Kettering vs OWRFC U9s 16.12.2018

Our final game of 2018 saw us travel down the A14 to Kettering.

As we arrived, we soon realised that our opposition U9s were very strong in number, with a rough count showing that they had over 20 players. They were warming up hard even before we’d managed to muster a handful of players ourselves. With one or two players short of a starting line-up things weren’t looking promising for us, though things soon improved. Because of the size and location of the playing space at Kettering it turned out that most of our team had struggled to locate the pitches we were allocated.

We joined in with the warm up organised by the Kettering coaches, which was a great way to get everyone together from the start. I’m sure there was a bit of ‘sizing up’ taking place, which isn’t such a bad thing before the start of the matches as it gives everyone a chance to get a feel for what and sometimes who they might be up against.

Our identity this season so far has been shaped by trying to keep the ball in hand, to go forwards and backwards as a group, and to keep the pressure and support up together. On this occasion in particular Head Coach Mark was especially keen to make sure that we kept the ball as dry as we could and off the floor. And when we did inevitably end up going to ground, Mark was keen for the team to pop the ball up quickly where possible or for the scrum half to come in swiftly at the ruck.

After borrowing a player from Kettering, it turned out we were able to field a couple of teams ourselves. And neither team let themselves down. They did everything that was asked of them, against a Kettering team who had apparently showed good form recently coming into this final match. The tackling was intense, with exactly the support in defence and attack that was asked for at the start, as well as some really impressive passing up and down the line. What was really pleasing to see was that some players who might have previously been overshadowed by others in the team really came to the fore. We competed well in all the matches, and even though we know the score doesn’t really count, I’m pretty certain we came out on top in most of the matches.

Overall, the promise and creativity of the team really shone through which bodes well for the U9s in 2019 and beyond.


Andrew Shilliam