Under 11's Barnard Castle Sunday 18th Nov 2018

Bishop Auckland RUFC Under 11’s away v Barnard Castle RUFC
Team: Alex, Alfie W, Aaron, Ben C, Ben G, Charlie, Cody, Declan, Josh, Kyle, Matthew, Mitchell, Oliver, Will
Barnard Castle 20 v Bishop 40
Barnard Castle 5 V Bishop 15
Today we played away against Barnard Castle, a fixture we always look forward to as this is always a close fought contest. I thought we would have a full squad of 16 players today unfortunately Alfie H and James were not available, hopefully for the next fixture we will have that luxury. We had 14 players and our opponents had 10, the pitch conditions were perfect, with a bit of give in the ground and with not much wind, this could be a day of great open rugby.
From the first whistle our opponents tackling was excellent, and their contest in the ruck was fast and furious, we seemed too had fallen back into our old ways of starting slowly and we were losing the rucks on too many occasions. Our support play and some of our tackling in defence by some was far too slow and we were very stand offish from the ball, to many times we were watching rather than pressing the opposition. With the ball in hand however, we worked hard to get the ball wide and use our pace, we used the kick very well at times and with one great cross field kick from our own try line the runner chased this and on the second bounce it fell perfectly into our arms and we scored a great set play try, very pleasing as something we have been working on over the last few weeks. We went in with the scores 15 v 15 at half time, we had a very strong team talk where we explained that we needed to add a lot more urgency and contest into our play. The second half and this was a very different start to the first, we had clearly switched on and taken the team talk in. We were contesting the rucks more intensely and with more numbers, the urgency to move the ball wide. This made us a lot more space and with some unselfish releasing of the ball we made a lot more space which we took advantage of. This theme of play then continued and we were using our width more and more and once we took the lead we would not let this slip. The defensive line was more consistent than before giving us more time to reorganise the defence, this paid off as with a few turnovers of possession we moved the ball wide again and again to gain a hard fought win.
Into the second match and a slightly shorter game than the first as the opposition were starting to feel tired due to only having one substitute. How nice it is for us now to have the luxury of having a large squad which we will really need next season when we move to playing 12 aside. This was a very tight game and the space seemed to become less and less, we did kick well however the chase of the ball seemed to be slower than before. The tackling and rucking continued to be fast and more and more of the team were involved. We had some great individual runs, one from our own try line to the oppositions only to be tackled with metres of the line with no support to pass to! However we had the advantage would not let go we moved the ball down the line time and time again. We also had a few chances where with some more careful passing we had two or three extra men on the overlap to score. We did however hold on and gained another win. The scrumaging and mauls were much improved today along with seeing our first set play come to fruition a very pleasing display of rugby. The opposition coach gave some fantastic comments of how much we had improved as a team in every aspect of the game always pleasing to hear.
Brilliant to see Aaron and Cody make their debuts today and great to see Mitchell and Aaron score their fist try’s for the team, with Cody only metres away from his, which I have no doubt will come along shortly.
Today’s Player of the Week raised his all round game and this goes to Ben Chuter well done Ben.
Thanks as always to our sponsor Jewsons.
Tries were scored by: Aaron 1, Ben C 2, Ben G 2, Charlie 1, Josh 2, Matthew 1, Mitchell 1, and Will 1
Kevin Clark
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