Another Strong Performance by the U16’s

Stockwood U16’s 65 v. 10 St. Neots.

Match Report by Robert Coupland.

Today the boys travelled to St. Neots, a team they have not played before but a good team which was bolstered by some of their colts since the collapse of the St.Neots colts team.

The game, however, was one sided with Alin, Mark and Dan Loft getting 1 try each; Jordan Fadajou and Max getting 2 each and Steven getting four. Max also got 5 conversions.

The important thing which the boys need to remember is not the try scorers names above but that all points are team points and all of the tries scored today were created by the team.

Today’s game had lots of positives, the highlights of those for me were seeing players reaching new heights and some new faces coming to the forefront. This is very refreshing and reassuring for the future.

Mark Smith is running with greater power, faster speed and more confidence than before – bumping the opposition off like skittles. I doubt if there is any prop better in the county with the skills in open play which he has in the locker as well as his power, speed and fitness which improves week in week out with his commitment to a hard training regime. It is a shame he doesn’t have the same commitment to looking after his boots which he neglected to dry and consequently shrunk resulting in him been sidelined due to aching feet. He obviously didn’t learn from the tour to the war museum, where we were informed that soldiers who neglected their feet were put on a charge for self neglect. Maybe the coaches can think of an apt punishment?

Carter Bowes last game ended in him been taken off injured after receiving a heavy blow knocking him to the ground. That certainly wasn’t on his mind today because he came off the bench with a new found confidence . The highlight being an outstanding catch at full back on the run, several good tackles and cameo runs – great contribution.

Connor Nash a new player to the team impressed me with his confidence and ability to take charge and direct the backs. He was at the centre of all the moves put on by Stockwood – obviously going to be a big asset to the team.

I Never knew what a good runner and pair of hands Luke Notman had until today. He played in a different role directed by the coach to run out wide and he was an added threat joining in the back line and assisted in at least a couple of the Stockwood tries.

My favourite moment of the game was a fantastic ankle tap by Raf who showed great desire in preventing an almost certain try.

Like all games there also were plenty of areas for improvement:-

Decision making at times lacked any awareness of field and player position. This became a bigger issue when the game was won and team dynamics got over shadowed by individual glory. The team need to learn when someone scores it’s a credit and five points to the team not the individual.

At times we were still slow to some of the rucks.

Having said that there was a vast improvement in the number of penalties we usually give away to the opposition. The defence was pretty solid and all the other players I haven’t mentioned played really well and contributed as much as anyone else to another emphatic win by Stockwood under 16’s who to be really critical could have inflicted even greater damage and had a clean sheet if they learn to play for the full 70 minutes as a team and not sit back when they are coasting. They are a very good team but to be great they need to be ruthless and always taking the best percentage option and keep reflecting and learning from every game. As well as training hard every week and believing in themselves just how good they are – I believe if they do ,winning all the competitions they enter and winning the league unbeaten will be very much a reality.

Well done again to everyone who played and one last reference to the war. An army marches on its stomach point been the team played the whole game without any water!

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