Category: U17 Match Report

Northampton BBOB U17 vs Stockwood Park RFC

I got up this morning wondering if the game would take place or not – the weather forecast was not good but then I remembered this was Rugby and not Football! Having battled through the rain and roadworks on the M1 we arrived at our hosts ready for a battle and the boys did not disappoint.
The ref started the game on a wet and windy day – conditions which were going to prove tricky. Northampton Old Boys were a large, physical team and they put the Stockwood boys under pressure from the first minute. Our boys defence was immense and Old Boys were unable to break them down.
Then from Stockwood’s first real attack they gained a scrum in their opponents half and a passage on good handling and passing across the line released Jordan on the right whose strength and speed were too much for Northampton Old Boys to handle and he scored in the corner.
Northampton Old Boys rallied and Stockwood defended heroically and our hosts thought the had equalised only for a last ditch tackle by William held the ball up. However, the pressure eventually told and Old Boys ran in a try underneath the posts which they duly converted. Instead of our boys heads going down the reply was almost instantaneous and a clever wind assisted kick by Kieran tested the Old Boys full back. Once again Jordan outpaced his opponents to score his second try of the day, a try which Kieran converted to make the score at half-time 12 point to 7 in favour of the visitors.

The second half was to prove even more competitive than the first with some hard tackles and scraps all over the pitch. The only score of the second half came from a really good team effort, when Connor released a quick ball from a Stockwood scrum to Kieran. The ball was then moved through the hands to Max and then Joe Ladley before Reece exploded down the left. Fortunately Joe L was able to keep up with him in support and a clever pass by Reece allowed Joe L to score between the posts.
Both teams were resolute in defence for the rest of the half with neither side able to add to their points tally. A very good win for Stockwood by 17 points to 7 against a strong and physical opposition.
I was really impressed by the ball handling and decision making from Stockwood in testing conditions – more of the same over the rest of the season please. A special mention needs to be given to Rob Coupland, who was desperate for a box kick and much to his delight he was treated to not one but three from William and Connor!

Stockwood Park RFC U17 vs Old Grammarians U17

The U17s had their first league game this morning against Old Grammarians. Unfortunately, SPRFC got a walkover as Old Grammarians only had twelve, the game, however the game went ahead. I would like to welcome back Reece Sweeney, Callum McIntyre and Connor Nash for their first outings of the new season and a special mention to Carter who came out of retirement to represent us! Also thanks to Sam Tenny who joined the ranks to make up the numbers.

To enable the game to take place Connor, Aadil and Sam made up the numbers for Old Grammarians in the first half. Our visitors came out of the blocks quicker than Park and a period of pressure led to the game’s first try and conversion for Old Grammarians. I am not sure why we started so slowly – whether we underestimated our opponents or we were just too asleep but fortunately conceded a try seemed to wake the boys up! No one side took charge of the game until Stockwood took control of a rolling maul that led to Steven ‘the crab’ Missen, after one of his typical sideway runs charged down the right side leaving the OG players in his wake before scoring in the corner. After another period of sustained pressure by the home team Jordan ran past the defence to score under the posts a try that was converted by Kieran to give the home team a 12 point to 7 lead as the referee blew for half time.

The three Stockwood players that had played for OG in the first half were swapped with Luke, Jordan and Joe Sweeney. I am not sure what Riz and Darren said at half time but whatever it was it seemed to have the desired effect. This time it was Stockwood who started the quicker a good passage of play led to the new lad, Sam Tenny’s first try for the U17s, a try that was converted by Kieran. This score was quickly followed by a second try for Steven.

Stockwood then started to really turn the screw and dominated the rest of the game. Kieran was released by Dan Loft and showed an incredible turn of pace that not only leave OGs defence in his wake but also his own team mates. A minute later Steven completed his hat trick with a strong run down the right, a try which was duly converted by Kieran. Dan Loft showed off his new pair of boots as he weaved his way through a tired OG defence to score his first try of the season. From the resulting kick off, Old Grammarians tested Carter deep in the corner, Carter was up to the challenge and caught the ball cleanly, tip toed past a number of the players before executing an excellent reverse pass to Sam Tenny who went off on an explosive run. As Sam was caught he managed to offload to Eoin who ran in Stockwood’s eighth try of the day to complete a comprehensive 46 points to 7 victory.

Considering the number of injuries we have I would like to say how impressed I was with the way the team conducted themselves and were there to support one another. A few handling errors by Stockwood meant the score line did not run away from Old Grammarians, but I am sure that after more games these errors will soon be eliminated.

Finchley Triple Header Results

Stockwood Park completed their pre-season warm up games, ahead of their first league fixture against Biggleswade, with a triple header against Finchley RFC at their London Road ground last Saturday.  On a warm afternoon and on pitches in good condition, despite the dry weather, Park finished all square with Finchley, losing the 1st xv fixture 19-34, winning the second team game 15-7 and with the U17’s having a 33-33 draw.

At 1st xv level Park took the opportunity to look at more new recruits and players returning from long term injuries. Ben Griffin was outstanding and a constant threat to the visitors’ defence and his return to 1st xv duty will be welcomed. Park’s handling errors and sloppy defence, particularly wide out gave a well organised Finchley team the opportunity to turn defence into attack and put Park under unnecessary pressure.  Park’s few problems from this game are all issues that can be put right on the training field.

For Park, No 8 Ben Griffin scored their first try converted by Fly Half Brandon Lewsey. Lewsey scored and converted the second try with left wing Aron Colbert scoring the third try. For the second XV tries were scored by Sheppard Zulu and Leandro. Fly Half Matt Jones kicked a penalty.

This Saturday Park open their league campaign with a home fixture against Biggleswade RFC KO 3pm.

U17 vs Hitchin – match highlights

Match highlights footage of the 2 tries scored by Park in a game which got away from us in the 1st half and although a far better performance was forthcoming in the 2nd half it was a bridge to far against a very handy Hitchin side.

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U17s loose to Shelford

Stockwood Park U17s went down 34-19 to Shelford U17B on Sunday morning in an entertaining, though frustrating from our point of view, game of end to end rugby.
Once again Park made their traditional slow start conceding in the first 5 minutes to a try from the back of a Shelford line-out and again shortly after, a few well worked phases found Shelfords centres in space for their second score. Park did respond well though to the poor start and started to assert themselves back into the game. A good turnover in midfield and quick reactions from Alfie Sibilia saw Sam Tenny break free and release Romario Pelle with an excellent offload out of the tackle to score our first try.

From the restart Park failed to claim the high ball, and after a strong Shelford run suddenly found themselves back on their own 5 metre line, and with a disorganised defence in front of them Shelford used quick hands to move the ball into the spaces left behind and scored. The last play of the first half saw us become the architects of our own downfall once again with a Park scrum 10 metres out the hook evaded the entire pack and scrum half, and bounced just right for the Shelford scrum half to pick up and score. Half time 20-5.

Into the second half and a No.8 pick up from the base of the scrum saw Sam Tenny drive over for a try, converted by Kieran Taylor. Though back in the game at 20-12 Park did not capitalise on the change in momentum. Several times we saw overlaps out wide go begging and the ball being coughed up far too easily in contact. Unable to sustain the pressure and keep the ball in our own possession in the away 22 Park saw Shelford break out several times by utilising their wider men, only to be thwarted by an inspired display of tackling from James Brennan at full back. Eventually though a set move from a line out paid off for Shelford and they broke away through 5 missed tackles to score under the posts.

Park though, got their act together again, and their never say die attitude came to the fore. We worked through a few good phases drew in defenders and released our backs, something we are desperately trying to reinforce in training rather than the somewhat more predictable solo runners, and this style eventually saw Shelford run out of defenders for Sam Tenny to crash over for his second try. Another well worked set of phases saw our centre Louis Palmer to get to within 5m out, only for the final pass which would have put the winger in to be deemed slightly forwards by the referee.  Shelford responded again in this basketball like, to and fro game with a nice backs move to extend their lead to 34-19. Park were camped inside the Shelford half towards the end of the game and found themselves with the try line begging and an overlap on the outside, however this time the crash ball was tried one too many times with the ruck defence well set and the ball was lost in contact. From that, a kick clearance was made by Shelford and a comedy of errors saw a mix up on half way between our full back and winger with us then somehow ending up hacking the ball back to our own try line. Try line attack to try line defence inside 15 seconds, and although we did not concede from the error we never got back up the pitch again to threaten before the final whistle. Lots of positives to take from the game, the score line not reflecting the closeness of the game, but also clearly some lessons to be learnt. Shelford were excellent hosts and we look forward to bringing them back to Stockwood later in the season, hopefully by which time we will have settled into our style of play and ironed out the individual errors.