Category: U16 Match Report

That is more like it from the U16s

Watford RFC vs Stockwood Park RFC vs Hitchin RFC

After a short break Stockwood Park took the the pitch again to play Watford RFC in the last match. The boys ensured that they were not going to start slowly for a second time and started their second game strongly. They put their opponents under pressure immediately and were not giving Watford anytime in the ball. Stockwood’s first try came from a ruck that Watford won on their try line but struggled to clear. Their scrum half passed the ball back into their goal area and after strong pressing the Watford players illegally pushed the ball away and the ref awarded a penalty try and conversion. The sustained pressure led to Dan L running over two tries to give us a 17 points to nil lead at half time.

The second half was a repeat of the first with the Watford boys never being allowed to settle and Stockwood scoring two further tries, the first when Eoin stole the ball from a Watford line out and then Tarik made one of his customary runs to score. The final score was 27 nil to Stockwood Park.

I think we played well today and it was a shame it took us a little time to wake up. Well done lads have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year!

Stockwood unlucky against Hitchin RFC

Watford RFC vs Stockwood Park RFC vs Hitchin RFC

The U16’s turned up early at Watford RFC expecting another tough game against an old adversary. We soon found out we would be playing two short games firstly against Hitchin RFC and then against Watford RFC. First match was between Watford and Hitchin, a match that Hitchin won.

After a short rest Hitchin took to the field again to play their second game against Stockwood. I know this is a bit of a cliche but this really was a game of two halves. Hitchin definitely started the stringer and scored within the first couple of minutes when we allowed them to run straight through our defence breaking a number of tackles. As they have before the lads then buckled down and although most of the half was spent in our half we defended strongly and if it hadn’t been for some handling errors I am sure we would of scored. However, after a sustained period of pressure Hitchin scored again and went in at half time 12:0 to the good.

If Hitchin thought that the game was won they were in for a rude awakening in the second half. Stockwood came out strongly and following a number of phases on the Hitchin try line Arnold powered over for a well deserved team try. Stockwood controlled the second half and if the handling and decision making had been better I am sure we would of run Hitchin even closer. Unfortunately there were no further scores and Hitchin held on for a 12 points to 5 victory

U16s acquit themselves well against a strong opposition

Stockwood Park U16’s 17-34 Fullerians.

Match report by Robert Coupland

On a cold and windy Sunday morning the U16s acquitted themselves well against a strong opposition!!

Today’s visitors to the Park were Fullerians a strong team that had beaten us in the Harrow Tens at the end of last season, so we knew we were in for a tough match albeit a friendly.

It was a very cold morning and just like the weather Stockwood had a frosty start,immediately from kick off the Fullerian winger ran three quarters the length of the pitch evading several tackles and showing Stockwood a clean pair of heels once he was in full flight. In fact his speed covering in defence throughout the match was very evident running down some of our fastest players on the break.
The next ten minutes was a bit of an arm wrestle eventually won by Fullerians scoring in the corner by the aforementioned speedy winger. The conversion was missed and the score was 0:10 to the away team.

At this point I was impressed with the way the opposition were playing and feared the worst however the boys heads did not go down they played with real desire mainly defending tigerishly and through some great pressure applied by all 15 Stockwood boys in the opposition quarter Fullerians made an error and the individual opportunitism of Steven Missen who took the ball off the opposition from 5 metres out and went over for Stockwoods first try. His first real touch of the ball in attack although he had made some very important tackles in defence.

The rest of the half was played with passion,commitment and the boys really got into the face of the opposition. The half time score 5:10
The second half the lads came out knowing they were in with a good chance of turning the game around and winning. This was made more likely when Alin went over for Stockwoods second try after a great move which started deep in the Stockwood half. The ball travelling speadily down the back line to release Jordan F down the wing, who then passed to Reece in support in full flight who was tracked down by our nemesis the speedy Fullerian winger, but still managed to get the ball away to Alin who was in support.
I only mention a few names in the first two Stockwood tries but it was through a strong team effort and pressure the first came about and some hard forward grit, laying a platform for a well supported try from the backs that the second came about. We up until now had made a few unforced errors but were still looking very good. The score was now 10:10.

Over the next few minutes several replacements took place and due to the number of substitutions as opposed to any individuals it knocked Stockwood out of the groove they were in. Resulting in Fullerians scoring three unanswered tries converting two. The score now been 10:29
We then saw Reece burst through with one of his all to familiar explosive runs and was very well tackled 15 metres short of the try line but managed to pass a great ball off the floor to Anset who was in support and finished off the move scoring 10 metres in. At this point Kieran, Jordan F, Max, were all on the sidelines and Stockwood had no kicker to take the conversion. So William stepped up to take the conversion his very first, his dad could barely watch he was so anxious he even forgot to video. Well Will struck it like a pro and it sailed between the post for 2 points ( this was the icing on the cake for Will who I thought played really well and had his best game of the season ) the score now was 17:29 before the final whistle Fullerians scored again making the final score 17:34.

The boys can be very proud of themselves I know many came off the pitch disappointed at losing because they had worked very hard and had the desire,passion and ability-to win and for various reasons which we all have different theories about it didn’t happen.

There were lots of positives today great tackling some real strong runs,fabulous support play, some great clearing out at rooks they were a team full of desire and fight. On the negative side probably too many unforced errors and we really need to practice our penalties, Forwards taking the ball stood still unsupported into a ferocious oncoming defence was like sending lambs to the slaughter. A lot of players impressed me today with their commitment and skill and continued improvement.

A hard fought victory for the U16’s

Stockwood Park U16’s 14:7 Oundle U16’s
Match report by Robert Coupland

A hard fought victory for the U16’s leaving us top of the table in East Midlands League with one game to go!!

Today the visitors to the Park were Oundle RFC. This was our third match in the East Midlands league having won the previous two. The boys confidence and self belief was high coming into this encounter after winning all our previous league matches this season!

From the very beginning the Stockwood boys put instant pressure on Oundle camping in their half however, unlike previous teams this season Oundle didn’t buckle under the pressure in fact some of the defending on the their own line was quite admirable, powerful runs from both props, Kye and Mark were rebuked on the line as well as a strong trademark runs by Reece at No.8 and Jordan F down the wing only to be well tackled by the Oundle fullback.

The first half was dominated both territorially and possession wise by Stockwood and whilst I have given credit to the Oundle defence I also thought Stockwood did have several opportunities to score and unfortunately they made a lot of unforced errors at crucial times spilling the ball. It’s also only fair to say in the boys defence it was not the best conditions for handling with a strong bitter wind driving diagonally across the pitch.

Eventually the lads converted the pressure into points with a try from Reece who started and finished the move, with Max tackled short in the middle and Will giving the final pass. Kieran converted what was a very difficult kick from a few metres infield into a cross wind and the Park broke what seemed like at the time an eternal deadlock to go 7:0 ahead.

However, rather than the floodgates opening the old cliche about been at your weakest straight after scoring came true. Within seconds of the kick off the boys were guilty of ball watching and letting Oundle help themselves to easy uncontested possession. A few minutes later trying to clear our lines, a kick by Kieran was well charged down and chased to the line by one of the Oundle players who touched it down to score which was successfully converted making the scores 7:7 at half time.

Some substitutions were made at half time and entering the game was the baby of the team little Jordan. Instantly into the battle he ran with passion and power at the opposition who struggled to put him down, he fiercely contended for the ball in and around the ruck and brought something extra to the game and this was exemplified when one of the Oundle players made a strong run and was tackled well by Dan L from behind and rather than waiting for the player to hit the ground, Little Jordan hit him full on with his formidable frame – “Ouch!”

Eventually the deadlock was broken by an offload from Anset to Arnold who went over to score and Kieran converted to make the score 14:7. We have been so spoilt to a try fest the last few weeks I again like the first half was expecting the floodgates to open. But all credit to the resilience of the Oundle boys they lay seige to the Stockwood half. This time Stockwood showed their defensive prowess with some great tackles and commitment by all the team not to allow the opposition in.

They call Tarik Mr Tickle for obvious reasons however ask any of the Oundle boys and I think they would not have been laughing when he tackled them! Time after time he made big hits one after another to halt the Oundle attack. His performance in the second half was nothing short of astounding until unfortunately he had to come off with a head injury – we all wish you a speedy recovery Tarik!

After what seemed like the longest half of rugby ever, the final whistle blew and the relief and excitement at grinding out a deserved win was apparent on the faces of all the boys and those on the sidelines.

In summation , we tackled well, played with passion, a few too many handling errors and gave away far too many penalties but the league statistics show Stockwood under 16’s played 3 won 3 and we have deserved all three wins. We have been playing as a team many years less than our opposition have which probably explains the numerous penalties we gave away and our naivety at times in how to break down a strong defence.

Again like previous weeks players and parents not playing in today’s game came to give their support on a bitterly cold day showing great club/team spirit.

Well done boys!

The U16’s get back to winning ways with a strong team performance

Stockwood Park U16’s 57 : Brackley U16’s 5

Match Report by Robert Coupland.

On a bright but very chilly morning ,today’s visitors to the Park was Brackley, a good side that gave us a tough game last season. Unfortunately our last match at Wellingborough was by all accounts a disappointing performance so there was some trepidation going into this second league game of the season.

However the start by Stockwood was anything but frosty unlike the weather, within seconds we saw the imposing figure of Mark Smith storming up the middle of the pitch leaving players in his wake. This was the first of several barnstorming line breaking runs he made in a very spectacular all round individual performance.

Although I initially talk about Mark, the first half performance was anything but down to any individual , it was a great display of teamwork and lots of unselfish contributions which culminated in some attractive and effective Rugby been played by Stockwood.
The scoreboard (Sarah’s notebook) at half time was a very impressive 36:0 to the Stockwood boys. It could of even have been more but for some good defence from the opposition the epitome of this was a terrific try saving tackle made on Steven Missen who was at the time flying down the wing with the try line beckoning in the final seconds of the first half.

The score line reinforced what we all know only too well, play as a team stick to the game plan and reap the rewards.
Unfortunately the second half did not continue in the same vain although there was some good rugby on display a few players got the white line fever and looked for individual glory after the floodgates had opened in the first half. Every player without exception made positive contributions.

The final score was 57:5 and we had tries from:-

Jordan Fadajou ,Max Coupland , Joe Ladley Jordan Ackuaku, Daniel Loft and Callum Geraighty and Tarik Khan both getting two each. With Kieran Barry getting 6 conversions once the kicking tee was available.

In summation It was an entertaining game to watch with some great skills on display, hard tackles, strong powerful and speedy runs great support play and passing and an overall desire to win by all the team. Personally I thought the first half was the best half this season a very well disciplined team performance and I thought they looked a very well drilled side. Just went off track in second half undoubtedly due to such a strong early performance and big lead.

Whenever the boys play unselfishly and play as a team both in defence and attack we have always come off best. Stick to the game plan and take this into next weeks league game against Oundle and we will come away winners.

A lesson learnt in a tough match against Wellingborough

Firstly a massive thank to Charlie Loft for all of his excellent match reports and we were all be sorry that you have decided to hang your laptop up and pass the reporting reigns on!!

Wellingborough Vs Stockwood Park RFC (U16s) 32 – 17

This was a game that the boys were more than capable of winning… however all of the teamwork that they displayed against Chesham seemed to go out of the window against Wellingborough. After initially starting well the boys appeared to forget the art of passing the ball. Wellingborough did seem to fear us a little more then last year however as at the first opportunity to score points they took it with a penalty kick rather then trying to play for the try!

The most alarming thing to happen in this match was the downright appalling behaviour of the Wellingborough player who decided to power drive Eoin into the ground head first. This was truly upsetting as it could have lead to an incredibly serious neck injury. Luckily Eoin is made of tough stuff and was able to leave the game without a visit to A&E. And thankfully the said Wellingborough player was instantly red carded.

With the opposition being down to 14 men the boys should have been able to take advantage but on too many occasions individual players felt that they could just run through the defence without passing. Also, where in previous games we’d been clearing out the rucks and really winning the ball, this time we were caught being too pensive and no where near aggressive enough. Apart from Reecey of course who appeared to have the measure of most players. Decision making was slow and this was to cost Stockwwod over and over for the duration of the match.

The best performance today was Lewis, by far, he was excellent. He broke the line countless times and not only that he was always aware of what was around him. The problem he had was that every time he made the break no one would be there in support, it was like watching Stockwood from last season all over again. Too many times players were left to fend for themselves, with no back up and this was really disappointing because in all of the previous games the boys had delivered such well rounded performances. It wasn’t a disaster of course, as with the previous encounter against Wellingborough they put 50 points past us, but if the lads had got their heads straight then I’m convinced they could have won the game.

Although today’s match was a bit of a slump in form we really do have an excellent group of players who when they have the right mind set can give any side a tough time. This has been the best start to a season I have watched at Stockwood and I truly believe that this team has what it takes to win the league, but they need to want it and also realise that they have to work together. I’m proud of all of them and can’t wait to see them take it to the opposition in the next match.

Chesham RFC versus Stockwood Park RFC

Chesham Vs Stockwood Park RFC (U16s) 14 – 36

This was a brilliant game. Despite a small hiccup early on, when Max passed the ball straight to an opposition player allowing them to score, Stockwood played as a real unit. Max made up for his little misdemeanour by also scoring Stockwoods first try. All of the players really dug in and worked for each other. Ansett, who we all know loves to hold onto the ball made one of the most beautifully timed passes of the game to gift Alin with his first try of the season. That try was well deserved and I can safely say that we are all very happy for the lad who has come so close in each of the previous games.
This was a close game and in the first half Chesham kept the boys honest. But in the second half Stockwoods superior team play and stamina won the day. They were composed and strong in all areas and wore the opposition down.

The U16’s once again show a strong performance!

Old Verulamians Vs. Stockwood Park RFC (U16s)

For many seasons we have played games where we have been on the receiving end of a punishing and brutal scoreline against us. Well, today, we did exactly that to the Old Verulamians. So much so that I don’t think that the score is relevant in the slightest.

Within 5 minutes we had already notched up over 20 points and so there really is no point in describing how the boys played in the first half, other than to say they were in a league of their own. This led to us not really playing rugby but watching individual players all run for the try line without even a thought of passing the ball.

A few seasons back we played Letchworth and they were quite simply brilliant, we were being totally destroyed but thanks to the foresight of the coaches the teams were mixed up allowing the players to actually have a game and learn from players better than them. Thankfully we were able to do the same this time round by mixing the teams for the second half. This then became a much better contest with our players having to actually play the game and also trust in players they had never played with before. It was actually great fun watching the lads knock lumps out of each other as in the first half it had been a walk over. Raf loves a hard challenge and was more then happy to dish his aggressive style out on anyone in the way, especially Alin who felt the brunt of a huge hit mid way through the second half!

All of the team played well today but it was essentially a full contact practice session. The boys need to ensure they’re not complacent going into the next game as this team weren’t strong opposition. When we play our next match they’ll need to go out on full attack with composure and precision, I don’t think we’ll get an easier game then the one we witnessed today.

U16s dominate ‘Old Boys’!!

Stockwood Park RFC Vs. Northampton BBOB’s – 50-7 (U16’s)

After last weeks War And Peace, this report is more of a short story…
It was an unusually clement October Sunday morning, overcast but warm, with a hint of moisture in the air.

Unlike the weekend before, the opposition on Sunday were not a tight unit, even though they had brought some big units, and this was their undoing.
I think BBOB’s thought that their bigger players would be enough to contain any attack, however this perception quickly faded as Stockwood immediately powered forward after the kick off leaving the opposition wondering what happened! This was pretty much how the match played out.

In any game that’s so one sided it’s actually quite difficult to report on. I would say that all of our players put in a shift, no doubt, but the level of opposition meant that there were mistakes being made throughout the game that, if it was against stronger opposition, we would have been punished.
I’m not going to take anything away from the boys, they were brilliant and each did what they needed to do, causing the BBOB’s no end of problems both tactically and physically, but there was some complacency.

A player I feel unbelievably sorry for is Alin, he came desperately close to scoring twice on Sunday and after his disallowed try last week I think that is a real shame. But, keep it up Alin as the tries will come!

I realise that this is a pretty average match report, however I would just like to point out one of the funniest moments of the game. ‘Old’ Jordan literally putting some dance moves against the oppositions enormous 22 whilst on the attack was hilarious, good work Jordan, made me chuckle.

Casuals 10 – 17 SPRFC U16

Lets start with the negatives… we were missing some great players on Sunday through injuries and School trips…

…now onto the positives! What a game!

I personally like to watch a tight game of rugby rather than a run away victory or loss and this is exactly what we got on Sunday. Two teams that were very well matched and up for a contest. The ‘Casuals’ were anything but that at the start of the game, their coaching staff were certainly vocal in getting them psyched up on the touch line and in the initial few minutes of the game appeared to have a slight edge. It soon became apparent though that Stockwood were not going to be an easy team to play against.

The boys were defensively very strong and soaked up the pressure in the first onslaught, pushing the home team back and frustrating their attacking players. Stockwood slowly but surely settled themselves in and started to make their own headway into the oppositions half with some clever inter play. A special mention needs to be made here for ‘Little’ Jordan, who made his debut for the team on Sunday.

As the game progressed Stockwood found themselves deep in the Casuals half being awarded a penalty. The boys set themselves up and ran as a pack into the defensive line, the ensuing carnage led to another penalty. Again the boys set themselves up to run at the defence drawing the opposition in only to switch the play completely leaving the Casuals dead on their feet. A series of well balanced passes out to the wing ended with ‘Old’ Jordan putting our first points on the board with Kieron converting. This was fantastic to watch and I think one of the first times we’ve witnessed the players really think on their feet and make a tactical decision unaided. On the touch line we were as dumbstruck as the Northampton players.

With their noses put firmly out of joint The Casuals came back at Stockwood hard. They’ve got some great players on their side with real determination but an unfortunate incident was about to change the next 10 minutes of the game. Tarik was unlawfully kicked whilst making a run and in the melee afterwards Dan Spain was sin binned leaving us a player down. The boys regrouped and had to focus on defence. Pinned in their own half they worked incredibly hard to try and make ground, but a series of handling errors and penalties were keeping the pressure firmly on. The Casuals pressed on and were incredibly close to scoring a try only to be thwarted by the strength of ‘Little’ Jordan.

The boys could only soak up this amount of pressure for so long however and eventually conceded a try leaving the first half score 5-7 to Stockwood.

The beginning of the second half was a bit of a strange affair, the boys came back on and seemed a little out of sorts leading to the Casuals gaining the upper hand. They quickly found a way through our defence and scored their second try, however they again didn’t manage to convert.

In the past we would potentially have witnessed the boys heads drop but this was not the case this time. If anything it seemed to spur them on and shake them out of it. From this point on the team appeared to galvanise itself back together. Another thing worth mentioning here is that the players now do appear to be talking to each other and figuring out what the issues are, and how to fix them.

Our next attacking phase saw Mark Smith come agonisingly close to scoring with a brilliantly powerful charge at their defence, he missed by a matter of centimetres! The boys kept probing the oppositions defence with the intensity of the rucks raising to a new level of aggression. This unfortunately denied Alin his first try of the season, some further off the ball ‘scuffling’ caused the ref to blow the whistle just as he’d placed the ball down, much to everyones dismay.

The Stockwood boys were camped in the Casuals half and were determined not to let this momentum be lost. A penalty awarded to Stockwood again allowed them to spread the ball wide along the line eventually reaching Max, who in almost a carbon copy of Alins previous attempt stormed through to place the ball down giving us a narrow 2 point lead.

The Casuals were not done yet and fought back admirably but Park now had the upper hand. Turning defence into attack ‘Old’ Jordan and Daniel Loft made two of the most perfectly timed passes of the game to set ‘Cutter’ Carter on his way to his first try of the season. Literally cutting his way passed two defenders and diving for the line he put Stockwood 7 points clear.

With just 5 minutes left to play the boys needed to stay focused, and barring a few rash kicks here and there, saw the game out to win the first league game of the season.

There’s always going to be things that the lads need to improve on, they know that. But from what I’ve seen so far they’re on the right path and will learn from their mistakes. There is a level of maturity to their game now, even if we do need to iron out a few ‘anger’ issues in the heat of the moment. But at least all of the lads are playing with passion and long may that continue. As I’m always telling Will, I don’t pick Man Of The Match and actually if I was, I would find it almost impossible to call as we are now playing as a team, and not a set of great individuals.