Team: Callum, Evan, Ewan, Harry BB, Harry S, Jack, Laurie, Leo, Matthew and Seva.
Without doubt, the conditions brought about by storm Ciara were going to play a significant part in the game today and would test the physical as well as mental abilities of the team, not to mention the resilience of all parents, friends, siblings and supporters on the sidelines.
The windy, wet and cold conditions can sometimes put players off, but that certainly wasn’t the impression given by either team. The pre match warm up and team talk probably helped focus their minds a bit, as Coach Mark talked about the need to show determination and resilience even in the unusually windy conditions.
It clearly wasn’t going to be a day for expansive rugby, with lots of intricate passing.
The conditions favoured a much more attritional style, but that didn’t stop us trying to play our usual brand of creative, passing rugby, even if we did have to rely on recycling the ball well through what felt like ruck, after ruck, after ruck.
On the whole, both teams did really well when they had the ball, with perhaps Leicester Lions slightly more competitive at the ruck. But that didn’t stop us taking advantage of the space afforded to us by a slightly longer and wider pitch than usual. We certainly exploited the space on two or three occasions to score.
Encouragingly, we also stood strong in defence when under quite a lot of pressure from an aggressive, hard working and well organised Lions team.
Even though we were guilty of having a few too many players in the ruck on occasion, something that was picked up by the referee, we still managed to organise ourselves quickly enough to prevent them from gaining too much of an advantage.
We also showed some good learning, as one of our tries was scored through great work by the team to dig the ball out at the try line, to then pass it to an oncoming player who ran onto the ball from a good angle.
On the whole, great job in quite rubbish conditions. And everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
Stand out players this week for me were Evan because of his relentless defensive efforts and for being strong in the tackle, together with Ewan who showed how difficult he is to stop when he shows his determination, strength and direct running abilities.