1) Fantastic win this weekend – what a game. And my son got the biggest laugh. So proud. Match report below, photos thanks to our own Lord Lichfield, Chris Evans, at http://www.chrisevansphotography.co.uk/p842082691
2) We’re joint top of the league https://gms.rfu.com/Gateway/CompetitionDetail.aspx?GroupID=9690 – stattos can decide how things might pan out
3) Training 9.45 at home for the next two weekends then 3 games back to back to end the competitive season – Sutton, Richmond and lastly Old Ruts
4) It is the U14s Duty rota next Sunday. 5 volunteers from the U14s parents need to arrive by 9.30am and direct parking. Ideally also a couple to help in the kitchen from 10am. These jobs are rewarded with a bacon roll and a coffee. If you do a really good job you don’t have to drink the coffee. If anyone needs instructions please see attached. Please let me know that you’re volunteering asap!
5) A lorry has shipped its cargo of onions on the M25. Police are telling drivers to find a hard shoulder to cry on.
6) TOUR: If we can get twenty players confirmed this week it’s on – otherwise we’ll plan for next year. Details : May Bank Holiday weekend, Camber Sands Festival, est. cost £350 per parent and child. Email interest by return – if I don’t have 20 by COB on Friday we won’t go ahead. Not a threat – just the reality!
All - result confirmation below - we won 22 vs 17 (4 tries to 3). Battersea Ironsides games are often competitive as well as having the some local rivalry. Today's game did not disappoint. Many of the boys knew the opposition and gave a summary of some of their stronger players.
We played down the slope in the first half, slightly with the wind and started well. Battersea responded well and the game settled into a pattern dominated by strong runners and not so strong tackling.
As the first half and our slope advantage came to an end Battersea scored. The boys also started the second half well but Battersea quickly scored through some strong running and poor defence on our part. A quick team talk behind the posts confirmed that the squad knew they needed to do better and put into practice the double tackling on their bigger players and improve their support of the ball carrier. At this point they really stepped-up and all of them put in some strong tackles as well as an improved speed to the ball carriers. This extra energy and determination produced a great game to watch, the squad who had the best of the set pieces, created turnover ball at every opportunity.
I also asked them to all play with more passion and self belief after Battersea drew level and they all responded to score the winning try and then hold on to the lead.
All credit to Battersea they made this a close run contest. Games that are close, played with passion are remembered for longer; the players can all be proud of their performance today and I hope all the supporters enjoyed this performance as much as I did.
Ben VHO was our player of the game, he led from the front and set the pace of the game for everyone to match. Also a mention to Niall, happy birthday.
The players are starting to show what they are capable of when they want to play and we can use this to continue to improve.
Player rotation was challenging today and we need to work on ensuring that players can be confident in playing in more than one position on the pitch. I know that a few players need more game time and I will do my best to even this up over the remaining games.
With thanks to Gwilym - for making the game arrangements, Brian for dealing with the match day admin and James (1st Aid)who was busier than usual - although mostly in helping the opposition players. For those with knocks after the game, I hope these are no too serious. Also to Glyn for his warm-up session with the forwards and being our Touch Judge. (Hopefully Henry will be back training next week).
After a run of away games, we are training at home next Sunday 8 February, 9.45am.
O2 Touch - Sunday 8 February 12.30pm: for those of you that don't know the Club is also an O2 Touch Rugby venue. The next sessions which coincide with the start of the Six Nations start next Sunday at the Club. If any parents (O2 is for men and women) or older siblings would like to join in with these sessions they will start at 12.30pm. Please meet by the top pitch. O2 is a mixture of fitness and fun games as well as some competitive touch rugby. Please bring some trainers with grip or rugby / football boots. If we can raise an U14s O2 Touch Rugby team from all the parents, it would be great to have some games against other age groups towards the end of the Six Nations. The first session is free.