U16 vs Leighton Buzzard 41 – 21

Sunday saw U16s travel to Leighton Buzzard to play a side who inflicted a significant defeat on us last season and whilst we know we have improved since then, this game would provide a good test to see exactly how far. With 4 boys dropping out on the morning due to injury and illness, as well as some ongoing injuries we still travelled with 21 players to take on Buzzard and the first 15 minutes was to be a cagey period with both sides making good efforts to cross each others line but without success. That deadlock was broken in the 19th minute by our big prop Josh Lawson who, finding himself in midfield with the ball in hand and with a full 50 yards to run stormed up pitch, breaking several tackles along the way to score under the posts. Kieran Taylor converted, and the rest of the half was played out in a similar manner to the earlier play with neither side able to break through to score. Several substitutions were made at half time to enable a full squad rotation and the half time talk was based around continuing the good work up front whilst trying to utilise the space we had been creating out wide but not capitalising on. This paid of almost immediately from the kick off as Luke Corsie used his pace to score in the corner. This was the start of an almost perfect 25 minutes for us with domination around the contact area from the forwards, excellent direction given by Olly Daly and good hands through the backs to score 5 more tries (Romario Pelle 2, Sam Tenny, Nathan Robinson and Louis Palmer, Kieran Taylor converting 2). It’s hard to pick which try I personally enjoyed the most, there was a beautifully weighted grubber kick from Kieran Taylor to put Louis in for his try, and there was some excellent interplay between Nathan, Romario and Louis to put Romario in for one of his brace. The back line today was much more inventive and their offloading game kept the Buzzard defence going backwards. It is easy to see the obvious when tries are scored, but I would also like to mention the unglamorous work done by the forwards to set solid platforms to work off and to James Brennan for several excellent try saving tackles at full back.
However, all would not end up rosy. From 60 minuted onwards, instead of looking to shut Buzzard out at 41-0 we became overconfident, cocky even, and stopped doing all of the good work which had got us in to this excellent position in the first place. This allowed Buzzard to express themselves a little more and show the class that they undoubtedly possess, running in 3 converted tries in the last 10 minutes.
A lesson certainly learnt there and had the game been closer towards the end or there had been 10 minutes more time on the clock we may have found ourselves facing defeat from being 36 points ahead.
As mentioned earlier in the report this game enabled us to gauge ourselves against previous performances, and we came out of it with a very well earned victory, with evidence obtained to show we have progressed significantly as both individuals and more importantly as a team since last season. Well done to all involved.
Final score 21-41.

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