A good start but a harder finish for NMRFC's u14s
First match of the season ends in defeat
So, after a couple of weeks training, the u14s had their first fixture of the season at home against Southwell
With the move to a full 15 a side this season, it was great to see a squad of 19 playears available on the day, including our two newest players, Georgie and Aaron.
The starting XV were:
Front row: Ethan, Elliott and Aaron
Second row: Zidane and Finn
Back row: Leo, Conner and Nathan
Scrum half: Henri B
Fly half: Harry
Wings: James and Billy
Centres: Tom (c) and Noah
Full back: Rouwan
Replacements: Henry P, Sam, Thomas and Georgie
Having won the toss, Moderns received the ball, but faced a half with the wind in their faces. As a result, it was important to move the ball through the hands. After a few loose passes, the boys started moving the ball around and worked their way out of the half. Conner got the ball in midfield off a pass from Henry B, broke through the line and, in spite of some committed chasing, he managed to run half a pitch to score the first try under the posts. With a missed conversion, Moderns were leading 5-0.
Moderns received the ball from the kick off, but, with competition fierce at the breakdown, the ball was turned over. In spite of this, the boys applied pressure to Southwell's back, forcing them into quick passes and eventually a dropped ball. After a series of passes through the forwards and the backs, Nathan broke free and repeated Conner's run from earlier, albeit scoring a try to the right hand side of the posts. Once again, the conversion was missed, but Moderns led 10-0
From the restart, Southwell managed to turn the pressure onto Moderns and this time forced a turnover at the breakdown. The ball made it along their back line and their no15 managed to squeeze in between James and the flag to score Southwell's first try. They also failed to convert, so the score was 10-5
For the remainder of the first half, Moderns moved the ball well from the scrum, mainly with Nathan and Conner picking and running. Whilst the use of the backs was limited, the boys managed to get the ball through the hands to Rouwan who broke round the outside to score Moderns'third try. Score 15-5
Southwell then managed to force the turnover again in the breakdown and scored their second try under the posts. With the conversion made, the score was 15-12
The first half finished similar to the start with Conner breaking 4-5 tackles to run in from halfway. Half time score: Moderns 20, Southwell 12
The second half was a tale of fitness, handling, pressure and organisation. Unfortunately, Moderns suffered a little from fitness (as it was the first game of the season) and were a bit disorganised in defence, with holes appearing and a few tackles missed. In addition, Southwell's kicker was pretty good. In the end, Moderns didn't manage to score in the second half whilst Southwell managed 5 tries and 4 conversions to run out convincing winners by 45 points to 20.
There were lots of positives from today, particularly when the boys put Southwell under pressure. The scrum held firm and we made some great breaks. With more use of the space available (by passing the ball and running into space) and a bit more organisation in defence, this would have been a closer match
Next week, we have our first NLD match away at Lincoln, so this was a good opportunity to get match ready for that match
Well done boys