners by 4 tries to 1.

All in all a great day of rugby played by the whole team with everyone contributing. Ollie Dickson scored some great running tries and threw himself into tackles and even managed to get straight back up after an attempted tackle which didn't quite work the way he had intended. Dan also did well again with a good alround performance showing great intelligence with the highlight being a well timed final pass resulting in an Old Y's try.

A very pleasing day from my perspective and irrespective of the fact that we didn't make the final, a great series of performances against 4 different teams having different styles of play. We have previously beaten Redditch and we are more than capable of beating Kings Norton. I think it is more than apparent that the boys are starting to play for each other and are turning into a team rather than a group of individuals.

Thanks to the boys for their efforts and of course the very loyal band of parents supporting the team.

Training this week (unless things change before Sunday) so let consolidate on a strong performance.