Category: Colts Match Report

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.

Colts & U17 roundup

We’ve not produced a match report for a while but that does not mean to say its all been quiet for these age groups with a roundup of recent games below.

The Colts toured in Spain over the weekend 9-12 February after flying to Alicante on the Friday and then spending good social time in Benidorm on the Saturday watching the 6 nations games and then  travelling to Valencia on the Sunday to play Valencia.     Unbeknown to us the team we were set up to play by the tour company is 3rd in the Spanish national league and top in the Valencia region, the tour company setting us up against their 1st team squad rather than their 2nd team.

With the game also being played on Astroturf it was a reality check for the lads with a quick learning curve, unfortunately adapting too late into the game with the hosts getting a good lead which then proved impossible to reel back in.

Credit to the boys though as in the last quarter we started to get on top with the opposition coach commenting towards the end that if the surface was not astro the result may have read differently.

 

 

 

In all it was a great game well played by both teams with the opposition team proving some fantastic hospitality after the game.

 

 

 

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U17 vs Hitchin
With the U17s playing Hitchin in the weekend following the tour this was a bump back to ‘reality’ and English playing conditions.   With Hitchin getting their nose in front in the beginning and a then tit for tat scoring through the game until the last 15 minutes with Hitchin 26-24 in the lead it looked like Park were in for a loss.  With Park holding their discipline we managed to get on top with two fantastic tries in the closing minutes ending the game 36-26 victors!

 

 

Both of the last 2 tries engineered by ‘BoyBand’ Sibilia who in later weeks was to add to club history by playing with his older brother Giovanni in a 2XV against Welwyn.

 

 

 

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Colts vs Chess Valley
This past weekend saw the Colts take on Chess Valley having suffered defeat in the 1st game of the season to Chess going down 27-10.     The lads were quick off the mark and were quickly 3 tries – 0 in the lead, but with only 15 players and Chess with 22, things began to slow down towards the end of the half with Chess rotating fresh legs on at regular intervals.     With Chess losing a player to a red card just before the end of the half it looked like Park had the game in their gift – it was not to be with tit for tat scoring through the 2nd half until the last 5 minutes with Chess crossing for 2 tries easily getting past some tired legs putting the game out of reach for Park.  No excuses from Park though with Chess getting the upper hand in the last 20 minutes overall.      Even though the result did not go our way this was a ‘cracker’ of a game with some superb play by Park – let’s work on the fitness though lads!

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Colts pull one out the bag

The Colts had a nervous start against against Chesham this afternoon, with the kickoff going astray and the resulting scrum going the way of Chesham resulting in a penalty to Chesham. What followed was a very scrappy 7 minutes of play with Park giving up several penalties ultimately resulting in Chesham crossing for the 1st try of the game around the 8 minute mark. Unsurprising perhaps, given that this was the same side that trounced the Colts 5 weeks previously with a 71-12 result.

However, Park were having none of it and pulled together with every man on the field doing his job resulting in Chesham being starved of the ball and the few times they did get the ball being forced into making rushed decisions. With Park’s pack completely dominating in the scrum and retaining ball at almost every breakdown of play through multiple phases the pressure eventually paid off with Ryan Bull picking up off the back of the pack and getting past 3 defenders to touchdown for Park’s 1st of the day.

Chesham’s 10, our nemesis in the previous game, and the rest of their backs had a busy few minutes with Park’s forwards retaining possession through several phases and then trying to go wide. Chesham were fairly effective in disrupting Park’s back attack but with the pack in the mood for a contest up front possession was retained at each breakdown. Park continued to release wave after wave of attack with Louis Palmer eventually breaking around the outside and then coming back inside to beat several defenders to cross under the posts for Park’s next points.

With Park in the lead 12-5 at the change Chesham looked to the lineout and disrupted Park several times in this area, crossing once at the start of the half. Chesham were not consistent enough to create an issue for Park at the lineout and continued dominance in the scrum and at the breakdown from Park kept Chesham pegged back. It was Sam Tenny in the forwards that crossed for Park’s last of the day after some great phases of play from both the forwards and backs.

The huge effort put in by the pack perhaps started to tell around 8 minutes from the end with Chesham gaining the occasional upper hand in the breakdown. Chesham were quick to use this as a platform to launch several attacks at Park and tried to get around the outside getting into Park’s 25 on a few occasions. Park however maintained their composure and dug in to weather the attack with honours going to Park 19-10 at the close.

A very entertaining game that was a hard fought contest by both teams with impressive play by both backs and forwards from Park.

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Colts knocked out of Beds Cup

Stockwood Park Colts were knocked out of the Beds Cup this morning by Bedford. With Bedford able to field several East Midlands and DPP players and Park only having a squad of 20 fit to play it proved to be a tough day in the office.

With Bedford fielding a significantly heavier set of forwards Park’s front 8 were put to the test and came out on top dominating in most scrums and competing well at the ruck and maul. Lineouts were evenly contested by both teams with no team gaining the upper hand in this area.

Park’s undoing proved to be missed tackles with Bedford rightly taking advantage of any mistake by Park. With Bedford’s large pack clearly well drilled and holding up any Park player that did not have support or go to ground quickly when running into contact a number of turnovers went the way of Bedford. It was these differences between the teams that proved to be Park’s undoing.

With Bedford in the lead at the change over at 15-0 Park kept their heads up but never got enough of an attack going to threaten Bedford who crossed for another 3 in the second half.

A huge effort by Park against a very good team – congratulations to Bedford on the win and good luck to them in the rest of the Cup.

Colts lose in Sunday morning try fest!

On Sunday morning the Colts went down 40 – 45 against Leighton Buzzard in a fast moving and tense game. Buzzard were quick off the mark and showed their early intent by going 2 up in the first 10 minutes of the game with Park looking to have no answer initially. Park however quickly settled and as the game progressed both sides probed the others defences looking for that gap in the defence. Ultimately Park’s discipline let them down with 2 players being yellow carded for high tackles and rash play around the fringes and Buzzard were able to take advantage and keep ahead on the score board. Such was the excitement and pace in the game both sets of coaching staff lost track of the score and had to ask the referee for the final result at the end. A good game of rugby marred by some unnecessary ill-discipline from the squad which ultimately cost us with Buzzard walking away the victors having kept relatively cooler heads.

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Result for Colts at Old Albanians

Video footage from the Colts vs OA B’s game on Sunday. A quick start by the colts to open the scoreboard and then nervous play by both sides with neither giving way to the other in terms of defence. Park’s defence looked solid with any number attempts by OAs to cross being thwarted by a very determined Park defence. In the end it was a pressured kick over the top of OA defence with a quick follow up by Park that made the difference around halfway through the game. Both sides attacked using back and forward combinations after that without success with OAs pushing Park hard right up to the final whistle.

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