Category: U15 Match Report

U15 vs Rushden 12 – 13

Cast your minds back a month to when our boys last played Rushden, the score that day was 0-78 to Rushden… well, needless to say Sundays match was a very different story.
Brimming with confidence after their victory against Bugbrooke, Stockwood approached this match with even more desire to set things straight against Rushden, who by all intents and purposes arrived under the impression this was going to be an easy game for them.  Right from the off both teams got heavily stuck into each other and it didn’t take long before we were witnessing some truly heavy and well timed tackles. Rafal Drag in particular loves a tackle and on several occasions literally stopped players in their tracks stunting the Rushden advance, it didn’t take long before Rushden realised they had a fight on their hands.
After a hard worked phase of play by the away team they managed to score a well deserved try, I say well deserved because they really did have to work for it, it certainly wasn’t gifted to them. The Stockwood boys however did not seem put off by this at all, after watching the Rushden kicker miss the conversion they picked themselves up and got straight back to it, pressing ever harder against the Rushden defence.
A quick mention at this point to William, who did an amazing job this Sunday supplying from the scrum.  Also a quick mention to ‘Reecey’ (nice one Sarah Sweeney) another player who loves a crunching tackle and consistently made it difficult for the opposition to gain ground.
As the half wore on the Stockwood players continued to pressurise the Rushden defence. The frustration on the sidelines from the away supporters and coaching staff was palpable and only got worse when Tarik Khan made a brilliant line break, again using his turn of pace to leave the opposition for dead. He duly scored and Jordan followed up with a perfect conversion kick. The half time whistle blew with Stockwood leading by 2 points.

The stage was now set for a cliff hanger of a second half. Both teams were leaving nothing on the table and that was to continue for the rest of the game. Rushden scored from a well worked line out which turned into a maul that pushed its way over the Stockwood line, however again their kicker missed the conversion.
The next few minutes saw Rushden gain some momentum as they managed to find a couple of gaps in the Stockwood defence, but a try saving tackle by Tarik ensured that the game stayed finely balanced. While Rushden were enjoying this phase of play Anset Lewis took a heavy knock to the head during this pause in play. We witnessed the athletic heroics of Mark Snr as he rushed to tend to Anset on the sidelines, respect. 🙂

It was telling that Rushden resorted to kicking a penalty in order to edge further ahead, their lack of confidence in going for the try is a testament to how well the Stockwood boys were playing. The home side were not done yet however. After some well worked passes Carter made an impressive run down the wing which was the catalyst for Stockwoods next try. An initial failed ruck resulted in Rushden trying to kick to gain ground, however Joe Ladley had other ideas. A brilliant charge down by him and catch resulted in one of the most surprising tries I’ve seen in an U15’s match. Unfortunately Jordan could not convert this time, the ball agonisingly close to going over but just short.
The two sides continued to battle hard but Stockwood appeared to be in the ascendancy, Joe Ladley again almost managing to break through with a series of kicks but couldn’t quite get to the line first. The home side were pressuring Rushden all the way and victory seemed a real possibility. Was it not for a couple of handling errors in the last few minutes the home side would have scored another try, but on such fine margins games are won or lost.

The end score was 13-12 to Rushden but I think the boys should look at that result as a resounding win. To halt a team like Rushden and make them work that hard to win by 1 point shows how far the team has come. Well done lads, keep it up!

Coaches Feedback – A special mention to two players Mason and Luke, who even though not picked came down and supported the team in our penultimate league game.  Cheers lads

The result may not have gone the way we wanted however the experience, performance and the bonds created from this game will help this team significantly going forward.  Also the effort in training for the last two weeks has been top notch and it really starting to show on the pitch.

Again this week a number of standout performers, Reece and Raf with their relentless tackling, Joe Cooper, Joe Sweeney providing a great impact off the bench and Carter Bowes electric running on the wing.

Man of the match this week goes to two players Tarik and Joe Ladley.
Tarik for his number of try saving tackles and great solo try. Joe Ladley for his crunching tackles and great opportunist try.

Well done lads lets look forward to our next game next Sunday against Watford.

U15 vs Milton Keynes 41 – 22

A match of mixed fortunes today with some good phases of play. Stockwood started both halves slowly, conceded a try within the first three minutes.

The boys rallied strongly and a lovely passage of play saw Tarik running over to equalise. In a competitive first half Milton Keynes scored a further two tries and one conversion, to go in at half time 17:10 to the good. Ansett scoring a second try for Stockwood with a jinking run to score between the posts.

Milton Keynes started the second half as they had the first with a try and conversion from the kick off. The reply from Stockwood was immediate with a strong passage of play culminating with Joe Ladley running through Milton Keynes defence to score an impressive try.

Milton Keynes then had a strong passage of play scoring a further three tries and a conversion with no reply. Stockwood missed a lot of tackles they hadn’t been missing and made a few naive decisions to allow Milton Keynes to take control and close the game out.

Stockwood, however, were not done and rallied well in the closing stages to score a good team try, which after a sustained amount of pressure on the Milton Keynes try line, Arnold powered over to score. With neither of our usual kickers on the pitch Tarik stepped up to convert making the final score 41:22

There were a lot of positives to take from today’s match and I feel if we are able to cut out some silly mistakes we will only become a stronger unit.

Once again there were a lot of strong individual performances, Rafal and Arnold with some excellent strong running, Tarik with a number of line break runs and a special mention needs to be given to George who returned for the first time since suffering a nasty knee injury at the DPP festival.
But having scored a try and with some monstrous tackling the man of the match this weekend goes to Joe Ladley, Well done Joe.

U15 vs BBOB

What a difference a week makes. The Stockwood boys put on a fine display today coming from behind to take the win in a hard fought and closely contested match.

The first half was finely balanced with both sides working hard in attack and defence however Northampton were the first to score. Not being deterred in any way the Stockwood players dug in and put into practice some of the techniques that they have been working on in training. It was a pleasure to see the ball actually being passed along the line and far more support being shown to the break away players.

Northampton scored again but a great piece of attacking play by Stockwood saw Tariq score a try with Jordan converting leaving the score at 12 – 7 for the break. At this point the squads spirits were definitely up as they could sense that the game was there for the taking.

The second half started a little slowly for Stockwood with some lapses in concentration leading to a few ball spills but this didn’t have any real baring on the game. Tariq scored another try swiftly followed by a great try from Kieron, scooping up a bouncing ball and leaving the Northampton defence in his tracks. Northampton weren’t done yet, they continued to battle hard and managed to score a further two try’s. Their efforts were in vein however with Ansett scoring a try and then an excellent piece of opportunistic play from Reece saw him steal the ball and run the Northampton defence scoring a well deserved try leaving the final score at 26 – 31.

What was most encouraging about todays performance was that they played as a ‘team’ throughout the whole game and not just for spells. There was far more passing of the ball, much more awareness and a willingness to all get stuck in all round. Each player should feel proud of how they conducted themselves today, there’s of course always room for improvement but if they can continue to build like they are then more wins are sure to come.
Very close this week for Man Of The Match with so many players having there best games of the season. But this week that award goes to Arnold with his strong running in attack and high work rate in defence. Well done Arnold!!

U15 vs Rushden & Higham

Taking full advantage of another friendly before the next league game, this was a chance to field a completely different set of players for Stockwood in the first half against Rushden & Higham. As outlined in previous match reports we have had an influx of new players and so these matches are essential in order to assess their strengths, weaknesses and best positions.

The first half, as expected, was a difficult one for Stockwood as it was the first time this set of players had ever shared the field at the same time. Rushden were fielding a squad of very athletic and strong players who clearly have a few seasons under their belt playing together as a team, and that showed.

Right from the kick off the opposing side took full advantage of their strength by storming through the middle of the defence without any real contest being made. This continued to be the story of the first half whilst the Stockwood boys found their way and figured out how to make the best of the situation they were in. All credit to the players who were on the sidelines, as their encouragement and advice throughout the half was great to see and hear.

William was the captain for todays match and got stuck straight in leading by example. Max, Joe Cooper, Zain and Mason worked incredibly hard with there defence against very strong opposition and on a number of occasions Stockwood did manage to force their way forward, notably with Arnold running strongly with ball in hand. The lack of game time together however meant that the first half ended with Rushden leading by 59 points with a number of fairly easy trys and well kicked conversions.

The second half saw significant changes made to the Stockwood side allowing the majority of the usual squad to take to the pitch. If Rushden thought that they were going to have an easy run in the second half they were very much mistaken. This was a much closer contest and even though Rushden went on to score several more trys these were far more hard fought for. Stockwood worked very hard in defence and managed to keep much of the game play around the half way line and on several occasions broke free, making determined runs towards the oppositions 22 only to be halted by the Rushden defence.

 

Friendlies are always a frustrating affair as all we want to see is our team win. However with league games being most important, I believe the coaches did a good job today of testing new players and also confirming for themselves what their strongest line up could be over the coming months. Each player should look at these games as a learning curve and all their efforts are well noted by the coaches and parents. There is only so much you can learn in training and the experience gained by playing these matches is invaluable.

Man Of The Match goes to Joe Cooper, with the coaches very impressed with his high work rate and brave tackling for only a three game novice.

U15 vs Peterborough 0 – 44

A sobering performance by the U15’s today saw Peterborough score 7 trys and 4 conversions in a game where teamwork by the opposing side won the day. Peterborough were a strong side, they were well drilled and played as a unit. There didn’t seem to be a star player of any note, but what they did have was a good understanding of each of their roles and how to pass the ball effectively along the full back line to maximise each opportunity.

For 20 minutes of the first half its was a very even affair, neither team appearing to be in the ascendancy. Peterborough edged forward with their first try but Stockwood continued to hold firm and put in a series of well contested challenges through the centre of the park. As the half went on however concentration levels appeared to drop for the home side and a series of defensive errors led to a further 3 trys for Peterborough by the half time whistle.
The second half began with Peterborough continuing to work as an effective unit, closing down fast and rucking impressively, with a number of steals stopping Stockwood in their tracks. The home side fought hard and made several breaks but their inability to play the ball through the hands along the back line meant that each phase was contained within the middle of the field where Peterborough were able to slow play down to their advantage.

The second half was tougher than the first for Peterborough with some solid and try stopping challenges being put in by the Stockwood boys. As with the previous game, there wasn’t a lack of determination or spirit, but lapses in concentration at key moments led to their undoing.

There is an abundance of potential in this Stockwood U15’s side and once it is unlocked they will give any team in this league a run for their money. The new recruits and the seasoned Stockwood players need time to gel and over the coming weeks their understanding of what is required will improve which is an exciting prospect. If they’ve leant anything from today it is that Rugby is the ultimate team game, it doesn’t matter which individual scores, as long as the team does.
Man of The Match this week goes to Number 8 – Joe Ladley. His absolute commitment to stopping the opposing players shone through today. Not just the amount of tackles, but the way in which he won them, great technique and a brave lad.

U15 vs Ampthill 29 – 44

Match Report courtesy of Charlie Loft

After the clear wake up call last week at the Bedfordshire DPP festival the team appears to have re-grouped and gathered focus. Their first official league game against Ampthill saw us missing four of our usual team players however the new additions certainly made an impression and have settled in well.

The first half saw Stockwood face a strong offensive Ampthill side who took an early advantage with two try’s scored in quick succession. However Stockwood dug in and refused to let their heads drop. As the half progressed Ampthill realised that they would have no joy trying to run the middle of the pitch as Stockwood were far too strong and a series of crunching tackles and solid team work started to force Ampthill ever wingward.

Following a number of incidents Stockwood’s new captain had his first taste of dealing with a disgruntled official, a calm head will always prevail and the incidents did not appear to effect the spirit of the team or their resolve. Stockwood continued to press and were rewarded with two try’s of their own by Anset and Joe Ladley at the break.

The second half began very differently to the first with Stockwood standing firm and not allowing Ampthill to progress as freely as they had in the first.

The away team camped inside Ampthill’s 22 for a number of phases and after pressing hard scored again, this time Arnold battling his way through.

Deciding it was time for a tactical change Ampthill brought on several of their A team players in order to try and turn the advantage back towards them. The new players had an immediate impact and while Stockwood regrouped Ampthill scored a further few try’s.

Again, the players kept their heads and continued to battle hard, Jordan scoring a try and Daniel coming ever so close to running the field until last gasp tackle brought him down.

One of the most exciting pieces of play was created in the dying moments of the game as Stockwood mauled aggressively towards the touch line, overpowering Ampthills defence which lead to a well deserved debut try for Owen.

Ultimately Ampthill won the game, but the lads should be very proud in how they conducted themselves. The whole team played as a team today and they now have even more of an understanding of what they need to work on for the next game. It was a pleasure to watch and is an encouraging start to the season.