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.