Against a backdrop of demolition vehicles making short work of areas of Richmond College, the question was who would be left standing from a crowded field in this Land Rover Cup tournament.
[blockquote]Report By : Barry Murphy[/blockquote]
The players for the great green machine arrived with an efficiency of time designed to dodge too much time in the cold but at the same time to get their moves together. First up were Pulborough and after some tough opening minutes the team found a way through to the try line. From then the defensive intensity was impressive with the boys in green pouncing on any error, running in 5 more tries. A great start to the day.
The following game found us up against a very challenging Chobham side. Some early breaks on both sides fell foul of the ” below the badge” hand off rules ( the cries of “two hands on the ball” seem so long ago!) but the deadlock was soon broken with good quick ball from the breakdown moved wide and fast. Both teams looked to be really getting into gear for the day and a 1-1 result was a fair outcome.
Three more pool games followed against Hove, Winchester and the mighty giants of Deal & Batteshanger. All three games saw our U12s play with incredible tenacity in defence. What was even more impressive was the shape that was starting to form in attack. Using the full width of the pitch, backs and forwards were combining to draw defenders and put each others in space. The white line was crossed 11 times in the three games with no tries conceded. There was a 12th on offer when an unselfish pass in the last yard was commendable in its comradeship if not for field of vision with a defender behind the receiver ready to pounce! Of such things are the fun stories for forthcoming tours built.
Topping the group the team then faced a well drilled and talented Guildford side. The pace in the final was frenetic, yet the handling skills from both teams was excellent. With the ball flowing freely tackling accuracy was at a premium and our defensive line was severely pressured but held firm. Gaining territory a period of pressure in the Guildford half yielded what was to be the winning score of the game. The final whistle called an end to a great days rugby, with players smiles a mile wide and a cup lifted high.