Category: Colts Match Report

Stockwood Park Colts vs Milton Keynes Colts

It was good to get back to playing a game today it seems an age since we last played. It was a cold but sunny day and the pitch to the most part was not waterlogged, just the sides and behind the posts!

Our opponents today were Milton Keynes who turned up with 13 players, so the game was played without flankers. Stockwood appeared a little rusty to begin with and the first few phases were plagued with handling errors. Once the boys had woken up they started to press the Milton Keynes line and after as sustained period of pressure Stockwood formed a ruck on the 5 metre line from which Dan Spain broke away to run in his first try of the season in the left hand corner, Kieran was really unlucky with the attempted conversion as the wind held it up and it fell agonisingly short of the posts.

Stockwood Park continued to press and whereas the forwards made the first try it was turn of the backs and our very own speedster, Paulius who received the ball on the wing and showed a clean pair of heels to Milton Keynes defence to score the first of his three tries under the posts, a score that was successfully converted by Kieran, who was to have a great kicking game.

Stockwood continued to dominate and a powerful run from Mark, who was finally brought down by about five Milton Keynes players, which resulted in a Stockwood scrum on the halfway line. After a lovely dummy pass from Max to Jordan, Milton Keynes totally wrong footed and Jordan proved to strong and broke several tackles before scoring underneath the posts, a try that once again was successfully converted by Kieran to give Stockwood a 19 to nil lead.

This score seemed to bring a response from Milton Keynes who used the power of their forwards to bully their way over Stockwood’s try line, making the first half score 19 points to 5 in favour of Stockwood.

Stockwood started the second half in the same vain to how they played the first and once again a quick ball out of the scrum and a succession of passes culminated in Jordan receiving the ball on the left. Once again, he proved too strong for Milton Keynes defence and he cut back in to score between the posts and Kieran scored a third conversion.

Neither side was able to take control over the next few phases, that was until a moment of brilliance by Kieran as he kicked a ball high into the air. Both Paulius and Jordan chased the ball and the Milton Keynes full back knocked the ball forward whilst under extreme pressure. From the resulting scrum Dan L, playing as No.8, picked the ball up and ran straight through the Milton Keynes back line to score and Kieran converted to make the score 33 points to 5. Not to be outdone by the forwards the backs struck next with a strong individual run by Max giving Stockwood a 33-point lead.

However, Milton Keynes were not done and the next passage of play, saw them camped on Stockwood’s 5 metre line. Whereas, prior to this passage of play Stockwood had showed their attacking strengths they were now showing how good they were in defence, but the power of the Milton Keynes forwards finally went over for their second try of the day.

With our opponents now tiring the speed of our backs proved too much for Milton Keynes with Paulius running in a further two tries to complete his hattrick and to add insult to injury Mark kicked a conversion. Milton Keynes did, however, have the last say as they ran over their third try of the afternoon, making the final score 50 points to 15 points to Stockwood Park.

After the disappointment of losing to Leighton Buzzard the Colts did themselves proud. They were too strong for Milton Keynes in every area of the pitch and considering they had not played a competitive game for a few weeks the whole team excelled.

Leighton Buzzard Colts versus SPRFC Colts

What a difference a week makes! Sixteen players arrived at out hosts for the cup semi-final and by the state of the pitch we could tell the boys were in for a hard day at the office. If we thought there was a slope at Barnet last week the pitch today had an even greater slope.

Leighton Buzzard were a big, strong and well drilled team and Stockwood would have to bring their ‘A’ game to stand a chance. Leighton Buzzard, playing the first half downhill, started off strongly and this together with a number of handling errors and mistakes from Stockwood led to them running in two tries, one of which was converted, within the first 15 minutes.

I heard Leighton Buzzard shouting that ‘our boys heads were down’, little did they know about Stockwood’s fighting spirit. For the first time in the game our forwards actually put some pressure on the Leighton Buzzard defence and after a number of phases we found ourselves forming a ruck in our opponents 5 metres. A quick ball from Will to Mark, a combination that had worked so well last week, led to Stockwood scoring their first try which Jordan successfully converted to make the score 12 points to 7 in favour of Leighton Buzzard.

However, our hosts continued to put pressure on the Stockwood defence and the errors crept back into their game. Leighton Buzzard finished the half in the ascendancy running over two further tries, although they were starting to show signs of indiscipline and finished the half with 14 players on the pitch. The ref blew up for the end of the first half with our hosts winning by 22 points to 7.

The second half started and Stockwood started strongly and exposed Leighton Buzzard’s poor discipline. Whereas Stockwood’s first try was scored through the forwards the second was created by good play by the backs, a move that ended with Paulius receiving the ball on the halfway line and running past Leighton Buzzard’s defence to score the first of two tries between the posts. Kieran converted the try to narrow the score to 8 points.

Unfortunately, Stockwood were unable to capitalise on this momentum as the errors once again were to prove their downfall. The next score went to Leighton Buzzard as their forwards powered their way over the try line to make the score 29 points to 14, after a successful conversion. A moment of individual genius by Kieran as he chased down his own kick over the Leighton Buzzard’s defence to reduce the deficit to just 10 points.

As before Stockwood once again were unable to put their stamp on the game and Leighton Buzzard extended their lead by 12 points with two more tries and a conversion, although Steven is convinced he held one of their tries up!!
Although beaten, Stockwood had the last say of the game as Joe L broke through the Leighton Buzzard line and a superb offload led to Paulius scoring his second try of the game and Kieran getting his second conversion. This was to prove the final action of the day as the ref blew up for full time and a loss for Stockwood by 41 points to 26.

Although it was a disappointing result and I know the boys felt after the game that they hadn’t done themselves justice they shouldn’t beat themselves up too much. They once again proved that they have a never say die attitude but there were too many occasions when they set up good positions only to give the ball away cheaply to Leighton Buzzard.

Barnet Elizabethans vs Colts

Today’s game was against a side we had played a number of times so we knew we were in for a tough day. Kick off was delayed for 40 minutes as Barnet only had one playable pitch and their under 16’s had a game before the Colts were let loose. A quick mention to Rob who made his debut for Stockwood today – what a baptism of fire!

Stockwood would play into the wind and attack slightly up hill in the first half. Barnet seemed to cope better with the delay than Stockwood as they dominated from the first minute. Barnet are a strong well drilled team and Stockwood had to show all of their defensive qualities as they frustrated the Barnet players for the first 10 minutes, culminating in a number of Stockwood players holding the ball up to prevent at least two tries. Barnet were eventually rewarded for the pressure when one of their forwards broke the line and slipped two tackles before scoring underneath the posts, a try that was duly converted to give our hosts an early 7 point lead.

Barnet continued to dominate the early exchanges as Stockwood struggled to make any impression on the game. Barnet added to their score shortly after as Stockwood once again gave possession to our hosts cheaply to go 14:0 up. Unfortunately. Barnet were not finished and a good passage of play between the Barnet backs on the right wing led to Barnet’s third try of the game.

A 19 point deficit seemed to wake the boys up and they started to compete for the ball, something they had failed to do for the first 25 minutes of the game. In fact, Stockwood scored a try with their first flurry into Barnet’s half as Jordan broke through the Barnet defensive line to score. Jordan then successfully converted his own try to reduce the deficit to 12 points. Stockwood continued to press Barnet’s lines for the final minutes of the first half before the referee blew for half time with Barnet leading by 19 points to 7.

The old cliché of “a game of two halves” would never be truer than today as Barnet started the second half off playing into the wind. The roles were totally reversed as it was Stockwood’s turn to dominate the early exchanges and after a sustained period of pressure and a quick offload from a ruck led to Mark scoring Stockwood’s second try of the afternoon. A try that was once again converted by Jordan to reduce the gap to a single score!

Both defences controlled the next passage of play with neither side managing to maintain any grip on the game. That was until Jordan once again broke away to score his second try and third conversion of the day to give Stockwood a narrow 21 to 19 points lead. A lead that Stockwood wouldn’t hold for very long as our hosts’ in one of the rare times they broke into Stockwood’s 22 scored their fourth try of the afternoon to give them a three point lead going into the last seven minutes.

Stockwood were not done and you could tell they believed they could win and was it not for a last ditch tap tackle Paulius would have surely scored as he broke down the left wing. Not deterred by this Stockwood continued to press the Barnet lines and after a sustained period of pressure were awarded a freekick within Barnet’s 22. The cries from the touchline was for Jordan to take the penalty and kick to level the score but he had other ideas as he ran at Barnet’s defence. A number of phases and some good defence by Barnet led to Stockwood having a ruck just under the posts on Barnet’s line and once again it was Mark who carried the ball over for what was to be the final score of the day.

After a couple of final phases and a break in play to deal with an injury to Eoin the ref blew the final whistle which meant from 19:0 down Stockwood had come back to win 26 points to 24 points.

I think I speak for all of the coaches and parents when I say how immensely proud we are of the whole team – the way they didn’t let their heads drop when they conceding 19 points unanswered and the fact we were playing a team that are third in division one of the Herts & Middx League.

SPRFC vs. Milton Keynes Colts

We all turned up to Stockwood today for what was to be a number of the players last game as a junior. Our opponents today were Milton Keynes Colts who came in with a good record having not lost a single game this year. In fact, they narrowly beat us in the reverse fixture earlier in the year!

Stockwood started the game with the wind against them and the way the first half started it appeared Stockwood were in for a tough day at the office and would all have to bring their ‘A’ game. If there were any doubts about the commitment they would show these were quickly quashed and it was after a sustained period of pressure Stockwood made a break down the left wing and after a number of phases Sam broke MKs defences to power over for the first try, a score that was followed up with a successful conversion by Kieran B.

This was to prove the only score of the first half as neither team were able to add any further scores as both sides showed strong defensive displays and neither side was able to break through the lines. With neither side giving an inch the first half ended with Stockwood narrowly leading by 7 points to nil.

If the first half was a close with neither side budging the second half was to prove totally different. This half was totally dominated by the hosts and they put Milton Keynes under pressure from the kick off. With the wind behind them in the second half Stockwood built the pressure on Milton Keynes and after a number of phases in their 22. Stockwood initially tried using their backs to break the MK lines but our visitors were a match for this so the next phases Stockwood used their forwards and this was to prove more successful. After a couple of drives Mark was able to break the MK lines to score to make the score 12:0.

Stockwood spent the next ten minutes pressing but to no avail as Milton Keynes showed the same resiliense they had shown in the first half. Our forwards managed to break the resistance shown and with control at the rucks were able to power over the try line three times. The first of which was scored by Michael, the second scored by Joe and Sam helped himself to his second of the day to make the score 27 points to nil.

Not to be outdone the Stockwood’s backs decided it was their turn to get in on the act. Alfie received the ball on the right wing and showed incredible balance and speed to run past four or five MK players to score making the score 32 points to nil. The next try was probably my favourite of the day, Stockwood controlled a scrum on the half way line which resulted in Max making a typical run towards the opponents line, taking a number of their players out of the game. From the resulting ruck Will passed to Kieran who made a clever chip over the MK defence – a chip that was caught by Jordan who proceeded to rum around MKs defence to score between the posts, a try that was duly converted by Mark!

Even though the match was well and truly won Stockwood were hungry for more and once again put our opponents under pressure in their own half. This pressure led to a handling error and the loose ball being picked up by KT who ran past Milton Keynes defence to make the final score 44 points to nil.

This score-line was more impressive because it was the first time Milton Keynes had been beaten this year but also Stockwood recorded their second clean sheet of the season. It was also really good to see Ollie take to the pitch after the problems he has had this year with his collar bone. Just leaves me to wish the current crop of Colts all the best as the move up to play adult rugby and it has been a pleasure playing alongside them this year.

Stockwood Park Colts versus Old Verulamian Colts

On a cold, overcast Sunday morning 18 lads turned up to face a big Old Verulamian team. Stockwood kicked off and put our opponents under pressure straight away controlling several phases. This early dominance, however, didn’t lead to a score. In fact, it was our opponents who scored first with their first meaningful attack, helped by a few missed tackles, leading to a converted try.
This seemed to be the wake up call we needed and Stockwood controlled the rest of the first half running in four converted tries. The first was scored by Michael after a sustained period of pressure in Verulamian’s half he broke the line from a ruck to score underneath the posts. The next two tries both came from moments of individual brilliance, the first of which was scored by Alin who scooped the ball up following a mistake from our visitors and then ran half the pitch to score underneath the posts. James then showed his pace as he broke through the Verulamian’s line and then there was only going to be one winner to the try line. All three tries were duly converted by Kieran. The next try was more of a team try with some excellent passes leading to the second try of the day for James and a fourth conversion for Kieran.

Stockwood continued to press for more scores in the first half and would have had it not been for a dropped ball following an excellent offload by Joe! The first half finished with Stockwood leading by 28 points to 7.

The second half started and if Stockwood thought that it would go the same way as the first then they were in for a rude awakening. Old Verulamian’s started the stronger and after several phases early on they drove over for their second try, which was quickly followed by a conversion and a third try to close the gap to 11 points – 28 points to 19.
Stockwood Park buckled down after this early scare and were unlucky not to get their fifth try of the day as Luke C broke down the left wing leaving his opposite number in his wake only to be pulled up by the referee who judged that he had stepped into touch. Following this close call Stockwood started a period of dominance and put Old Verulamian’s under pressure – after a number of phases Stockwood controlled a ruck in our opponents 22, Connor claimed the ball and a clever offload allowed Paulius to run over for his first try of the day (no handling errors this time!). A try that Kieran converted to give him his fifth score of the day. This try was quickly followed up by another sustained period of pressure leading to James getting his hattrick with a try in the corner.

This was to prove to the last score of the day as the ref ended the game early as one of Old Verulamian’s players suffered an injury following a tackle. The final score was 40 points to 19 in favour of Stockwood Colts. I thought the whole team were really good today and fully deserved their victory.