U10s report from the King's A Festival (6 October)

Wimbledon vs Old Reigatians
OR had just been beaten 3-0 by Kings A and were looking for a chance to redeem themselves. It was interesting to hear Old Reigations referring to their Thursday night positions/drills!

OR kicked off and ran straight into a tackle from George, which was then ripped out by Tom. A good start. However, we kept losing the ball by running into contact ball first, and then being slower to ruck over than the opposition. We were on the backfoot for long periods, which gave us a chance to put the tackling practice into action. Wave after wave of OR attack were thwarted by tackles across the pitch from everyone, particularly George,Ollie and Harry. From our tackling we won a scrum, but OR turned it over by driving us off the ball, the ball came out and OR broke away for a TRY.

From the restart, our centres of Freddie and Ethan drove up the middle, but OR we're strong in defence and we didn't manage to get the ball out wide. OR turned it over and were running straight and offloading in the tackle. Otto made a break down the wing, but was adjudged just into touch for an OR line out, which they knocked on. Wimbledon lost the ensuing scrum, driven off the ball. We defended well again with tackles from Freddie, Ollie, Tom, Nick, Lucas, George, Casper, Otto and Ethan! However, after a high tackle from Wimbledon, OR broke away and scored a TRY just before half time. Half time: OR 2-0 Wimbledon.

After a few half time changes, and some words of encouragement about the positives i.e tackling, OR kicked off and ran straight through Wimbledon's missed tackles and scored an easy TRY!

The rest of the half was much tighter, with some great rucking and tacking by Andrew in particular. Edward surged down the middle, supported by Andrew's rucking. We won and retained a scrum, but we continued to run straight into the OR defence, and losing the ball before we passed it out wide. OR broke down the wing, looking certain to score, but Freddie J managed to grab a handful of shirt and we won the ball back. The other Freddie (big) made another crunching run through the middle, but was smothered out by OR. After Wimbledon were penalised for being offside, our concentration lapsed, we didn't close the gap between the offensive and defensive lines and let OR run straight at us...TRY OR.

From the restart, the ball came out to Casper who darted for the line, but was hit by a few OR defenders... Casper was injured and the final whistle blew. Full time: OR 4-0 Wimbledon.

Unfortunately, Casper's injury to his ankle was serious and had to head off to casualty to get it checked out. So not only were we down one of our best players, but also without a head coach and ref!

At this point all responsibility fell on the poor dad, who signed up two weeks ago to help out a bit on a Sunday....Me! Match reports weren't top of the priority list, as you'll see!

Wimbledon v KCS A

Kings graciously gave us 5 mins to scramble a plan and team sheet together, as we were straight on after the last match and loss of player and coach.

We started understandably disorganised and Kings ran straight through 3 missed tackled and scored, TRY. We Continued to try and muscle our way through the middle, but Kings were solid and we were turned over, and on the back foot regularly. TRY to Kings. There were a couple of highlights in terms of runs from Andrew and Lucas, but the first half finished 2-0. We were a bit more organised in the second half, but much of the same i.e GREAT defence, but the ball rarely left the hands of the forwards and centres! Final score Full time: KCS 4-0 Wimbledon.

We had a 30 minute break, so we managed to get more organised. To everyone's relief, Stef also joined us from the younger age groups and took charge of the set pieces.

Wimbledon v Brighton
As Stef put it, "these are a bunch of big units, so we need to hit them low"!

It was a pretty even match, and Brighton got the first score. However, we were faster than them and finally broke through for a big Freddie TRY! Full time: Final score 1-1.

Wimbledon Wimbledon Warriors
This is a match we should have won. We had better players, but positionally we were literally all over the place. (at times we had 6 centres!) a good breakaway from Ollie, who offloaded to big Freddie (I think?) for our only TRY. Full time: Final score 1-1.

As I gave out the medals, a nice touch from the boys as I held out one for Casper, a ramble of applause and best wishes for their teammate.

Overall, we improved as we went on, and tackling was good again. Areas to improve would be: POSITIONS and organisation (knowing where they should be at set pieces, mauls, rucks etc.), committing player and PASSING, RUCKING (we missed Evan today) and SCRUM (we were driven off the ball almost every game today).