Match Report 03.10.2021

Match Report 03.10.2021: Mellish RFC 29 (5*) – 78 (12*) Wyggs-Lions
(*denotes number of tries scored)

After an early start and long travel time to a far-off club no one had heard of, the gathered players, coaches, and parents were unsure of what was to unfold during the morning. A biting wind whistled across the exposed playing fields, requiring the first official unveiling of winter woollens amongst the spectators now that autumn had truly arrived. Clouds gave way to sunshine as warm-up routines finished and the players lined-up for the kick-off, Mellish opting to take advantage of the slope, and fielding a number of their U15 players to bolster their numbers.

However, it was Lions who fizzed first, Ziggy scoring a brace in quick succession to lay down the marker and announce that Leicester had arrived in Nottinghamshire. His second try of particular note as he darted unchallenged through acres of space down the centre, a prior series of rucks committing bodies from both sides and opening-up territory to take advantage of. Sam Hall had brought his kicking boots and began to make the difference count on the scoreboard. A series of line outs finished with Alfie scoring a try before Mellish managed to get on the scoreboard due to some poor Wyggs-Lions tackling. Alfie scored his second try at the close of the quarter and Wyggs-Lions had already seemed to open up an unassailable lead, 5 – 26.

Finn Lawrence was soon on the scoreboard in the second quarter, benefiting from some heads-up rugby as James opted for the blind-side from a ruck. Sam Hall again on-hand to add the extra points. A passage of determined tackling, Jacob Grieff particularly exemplary, held Mellish at bay for a while but Wyggs-Lions were unable to sustain the pressure for too long. Territory, pressure, and some good decision-making were rewarded with 3 unanswered tries. Unable to convert with the same consistency as Wyggs-Lions meant the scoreline remained a healthy 22-33 despite some cause of concern.

A switch of ends saw the 3rd quarter redress the scoring balance in Wyggs-Lions favour, now having the slope to their advantage too. Logan was first to add to the scoreboard, followed by William, a delightful take by Toby Cox at a maul, through the hands of Sam Hall, before he was able to barrel over. Tristan was unlucky to be rewarded for his sharp running, being robustly taken into touch by the Mellish fullback last man. Toby Cox got himself on the scoresheet, being quickest to react as Mellish fumbled from their own scrum, Sam Hall duly converted. The sight of Alfie charging downfield with several Mellish players clinging on drew particular pleasure from the watching parents. The quarter was finished-off with William pouncing on a loose ball, peeling round the still-formed maul, and able to strongly pile over the line. 22-59 with one quarter to play.

Errors and missed tackles again allowed Mellish to score and convert, but their tails were down and, as their substitutes reduced the average player height still further, there was fear in the eyes across the team. Tristan was rewarded for his persistent effort by a scorching try, Alfie completed his hat trick with a repeat charge down the centre, and Tristan scored the final try at the death, with support cover provided by Amman, Sam Hall unlucky not to convert as his attempt rattled the paint off the upright.

Despite an imperfect performance, two victories in succession, the welcome return of certain team members, and some great performances across the board, should provide the momentum and confidence into the next fixture for this group of players.

Andy Sobek
U14 Team Manager