Clifton U13's Traval North to play our friends Old Patesians
The half backs match reports.
Scrum half Charlie Matthews has the ball
Commenced warm up with a really positive and energetic squad - having the last week-end off certainly paid off with an endless supply of energy and testosterone waiting to be released on the opposition - Old Pats.
Not to mention the Clifton hard-core Mums & Dads away supporters....so much energy and encouragement!
Kick off 10.30. Wow what an energetic start
OP kicked off - Josh caught the ball and paced it at the defence like a charging horse looking for a gaps in the defence.
The ball was efficiently passed through the centres hands straight to Isaac who paced it around their wingers and scored the first try within the first 4 minutes.
What an brilliant moral booster for the team and complete shock for OP - Ha!
Next Speedy caught the ball and locked in one of their wingers to give Wesley space down the side line. The moment Wesley received the ball he took off like a propelled rocket gained precious ground down the side line at the same time handing-off OP blondie sending him to the ground. Wes was taken down but only after gaining a tremendous 20 metres.
Scrum down to OP but our incredible forwards powered through their scrum like a hot knife through butter that gave us possession as Charlie sent the ball away from the scrum, Isaac was perfectly set-up to score another try by running around OPs defence. 10.36.
Speedy caught the ball with style with Archie in full support - play continued with Wesley once again sprinting like an Olympian down the wing in full control and then off loaded to Rowen who smashed into the OP forwards creating a ruck which Charlie passed a left hander to Isaac who was heading towards a taller position player than himself (is that possible?) so a chip of the ball over the players head which led to a third try. 10.37.
Clearly OPs were disappointed with their defence so it was their turn to try and shine. Clifton were on the 22 when the OP's forwards charged at Clifton. Junior munched the charger with ease to make a counter ruck by Rowan and Josh binding together like an unstoppable steam train. Charlie passed the ball to Ben who drew two OPs players to make space for our centre and wingers and passed to Wes who sadly was laid into touch.
Scrum on OPs 5m line - OPs scrum. Mathew, Albert, big Josh, Rowan, Philip and Junior smashed the scrum with Tom throwing the ball with great precision to Isaac who zipped it to Wesley for a great open try. Awesome team play.
OPs needed to reform and take measures and they were 4 tries down.
Then the weather turned with the clouds getting darker which meant it was going to rain - and it did!. With the ball being wet we needed to step up our game and focus on precise passing.
Second half was started with our fly-half Tom kicking a high long ball to OPs. Jake flew like a hot bullet to make the first tackle of the second half. A ruck was formed by our forwards which gave Clifton once again possession.
Charlie passed the ball to Josh who spotted a space down the wing as sped like there was no tomorrow supported by Jake who was sent into touch.
OPs then found the opportunity to score a try by side stepping from our 22 to the try line. 11.20.
Pressure was on - Charlie passed the ball to Rowan, Clifton forwards charging and shouting to set up the dummy with Rowan passing it to Charlie who then passed it our fly half Tom who efficiently passed it away from the OPs forwards - text book dummy - giving our coaches Les and James another proud moment.
Shortly afterwards OPs scored their second try by legging it down the touchline. The opposition desperately wanted more possession but were not hungry enough. Clifton clearly had more energy and were going to get that ball!
Clifton was on the half way line with a ruck, Charlie passed the ball the Isaac on blind side who then took the opportunity to run round OPs blind side player and galloped towards the touch line only to see his green fluorescent rugger boots fading into the distance.
Scrum on our 22 - our backs were all set as Tom passed the ball with ease to Isaac who was supported by the rest of the Clifton Backs as he zoomed down the wing to put the ball down over the line.
With only 4 minutes remaining on the clock we held our offence well creating a barrier and then out of nowhere big Josh passed the ball to ever enthusiastic opportunistic Josh who charged down the side line to score a well deserve final try......the whistle blew - end of play.
Final score 35/10.
Great play - huge team effort - on fire - great communication.
Happy Christmas to you all - Bring it on...!
Written by Charlie Mathews
Charlie passes out to Fly Half Tom Murray.
On the cold, wet morning of 17th December, the Clifton U13 team travelled up to Cheltenham for their first match in the top Gloucester Cup pool. The Clifton team were set to meet the talented Old Pats side who in the early season had given the Clifton away team a tough game ending in a draw. Although the weather was grey it did not take away from the great morning of rugby.
A short warm up blew away the cobwebs after which, Captain Josh Schrijver won the toss electing to receive. The first few minutes were tight neither side scoring. Clifton were the first side to break the ice and a great run from Issac lead to the first points which put Clifton on the front foot.
Followed by another team try, a cross field kick superbly regained by Wes was turned into a great passage of offloading before a chip and chase from Isaac finished the great phase.
The next try was set up by some fantastic forwards play from Ben, Archie, Rohan, Philip, Josh S and Junior who won a scrum against the head, allowing the backs to attack the Pats rush defence and dot down in the corner.
After 25 minutes of tuff rugby the half-time whistle blew with the score 20-0 to Clifton.
The first second-half points were scored under the posts by Isaac. Some more great work in the ruck allowed Charlie Mathews to snipe and pass the ball to Isaac who promptly dived over the line and scored.
Another tight spell was soon followed by a positional change for the away team.
A moment’s lapse deep into the second half was quickly followed by a Pats counter attack making the score 25-5. After which, a great weaving run from the Patesian centre put the Cheltenham team back in the game.
In the dying minutes of the game, Josh H used his turn of pace in an a beautiful arcing run to beat 3 covering defenders and score Clifton’s final try and finish the job for the away team.
In the end, the final score of 35-10 reflected the game quite well with the Clifton team coming out on top. Credit to the Pats team for their fight and spirit and to the ref for a balanced game too.
Special mentions to the forwards for their hard graft up front and to Speedy for his unsung work in the backline. Also to Jake for his fantastic tackle on their giant!!! Overall, a great team performance!
On a festive note. The boys would like to wish all the Coaches (James, Les and Hills) a Merry Christmas!
Written by Tom Murray