Under 13's Win Stratford 10s tournament
22nd April 2012
So could the under 13s take the spirit from the second half on tour to a tens tournament in Stratford?
For a start off, the coaches were puzzling about 10s – soon resolved with a briefing from Danny Kilbride, coach of the under 16s who had won the tournament for the prior 3 years – thanks to Danny. A bit like 7s really but with a slightly bigger scrum – aha! - chance to use our pace.
One team did not turn up so we got the chance to watch a couple of games before we were called upon – interestingly both teams we observed seemed to want to crash it up the middle, a small pitch yes but this was not looking much like sevens so far although Stratford looked useful and had a couple of danger men out wide.
Moseley 65 – 0 Shipston on Stour
Pre-match all of a sudden the tour buzz was back, you could actually feel it. We started like a train, 2 tries in the space of a minute – Shipston reeling from the off. Then another couple of tries.
The pack was working hard to get quick ball for a back line with pace to burn, the pattern of play established, break-down, rapid ball from Arran to Hugh to Nathan on the wide outside. Dec and Oshian completing a back division that worked really well together and were rock solid in defence and ever threatening in attack.
The front row of Josh, Ben and Ed (back in his old position and thanks for stepping up there) plus a second row of Will H and Rob were all over the park creating lots of quick ball. Seven tries to nil at half time was almost too good to be true, was there any way back for Shipston?
We rang the changes at half time, on came Pablo, Henry, Callum, Danny and Alex Gissen - no weaknesses there. We continued to run riot in the second half and great to see Danny score a well worked try with Hugh almost scoring at will and Nathan in on the act. Performance marred slightly by a nasty clash of heads between Callum and Oshian that saw Callum off to hospital and Oshian spend most of the rest of the day in the St John’s Ambulance. Callum’s season over – he has been strong all year and get well soon, Oshian will return next week but down to 13 for the rest of the day.
A marker set – the crowd went slightly quiet
Moseley 5 -0 Bromsgrove
This game was a test of character, Bromsgrove had lost to us a couple of weeks earlier at 15 a side and were missing a few of their key players, we knew at full complement they were a force to be reckoned with. A hugely physical game saw our ball being slowed down at the breakdown by strong mauling from Bromsgrove and our jackalling game frustrated with Will H, Rob and Ed all over the breakdown but failing to secure seemingly clear penalties, no matter we soldiered on and worked a tight blindside to set Arran free to score what would be a crucial try.
Second half saw a battle develop with no quarter given, Moseley attacked the Bromsgrove try line, could we secure the vital score? No, penalty Bromsgrove and pressure piled on and on with Bromsgrove camped near our line, we held out to secure a well-earned victory in a close game.
Essentially the final
Moseley 5 - 0 Stratford
Stratford under 13s, unbeaten in 3 seasons at home, unbeaten since under 7s at all until last season – clearly a force to be reckoned with and their dander up after wins against Bromsgrove and Shipston. What could our boys do against the odds away from home in front of what can only be described as a “hostile” crowd.
This turned out to be one of the most physical games of rugby seen at this level by most of parents and coaches. Truly heroic performances from our boys – we agreed beforehand that the full squad would play a part in this match, only changes at half time allowed other than for injury but squad spirit was immense. The game was basically a massive physical contest – Stratford time and time again stepping inside to take on our defence, time and time again we hammered them back. Moseley trying to create that quick ruck ball – an opening at last, turnover ball from the forwards fed left from Pablo to Hugh to Nathan, an inch of space and away to outpace the cover and score.
The rest of the game went in a blur – Henry’s slick passing game and heroic defence thwarted with a blood injury, replaced by Arran. Nathan bleeding profusely from a nose injury but staying on to continue to worry the opposition – we could hear them talking about the threat he posed. Alex Gissen had a massive first half showing real physical presence in the tackle and scrum, leaving the fray to allow Rob Poole to come on and continue where he left off in games 1 and 2, tackling anything and everything that moved.
Pablo had a huge first half too with his tackling and ball distribution – he retired to allow Danny to come on and work his stepping game and bravery in the tackle. Josh Rayment was immense all day perhaps borne out by the amount of abuse directed at him from the sidelines following very robust (but not overly so) play. Ben Moore everywhere, tackling and carrying with pace (yes he is a centre at school but never complains about being picked as hooker for Mose), Ed Pracy started in the second row and moved up to prop at half time – carried with purpose all day and pace and made his by now trademark cover defence tackles.
Will Handy led the side with a cool head all day and dealt with some difficult circumstances on the pitch in the face of hostility – in this game surely the best performance he has delivered in a Moseley shirt, all over the park refusing to take a backwards step. Arran strong as ever at the breakdown and looking for gaps off the base to repeatedly test the opposition. Hugh back to his best, fast feet and a step to die for, Big Dec returning to the side after a few weeks out and smashing everything in front of him.
We ground on – moving the ball left, an overlap but in the heat of the moment wasted. Stratford pounded away down the inside channel, no way through there against our defence and in truth they never got within ten metres of our line. Time stood still, WH checked with the referee, last play and Moseley scrum – secure but going back so picked by Arran, recycle to Hugh to kick the ball back out. Victory!!!!
Awesome effort – the lads did Moseley Rugby proud. Squad spirit, playing for each other and the injured lads, Oshian recovered to collect the trophy and the glory, best wishes to Callum for a speedy recovery.
On we go to our last festival of the season, let’s keep this spirit intact as we add the rest of our regular 22 for the 15 a side game
1 Josh Rayment 2 Ben Moore 3 Ed Pracy 4 Will Handy (capt) 5 Rob Poole 6 Arran Kingston 7 Hugh Parker 8 Nathan Light 9 Dec O’Brien 10 Oshian Payne 11 Pablo Allen 12 Danny Everill 13 Callum Maurice 14 Henry Horton 15 Alex Gissen
Chris, James and Paul
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