U11 Rugby v Ardvreck
Wednesday 22 November
On possibly one of the wettest days this year we were to play Ardvrek School, here in the Borders. Fortunately, there were no cancelations, bar the six a side 2nd XV fixture, so it was down to business for the 1sts, both U11 sides and U9 sides.
Ardvrek have made massive progress this year and have come together to form a very capable side, offering a significant physical presence at rucks and running with great strength whilst in offense. Furthermore, their tackling is very consistent and impressive, being able to close down our ball carriers quickly and efficiently. Also with Mr Harvey refereeing (to which I am eternally grateful), it was set to be a great game.
Despite the weather, a constant drizzle of rain and the pitch almost being a mud bath, there were few handling errors, and the first half was a close affair. Due to my current state (a moderate to bad concussion), I find it difficult to recall specific moments, though, I will do my best to convey the general ebb and flow of the game in this match report.
I think Ardvrek started with the kick off and made some very good progress, moving forwards into our boys, playing a tight punchy forward style game. They were effective at the breakdown and presented well providing quick ball for the next boy to rocket in, aiming to suck in the St Mary’s defence. However, our wingers stayed firm and marked the last man, which was effective at containing the breakdown area to a rather small space. There was a turnover at some point and our lads got their hands on the ball. Our big units, Henry, Stewart, Ed and Tristan had a great impact, moving forward displaying neat footwork before the contact to draw in men. Throughout the match, these lads were the backbone of our team, putting in the hard work, rucking, tackling and providing a strength and confidence in the centre of the pitch. Mitchell was always on hand at the breakdown to fire out some “bullets” to John at 10, who made some outstanding calls and carries, whilst making some beautiful tackles. He was also in command of a very quick and clinical back line. I think it was Ollie who scored first, displaying his lightning pace on the wing, avoiding tackles and turning on the NOS to score in the corner. Josh scored next showing off his formidable step, touching down in the bottom left corner. John T was on the hunt for the screamer but it didn’t come, despite this his tackling was on the money and the threat of his pace was constant. It was John T who made the juicy offload that enabled Ollie to score.
Ardvrek snaffled up a lovely try at the end of the first half! Carving up through the middle, their lad pushed through and scored!
The second half was a scrappier affair with many more infringements. It was also very close, and the contest at the breakdown and scrums was really exciting. Every lad on that pitch was putting in a great shift! Ollie snaffled up a second, and the lads continued to impress me with their skills. I remember Ardvrek had us in our own five a few times and managed to score again, a very impressive team try. Geordie was on form, a massive presence on the pitch, he was at every breakdown, making ample runs forward and making some juicy passes, spreading the ball and creating play. We managed to push Ardvrek back from our five, to theirs in the last two minutes. Where Tristan sniped a really healthy try from the ruck. A tight line, a dummy pass and he was through.
A super game, which was really enjoyable to watch. Two great teams playing some top standard Prep school rugby! Well done to all the boys, coaches and spectators for braving the weather. But finally a massive thanks to Mr Harvey for stepping in and refereeing on my behalf.