Match Reports

Under 8s
Old Yards v Camp Hill
Match Report – 17 February 2013

It was another cold morning when Camp Hill arrived to play Old Yards.  The half term holidays meant a much depleted Old Yards squad with only four of the usual team available,Alfie being drafted in to at least get a team of five. Whilst Camp Hill had 8 players they matched Old Yards’ numbers and played a team of five – with plenty of substitutions.
The team comprised Alfie, Ben, Frankie, Harley and Will.
In the first game it was end to end with tries being scored at will.  Tagging seemed almost impossible by either side with the most tags in the first half being three! With only one turnover ball the entire half and some excellent support play by both teams the first half ended level at 9:9.  The play continued in a similar vein in the second half and whilst the tagging improved it still failed to produce a turnover ball. The final score being 16:15 to Old Yards.  Old Yards scorers being Frankie (6), Ben (5), Harley (3) and Alfie (2).
The rest before the second game seemed to re-energise the Old Yards and although the tagging improved the try scoring went with play, again there being no turnover balls.  In the closing minutes of the first half Will picked up an injury to his foot and unfortunately had to retire from the rest of the game.  With Old Yards down to 4 men the level of effort need just to defend increased and the first half ended with Camp Hill leading 6:5.  The second half continued similar to the rest of the match with Old Yards making a valiant effort to defend against a team with more men and fresher men.  However, they held Camp Hill to a one try lead for almost the entire second only conceding a further try on the final whistle meaning Camp Hill took the game 13:11.  Old Yards scorers being Frankie (4)Alfie (3), Ben (2), Harley and Will.
Given the team was missing a number of its regulars it was good to see the effort put in by everyone and particularly in the last game when they were down to 4 men.  Thanks go toAlfie for coming in to make up the numbers, he played extremely well and deserved to be named man of the match.

Sunday 3rd February - match reports v Old Ed's

Under 8s 
It was a cold but sunny morning when the Old Yards arrived at Old Edwardians having not trained or played a competitive match for almost 2 months due to Christmas and the weather conditions.  With only six players everyone had to play both games, maybe a blessing in disguise on such a cold but fresh morning.
The team comprised Alfie, Ben, George, Harley, Leo and Will.
In the first game the team started strongly with an early try and followed it up with some excellent tagging and defensive play to create a number of turnover balls.  By half-time Old Yards led 5-2 with all members of the team supporting the man with the ball.  Half-time substitutions by Old Eds improved their play significantly with one player seemingly impossible to tag but the Old Yards defence and continued try scoring kept them in the lead.  The final score being 10-8.  Old Yards scorers being Ben (4), George (4), Harley and Leo.
The rest before the second game seemed to re-energise the Old Yards with the defence forcing Old Eds into touch three times in the first half.  With Old Yards capitalising on each turnover ball, again with excellent support from the entire team, they again took the first half easily 5-2.  The second half was much more even despite Old Yards continued excellent tagging forcing a turnover ball and twice getting the fourth tag.  However, with a try just as the final whistle blew Old Yards won the second half, winning the game 12-8.  Old Yards scorers being Ben (5), Harley (3), Leo (2), George and Will.
Given the time without training or matches this was an excellent performance with the team organising itself with minimal direction from the coach. This was a good performance with a strong defence line, amazing tagging and some pitch length runs with team members in support.  Everyone on the team played their part and whilst not everyone managed to score without the strong defence and excellent tagging the Old Yards would not have achieved this great result.
A final footnote, all credit to the Old Edwardians coach who refereed both matches whilst coaching his team.  Having seen all of the Old Yards games this season this was by far the most balanced and fairest referee I have witnessed.

The Old Y's Under 10's had their first game of 2013 on Sunday against one of our local rivals, Old Edwardians at Ed's.

When you consider it has been 7 weeks since our last game, 3.5 weeks since we last trained and our first game back is on a cold Sunday morning in February.  Not a great combination to try and engender renewed enthusiam in a team of 10 year olds.

Fortunately, we had a full squad of 9 players for our first game back and Ed's seemed to have a cast of thousands. Our team this week consisted of Ollie Lonie, Josh Tallis, Ethan Hart, Jake Lowe, Ollie Dickson, Josh Hull, Toby Good, Dan Hayes and Haydn Hope.

Despite their apparent playing strength, Ed's do seem to be suffering from a lack of numbers. I suspect that the team we played were a combination of 9's and 10's, as they asked for uncontested scrums due to the lack of experience of their players. As the saying goes, you can only play what is put in front of you.

The boys played with great energy and enthusiasm and despite the long layoff showed further improvement on their last game against Redditch.

There was a great physicality in their game this week to the point where the boys were actually attacking in defence (if that makes sense) driving the ball carrier back before getting anywhere near the gain line. We stripped the ball from the ball carrier on many occassions leading to a number of tries. Special mention to Jake this week for his efforts in the mauls. Being referee, I had a good opportunity to see him get in amongst the melee of players and often come out with the ball. Ollie Lonie, Dan and Josh Hull combined well in the lineouts and worked a good long throw move to Ollie Dickson running onto the ball. Both Ollie's ran well with the ball and Haydn Hope and Ethan both tackled just about everything that moved.

There were a couple of attacking mauls that that made good distance down the pitch thanks to some strong work from Toby and Dan who both went about their jobs well and both provided  valuable support. Can't really say much about the scrums this week. They were more than a bit 'rugby league' ish being uncontested.

The boys all picked up from where they left off at the end of 2012 and are starting to gel together as a team. There was good passing and support for the ball carrier. Ed's tried hard but didn't really have any answer for the phsicality shown by our boys.

Oh, and the final score. Playing 3 x 10 minute thirds, tthe boys scored 5, 4 and 6 tries in each of the respective thirds giving a total of 15 tries.

All in all an impressive display.

Sunday 9th December - Y's-10's v Camp Hill & Redditch 

On Monday of last week we were down for a training session on the following Sunday. By Tuesday were were playing Redditch and by Wednesday we were playing both Redditch and Camp Hill. Old Y's U10 certainly are popular.

It promised to be a very very cold Sunday morning but fortunately it just turned out to be cold and windy. With three teams playing we had quite a good crowd to support all the teams and looking along the sideline it had the appearance of a 1st Team game!

We didn't start out well with two of our number not available to play, leaving just 8. Fortunately both of our opposition had plenty in reserve and thanks to those who played in the Old Y's shirt. I did say to them that they would remember this day for the rest of their lives.

This weeks stars were Toby Good, Ollie Lonie, Josh Hull, Ethan Hart, Ollie Dickson, Josh Tallis, Dan Hayes and Jake Lowe.

Our first game was the old local derby with Camp Hill. Traditionally they are a strong club and we expected a tough encounter. Our boys more than rose to the challenge by doing just about everything right. Some great passing (actually before the contact!), good support for the ball carrier, straight and hard running, some vigorous rucking (for those who remember what 'vigorous' used to mean, this wasn't it) and some good driving mauls where players on the fringe saw the maul going forward and joined in to give it extra momentum. A good sign that rugby brains are developing.One of the the most pleasing aspects was the tackling. Before the game I asked the lads to concentrate on their tackling and that is exactly what they did. The enthusiastic crowd witnessed some great front on tackles where the ball carrier was driven backwards. We also saw defenders running down the ball carrier and tackling from behind, something at is difficult to grasp for younger players. Old Y's ran out eventual winners by 4 tries to nil but the score belied a closer game than reality portrayed. It was a very encouraging sight. The Camp Hill coach was not best pleased with his players, the performance of the Redditch referee, or the fact that I asked his team to back up against Redditch!

We have played Redditch a number of times already this season and have beaten them in all encounters. They took the field against Camp Hill with a quite a sizeable team and of course the U10 version of Andre the Giant (for those old enough to remember who that was). Redditch have improved enormously since our previous encounters and overran and overpowered Camp Hill to the tune of 5 tries to 1. They were well drilled and powerful and it looked as if we might struggle.

Before the game the lads were asked to step up their tackling again, against a bigger side and again they managed to find another gear. It was a very impressive display and hopefully the boys are starting to deal with the fears that bigger opposition can bring. It was a case of more of the same with all aspect of the game, except they managed it against a bigger well drilled team. The only area we struggled was in the scrums. Their boy mountain in the front row could have held our three by himself and we ended up going backwards for most of the first half scrums. A half time talk on rolling the ball quickly into the scrum and a very quick strike by the hooker saw us gradually improve and eventually win most of our own ball.

We managed to turn over their ball a number of times both in the mauls and the rucks which demonstrated great tenacity and cleaver play in recognising an opportunity. The boys held their own in the mauls in both attacking and defending situations and committed the right number to the mauls to maintain an advantage. With the opposition's giant standing at the front of the lineout and realising that throwing to the front wouldn't work, they again demonstrated their ability to adapt by throwing it long beyond the lineout to a player running onto the ball. It was good to watch.

A very appreciative crowd witnessed a very enjoyable game which saw Old Y's run out winners by 4 tries to 2 (true score 4-3 as the Camp Hill referee disallowed what I thought was a legitimate Redditch try).

The game was a credit to two well matched teams who played the match hard and in the right spirit. I have not mentioned players by name this week as I think that all the boys played well and more importantly played like a team. Well done. Photos have been uploaded onto the clubs Mini and Junior website.

That was our last match for the year and we have training at the club next Sunday morning. Plenty of good things to reinforce so lets have a good turnout.

                                                                            Under 8s
Old Yards v Sutton
Match Report – 2 December 2012

It was a cold and frosty morning and the ground was firm/hard when Sutton arrived to play the Old Yards.
The Old Yards team comprised Alfie, Ben, George, Sophie, Frankie, Harley and Will.  But with three of the team having had a late night the night before it was always going to be hard to get the energy levels up.
In the first game the team started strongly with an early try but Sutton were tagging well, hassling the tagged player to the extent they were regularly being told to get on-side.  The first half was tight but at half time Old Yards were leading 4-3.  In the second half Sutton came back strongly with some exceptional tagging and scored four times without reply, albeit with the help of some tough refereeing decisions against the Old Yards.  In the closing minutes Old Yards managed to grab a try but Sutton went on to score again in the last few seconds.  The final score being 8-5 to Sutton.  Old Yards scorers being Ben (2), Frankie and George (2).
The second game continued along similar lines with Sutton being warned regularly to get on-side, their team giving no space to the Old Yards.  The first half followed the pattern of the first half with Sutton taking a 4-1 lead by half time.  However, a strong team talk and renewed effort from the Old Yards showed what they could really do taking the second half 4-2 losing the game closely 6-5.  Old Yards scorers being Harley (2), Frankie, George and Ben.
This was probably the team’s worst performance of the season but at times they showed, even in the face of adversity, their fighting spirit and the next training session will be working on what they learnt from this game.

Under 8s
Old Yards v Bournville
Match Report – 11 November 2012

It was a cold but sunny morning when the Old Yards arrived at Bournville’s astro-turf pitches.  After an initial panic of only having 5 players a couple of latecomers brought the team to full strength with a sub to spare.
The team comprised Alfie, Ben, Fynn, Frankie, Harley, Leo and Will.
In the first game the team started strongly with an early try and followed it up by showing the skills they have been developing in training in the last few weeks.  Holding the defensive line well and shuffling across the pitch together they left the Bournville team nowhere to go other than into touch and a turnover ball.  Another quick try followed for Old Yards with excellent passing amongst the team and everyone providing close support to the player with the ball.  Continuing the strong defence Old Yards again forced Bournville into touch, taking the turnover ball forward for another try.  By half-time Old Yards led 5-1.  Half-time substitutions by Bournville improved their play significantly but the Old Yards defence and supporting attacking play kept the half level.  The final score being 7-3.  Old Yards scorers being Leo (4), Harley, Frankie and Ben.
The second game brought a much stronger Bournville side and the tagging was excellent with both sides getting a turnover ball through their tagging ability.  The first half was close but with two equal teams at half time Bournville led 3-2.  However, in the second half the Old Yards really showed their best and with a strong defensive line and lots of shuffling prevented Bournville from increasing their score.  In the meantime, they capitalised on their possession scoring a further two tries to win the game 4-3.  Old Yards scorers being Ben (3) and Leo.
In the final game the pattern continued with Bournville struggling to break through the Old Yards defence and again losing possession due to some excellent tagging by all of the team.  A run by Frankie got everyone cheering when he crossed the try-line with all of the Old Yards team on his shoulder and Bournville players still in the Old Yards half – that is the sort of support they have been training to provide and what a fantastic example of a team working together.  The support and defence continued to frustrate Bournville  with the Old Yards ending up taking the game 5-2.  Old Yards scorers being Frankie (2), Leo (2) and Ben.
This was the best team performance of the season with a strong defence line, great shuffling, amazing tagging and some pitch length runs with team members in support.  Everyone on the team played their part and whilst not everyone managed to score without the strong defence and excellent tagging the Old Yards would not have achieved the eleven turnover balls they did across all three games.