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U9 Awards May 2017

SRFC U9s held their season awards on Saturday the 20th May.  As a group of coaches,  we could not be prouder of the performance both on and off the pitch of our full squad, at training on home turf and whilst travelling to shared coaching sessions at friend clubs and festivals.  At the end of another long season, every player has evolved and embraced contact, with the group well positioned to take the next step in their rugby journey.

Well done all and see you in September!

Your Coaches!

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SRFC U9s Legend Tour

Team Leonard

Team Leonard

Leonards

Players: Dexter Williams, George Rehbein, Georgia Houchin,  Jamie Williams, Lucas Gorrill,Luke Coll,  Max Clark, Owen Williamson,  Sam Pearl.

Coaches: Graeme Coll, Greg Gorrill

Played 10, Lost 1

46 Tries for – not many against

From the first to the last game, SRFC Leonards excelled in every way.  Losing just one game of the ten, with these results were obtained through a level of commitment the coaches could not fault. 

Our first game on the Saturday morning was against another Sevenoaks team and as usual with a new combination of players, there was a ‘bedding in’ period for both sides, with the opposition scoring in the last play to bring the game to two all.  A worthy result against a worthy adversary.  Leonards continued on for the rest of the day as a strong team, winning all four games convincingly.

Sunday bought our toughest game in the first against very good local friends.  We knew from another Sevenoaks team that Tunbridge Wells Blue would be a tough match as they had faced them the day before.  Our warm ups began with a team huddle, imparting the faith we had as coaches in the squad,  that they had the ability to take this game to them and win, but that it would take full commitment for the whole period.  They delivered.  We could not have asked for more from each and every player, with every team member exceeding their comfort zone.  This was epitomised in the resolve shown after four high tackles failed to see the turnover ball, with Sevenoaks retaining possession despite no referee intervention (this was flagged at half time by the coaches) – every player stood firm, recomposed themselves and carried on.  Tunbridge Wells were fortunate enough to have a fast runner in their arsenal, as did we, but he managed to break away twice to our once, resulting in a final score of 2-1 to them.  It was clear that we were facing a stronger team, but the final score represented something different – losing by the one try was a fair reflection on that game, but could have so easily have been a draw or us winning by the one try on another day.  Both coaches struggled to hold back the tears of pride in the post-match briefing, with our Head Coach affirming how proud we all were of the performance – Sevenoaks Leonards had done themselves proud.

Leonards and Tunbridge Wells

Leonards and Tunbridge Wells

Four more games followed throughout the Sunday, with Sevenoaks winning all four convincingly.  By the end of the day, try count had put us in second place, just a try behind the winners Tunbridge Wells Blue.  Due to some inexplicable scoring system, we were placed in third, missing out on the runners up cup.  We didn’t need a trophy to show what we had achieved though and the squads pride shone over the paper placing’s.

Team Leonard with Petrus du Plessis

Team Leonard with Petrus du Plessis

As with all the Sevenoaks Teams, Leonards represented their club perfectly and along with the fantastic support on the side lines, a fun tour was had by all!  Well done.

Team Wilkinson 

Team Wilkinson

Team Wilkinson

Heart felt words and a summary from your coaches:

Facts / Statistics:

Players: Coby Smith, Edward Smith, Ethan Anderson, Harry Corstorphine, Harry Edwards, Hugo Smith, Imogene Anderson, Tait Anderson, Tilly Smith, Toby Edwards

Team Stats : 6 Smiths (Players and Coaches),  3 Andersons, 3 Edwards (1st and 2nd names), 2 Harry's and 2 Super star girls !!

Match Stats: Played 10, Won 6, Drew 2 and lost 2.

Tries: 43 tries scored, 21 tries conceded.

Comments:

This was a collective team effort from a truly mixed ability team who jelled from the outset. The stronger players showed excellent leadership and creative playing skills that without any doubt gave the team a "very firm footing" but all the other players all stepped up making many "significant" contributions.  As a result, the support and teamwork across the whole squad was truly brilliant and so enjoyable to watch for us as coaches.  All the players gave 100% at all times and therefore improved greatly over the 2 days of play.  As coaches, we could not have asked for any more from the players who are put into this competitive environment with lots of encouragement (supportive shouting) from the touch line after significantly less sleep than usual.  Thank you Paul for stepping in and assisting with the coaching between watching Brett play for the U11's, your support was greatly appreciated.  Also, thank you to all the parents - you were all great fun to tour and team up with.

Lessons Learnt: 

"Be on time and prepared for each match".  The one match (Match 4 on the Sunday) that we were not prepared for, we were on the back foot from the start and as a result we never got into it.  More a lesson for the coach on that one!!

Team Wilkinson with Petrus du Plessis

Team Wilkinson with Petrus du Plessis

Awards:

 "Wilkinson Player of the Tournament" : Ethan Anderson - for listening at all times and then executing what was asked of him on the pitch, along with some brilliant support play throughout the two days.  All the players were so polite, well behaved and respectful to each other but on this occasion Ethan was exceptional on that front for an 8/9 year old.

"Wilkinson Champagne Moment": Tilly Smith and Imogen Anderson - the girls were both involved in a number of great passages of play but there was one that they both dominated and showed girl power and initiative at its best, in what is a competitive and physical environment that I am sure is intimidating for them at times, they did brilliantly over the two days - well done girls !!.

We should all be very proud of the way our children conducted themselves “on and off” the pitch - they are only 8/9 after all.

Until next season !!

Jeremy and Paul (your delighted and very proud coaches)

Team Johnson

Team Johnson and Tunbridge Wells

Team Johnson and Tunbridge Wells

Players: Andrew Crawford, Benjamin Kerr, Forbes Logan, Isaac Rossier, Josh Mclinton, Priam Van Assche, Thomas Kerton, Tiger Bussey, Alex Paizes

Coaches: Darren & Neil

Our opening team talk involved a discussion of ethos and the type of rugby we wanted to play. The coaches described Martin Johnson, how we should aspire to be like him and how he successfully lifted the World cup for England only a few years back……… The stunned silence from a group of 9 year olds coupled with innocent follow up questions of “who exactly is he again?”, “when did he play?” and “what does he look like?” suddenly made us feel very old!!

Fortunately. the Martin Johnson desire and commitment was evident in our first game (against Sevenoaks) and although a little ring rusty, we managed to grind out a win with some committed tackling and pressure even though we hadn’t hit our strides yet.  In fact, we went on to win 8 games and lost only 1 throughout the festival and that loss came early in proceedings while we ironed out the kinks in our own playing structures.

Our game plan involved a committed rush defense that could lay the platform for releasing some of our stronger runners; a style that evolved throughout the 9 games and pleasingly brought more and more of the boys into each game.  We also had a few set moves which worked to varying degrees but our weekend was probably best summed up with our third to last match where we went into half time 2 tries down.  After a calming team talk the boys worked for each other in the second half, made their tackles and managed to run out victors by a 2 try margin – we scored tries with a few great offloads and a ball that moved through the hands with vastly improved accuracy.  This set us up nicely to close out a the remaining tight games we were involved in – specifically against our derby rivals Tunbridge Wells.

The camaraderie and self belief a child develops from going through emotional ups and downs in the social setting of a rugby match are absolutely priceless and truly underlines what our sport is all about! A few bumps and bruises, but all well worth it in the end.  Well done boys!

We scored 36 tries, let in far fewer and tackled every large runner that came our way. 

It wasn’t only about winning though…. We proudly pioneered the “team tunnel run on” before each match and took great pleasure in our team photograph after each game.  The round of ice creams at the end of both days probably epitomized the fun time had by all – including all our spectators and coaches!

Team Dallaglio

Team Dallaglio

Team Dallaglio

Players: William Blackmore, Finnbar Dalton, William Jenkins, Xavier Prongue, Daniel Scandling, Mackenzie Copp, Tom Harvey, Jan Lousberg, Rishan Saini

Coaches: Didier Prongue, Charlie Jenkins

Overall results: Group 2 U9 Winners (Won: 6, Drew: 1, Lost 2)

Tries for: 47

Tries against: 27

Saturday started with a tough match against a strong Sevenoaks Johnson team.  Both teams knew each other well and therefore there was not much to choose between the teams in a low scoring game with Johnson eventually winning by one try.  The boys were disappointed to start with a loss, which made their performance in the next game against Long Buckby all the more impressive.  Sevenoaks were down 1-5 after the first half and it looked like our tour might be getting off to a disastrous start.  But after a positive team talk at half-time, the boys ran in 4 unanswered second half tries to secure a draw that was very important to team morale.  We nominated this half of rugby as our champagne moment of the tour.  Riding on this momentum, we finished the day strongly with 3 consecutive wins, dispatching Royston and Biggleswade convincingly and coming away with a very creditable win against a strong Epping team.

The commitment of the team in terms of tackling and going for 50/50 ball was also taking its toll, with several knocks and bruises through the day meaning some players were out for 1 or 2 games.  With a small squad of 9, this meant that for part of one game we were down to 6 fit players.  This shows how committed all of the boys were.

After a text book evening of sensible diet, relaxation and early to bed (not), the boys were ready for the final games on Sunday.  Everyone was back to full fitness and we beat both Tunbridge Wells teams that we faced as well as Wellyn very comfortably.  The only reverse was against a strong and well organised Harpenden side.

Champions!

Champions!

Unknown to us, the winners of each group were being decided on number of tries scored and we therefore finished top of Group 2, being presented with a very fine trophy.  This showed the importance of all the boys working together as a team despite a very tough start and we really could not have asked for any more collective commitment from them.  It just goes to show what can be achieved if everyone works together and keeps their heads up.

Well done all!

Our Cup!!!!!!.......  Sorry no, The Players Cup......  :)

Our Cup!!!!!!.......  Sorry no, The Players Cup......  :)

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SRFC U9s at Westcombe Park

Sevenoaks 2 Squad

Sevenoaks 2 Squad

Traditionally, Westcombe Park is the final tournament of the season and SRFC were defending champions from last year, so Sevenoaks U9s took the opportunity to step up a gear, bringing a season’s worth of training together for the last tournament hurrah.  With two teams in attendance, an early congregation allowed for some team training before the off.  Both teams came out with intent and the momentum continued throughout the day, despite the dry hard ground.  

Playing local teams such as Tunbridge Wells, Cranbrook and hosts Westcombe Park to name but a few, Sevenoaks 1 conceded only two tries all day, both against Tunbridge Wells, testament to our strong defensive line and consistent tackling.  Some great line play showed coaches and supporters just how far the players had come throughout the year, passing in to space, often at pace and using the line to capitalise on the width of the pitch.  Sevenoaks 2 held a similar accolade, despite losing a player in the first, winning every game and conceding only 7 tries all day.  The fifth and final match against Cranbrook was testament to their tackling proficiency, holding a quick and agile team to just 3 tries whilst running in 8 themselves.

Next weekend Sevenoaks depart on the annual tour before hanging up boots for a well earned summer break.

Sevenoaks 1

Team:        Alex Yeasbley, Ediz Karsak, George Rehbein, Harry Corstophine, Isaac Rosier, Jan Lousberg, Luke Coll, Max Clark, Xavier Prongue, Yiannis Papadopoulos.

Coaches:        Graeme Coll & Didier Prongue

Weather Conditions:    Perfect for Rugby - Ground Conditions:     Dry & Hard

With a pre-planned schedule to play 5 matches, all players were carded to play a total of 7 halves in total.  Thankfully, all players were present and on time (thank-you parents), so no last minute adjustments were needed and the squad could focus on preparing for the festival.

With all festivals, it is always better to start playing our best from the outset, rather than have to make big adjustments to our game and play as we progress.  Although we had a relatively late start in the tournament at 10:40, the boys all did their best to warm up and focus on the game and it was super to see the team hit the ground running as this usually bodes well for the rest of the day.

10:40    Game 1 vs Whitstable             Win 5 - 0

11:40    Game 2 vs Beckenham             Win 6 - 0

12:20    Game 3 vs Sidcup                 Win 5 - 0

13:00    Game 4 vs Tunbridge Wells 2     Win 7 - 2

14:20    Game 5 vs Old Elthamians        Win 4 - 0

Despite the positive results above, they fail to show how enjoyable it was for us all to see this bunch of players (who have never played together before) in action.  It was encouraging to see them playing for each other selflessly, with so few handling errors or technical mistakes - I cannot recall Sevenoaks giving away a single 7th tackle turnover or running the ball into touch.  With so much possession and drawing the opposition players so effectively, the rugby resembled 1st class Fijian 7’s, scoring at will from anywhere on the pitch once the opposition had been neutralised by good running lines, passing and excellent support for the ball carrier.

On the defensive side of the game, Sevenoaks tackled consistently, creating pressure that forced the opposition to make mistakes, reclaiming possession.  The ground was hard and some of the boys were happier using their physicality to grab their opponents in order to stop or slow their progress, rather than commit to tackling low and hard around the legs, stopping forward progress none the less.

The overall performance was excellent and it was so encouraging to see all the players were on the top of their game, with nobody having an ‘off day’.  A very good way to sign off a season of Sevenoaks U9s rugby and I’m sure all the spectators were very impressed by the quality of the rugby and team spirit on display.

Bring on U10 Rugby for this group they are ready for more.

Sevenoaks 1  Squad

Sevenoaks 1  Squad

Sevenoaks 2

Sevenoaks took 2 teams on the short journey to Orpington for the 43rd Westcombe Park Mini Rugby Festival this weekend.  At last year’s festival, as Under 8’s, Sevenoaks came away as festival champions, so expectations were high, and our players didn’t disappoint. Both teams came home undefeated after some of the best rugby seen all season.  The members of Sevenoaks 2 (Barnaby Burns, Callum Le Roux, Edward Smith, Forbes Logan, Harry Edwards, Hugo Smith, Jimi Aiyeola, MacKenzie Copp, Raphael Landgrebe and Tiger Bussey) ran out for their first of 5 games at 1040 full of beans and came in from their final victory around 1430 just as enthusiastic.

Our relatively dry Easter and spring meant the ground was very hard as the players soon discovered. This dampened the boys’ early tackling enthusiasm during our first game against Old Elthamians, which resulted in tackles creeping high as the players tried to stay on their feet and a few unfortunate knocks.  However, with their first half out of the way, nerves settled and the boys found their mojo again with some tremendous teamwork, including a very tense and successful try-line defence. Unfortunately, Raphie suffered a knock in the final minutes of the game and the precautionary decision was taken that he should retire for the day.  On the final whistle Sevenoaks 2 had triumphed 6-2 against Old Elthamians.

Our next three games saw the boys’ confidence grow with some magnificent supporting play, heartening and selfless passing and some quite intuitive set pieces.   When the dust settled Sevenoaks 2 had faced Old Dunstonians, Old Whitgifians and the hosts Westcombe Park and only conceded a single try.  Sevenoaks, in return, had clocked up 27 points.

Our fifth and final game in the mid-afternoon was against Cranbrook and was likely to be our toughest of the day.  Cranbrook had been taking a keen interest in Sevenoaks’ games all day and we suspected strategies were being developed.  But our boys did not disappoint.  Tackling was as committed and accurate as the coaches could have wished for, meaning Cranbrook had only limited opportunities to exploit their speed.  The boys were also becoming more proficient in organising themselves in defence, at the breakdown and the restart.  Sevenoaks didn’t get it all their own way, with Cranbrook getting 3 tries passed us through sheer dogged determination.  However, on the final whistle it was Sevenoaks 8 Cranbrook 3.

Sevenoaks 2 with Coaches

Sevenoaks 2 with Coaches

A great day’s rugby and a wonderful way to close out the Under 9’s season.  Congratulations to all our players and we now look forward to the Tour!

Sevenoaks 2 relax.....

Sevenoaks 2 relax.....

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SRFC U9s at Saracens

Sevenoaks Squad

Sevenoaks Squad

Two teams headed to the Saracens Amateurs Festival last weekend, with the sun shining and a couple of strong yet mixed ability teams.  With the first coaches and players on site at 0830, the referees briefing and the obligatory coffee and bacon sandwiches saw everyone up and running and raring to go.

Following a combined warm up and some individual handling drills, both teams took to their pitch to face Old Northamptonians.  Our opposition were well drilled and had a physical advantage, using set plays from the restarts to great effect to cut through our defensive lines.  A strong defensive line by Sevenoaks kept the score differences to a minimum, with many 7th tackle turnovers testament to the tackling commitment from both sides.  But in the end, the receiving of the ball at pace saw final scores of As 1:5 and the Bs 2:3.

Sevenoaks As

Sevenoaks As

Game two saw Sevenoaks As pitted against a recognised foe in Old Albanians.  A more matched competition, Sevenoaks let the game slip away from them with a couple of missed tackles.  Again, seventh tackle turnovers were aplenty, but the usual abilities of individual runners scything through the opposition proved fruitless.  Final score of 4:6 did not reflect where Sevenoaks could have finished the game.  Sevenoaks Bs faced Wanstead, who fielded a well drilled side, but with little to answer the physical superiority and strong tackling of Sevenoaks, Wanstead didn’t manage to cross the line.  Sevenoaks a worthy winner at 7:0.

Our hosts Saracens fielded mixed ability teams for the third games, with a more level playing field seeing Sevenoaks using the pitch more and spreading the ball wide.  With some great play by Saracens, both teams performed well, but Sevenoaks proved to be stronger by the final whistle.  With two wins chalked up, heads were back high again with As bagging 5:3 and Bs 4:3.

Sevenoaks As in play

Sevenoaks As in play

The fourth and final games were against a mixed ability squad from Amersham & Chiltern, with a more evenly matched opposition allowing Sevenoaks to click in to their stride.  By the end of the festival, exhaustion and the odd injury reduced the available players for Chiltern and 7 a side dropped to 6 aside at times during the game.  Some great running, off loads at pace and using the width of the pitch more effectively saw both team take wins of 6:3 and 8:3 respectively.

Both teams showed some great rugby, bringing together all that has be learnt throughout the season and showing readiness for the next step in to rucks and mauls.  An excellent performance.

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Sevenoaks U9s and the Kents

Six squads and their entourage of parents, grandparents, siblings and friends made the journey south on hallowed Mothering Sunday for the prestigious Kent Cup hosted by Cranbook this year.  With the largest presence on the day, expectations were high in this mixed ability tournament, drawing teams from all over Kent.  With the onus on Rugbys ‘Core Values’, enjoyment was the main aim of the day and the shining sun helped achieve this.

Sevenoaks had every single member of the U9s squad available playing and acquitted themselves well, winning two thirds of their games despite some tough opposition at times.  With no official winners, SRFC U9s came away happy in what had been achieved over the year and how well the players had taken to tackling. 

Next year, the players will start to contest for a larger ball than they have been playing with since U6s and the introduction of the scrum, Ruck and Maul.

Results:

Team 1: W3 D1

Team 2: W5

Team 3: W3 L1

Team 4: W3 D1 L1

Team 5: W3 L1 D1

Team 6: W1 D1 L2

Team 1

Match 1 – Won - 8 – 6 – Folkestone 1

Match 2 –Won – 10 – 4 - Beckenham 2

Match 3 –Draw – 6 -6 - Sidcup 1

Match 5 – Won - 9 – 4 - Westcombe Park 1

All in all a very solid performance on the attack due to some excellent support play with perfectly timed offloads resulting in a number of tries.  The tackling got off to a slow start but improved greatly over the course of the festival with all the players trying their best.  We received a couple of compliments from opposition coaches and a ref abouthow well they played as a team – which says it all.  Well played team !!

Team: Daniel Scandling, Edward Smith, Georgia Houchin, Harry Corstorphine, Jamie Williams, Max Clark, William Crosby, Yiannis Papadopoulos

Team 2

Team 2.JPG

A drive down the A21 for the team to Cranbrook for the Kent U9's festival on a gloriously sunny day beckoned. 

The day started against Blackeath 2. We knew this would be a tough game and so it proved. We started strongly with strong defensive efforts. Our defensive efforts were complimented with a strong attacking game with some good passing and support running. The team also benefitted from an interception try and pulled away towards the end of the game. This resulted in a 6-4 win. 

Second up was Ashford 1, a strong defensive performance forced the opposition into several mistakes. The players continued to follow a relatively structured and straight defensive line pushing Ashford back. However the difference in this game was that we continued to execute much improved passing and straight running allowing our attack to benefit. This resulted in a 5-0 win.

Our third match was the toughest of the day; against Dartfordians 1. A very strong defensive performance by both teams prevented several tries being scored in the first half. In fact in the fast half Sevenoaks struggled to contain Dartford but our commitment to defence was outstanding, resulting in a 1-1 result at half time. Several pieces of superb play including a lovely cut out pass resulted in us pulling away but despite the final score line it was a hard fought 4-1 victory. 

The penultimate game was against Thanet 1. Our straight running benefited the team and yielded results as we kept the ball moving down the line. This resulted in a 4-1 win. 

The final game was against Medway Reds which was a relatively comfortable 7-2 victory as we let in two tries as the players started to tire. 

Well done to the players. Nice to see so much improvement and teamwork come together in a festival. 

Festival Reflections and improvement points:

- Tackling was solid but players need to continue to tackle low and spread out (avoid bunching)

- Better passing and link play but always scope to improve here (Heads up rugby)

- Mostly straight and fast running

Team: Alexander Paizes; Andrew Crawford; Harvey Head; Hugo Smith; Imogen Anderson; Jimi Aiyeola; Luke Coll; Mackenzie Copp; Priam van Asche; Tom Harvey.  

Team 3

A bright sunny spring morning greeted our 9 man squad on Mothering Sunday.  Due to one no show, we were down to just two substitutes from the off.  As long as we stayed true to form, we would be able to hold our own if we stick to our strengths and defend firmly.

First game was against a very strong Tunbridge Wells side, well drilled and no weak links to be seen.  Our boys stepped up to the plate and played the game to the best of their abilities, tackling strongly and running where they could.  But the game slipped away from them, with our players a little bruised and battered by the final whistle.  Whilst out gunned, the lead was only marginal and the boys acquitted themselves well.

The second game we were a little more considered in our approach, with the introduction of our lucky charm for the day, Coby.  With heads needing to be kept up, the team talk looked to wipe the slate clean, with some positioning of the players on the pitch, assigning a scrum half and two wingers for a more strategic approach.  It worked.  A performance worthy of the squad ensued, with some hard tackling and great running from Coby, with William Blackmore consistently taking the ball over and beyond the gain line, only to recompose and find himself repeating the challenge moments later.  Lucas managed to sink a number of tries after breaking away from the pursuing pack to take the win over Gillingham.

Game three was more of the same against Deal & Betts, our tackling dominance and ability to run with the ball giving us the win.  With Tait serving up a phenomenal defense, rebutting any attempt to get through our line, a couple of strong runs and structured play from Leo and Stein, saw Sevenoaks flexing our abilities to the max.

Our last game against Aylseford was a tough encounter, with great tackling and running by the opposition bringing the game to Sevenoaks.  With some excellent pair tackling from Arthur and Elliot, we kept their advances at bay where we could - Elliot on two occasions stood in the way of the largest player in the opposition to make a tackle that would have surely seen a try scored against us.  With some excellent recycling at the breakdown, Sevenoaks were able to unleash Alex to run in a number of tries leaving the opposition in his wake as he went, securing the win by one try.

As coaches, Simon and I were over the moon with the performance by every single player today – with each man carrying their team to the best of their abilities.  As a result of playing together as a team, some excellent rugby followed, with players leaning on their strengths and improving areas that they didn’t feel as confident in - smiles on their faces at the end of the day indicated a successful outing.

Team:  Alex Yeabsley, Arthur Trussler, Elliot Soong, Leo Hofmann, Lucas Gorrill, Stein Russell-Jones, Tait Anderson, William Blackmore, Coby Smith

Team 4

Without an out and out flyer team 4 won the first 3 games by playing as a team, passing the ball to find space and scoring tries. We saw real commitment in defence with all boys tackling and covering the width of the field. The effort was kept up even through the draw and a loss at the finish. Great attitude from all the team and exemplary behaviour. Steve and I were very proud of them. And great support from the parents too.

Soaks vs Maidstone 2 (5:4)
Soaks vs old Dunstonians (5:2)
Soaks vs Blackheath 3 (3:3)
Soaks vs Dart Valley (5:4)
Soaks vs Tunbridge Wells 2 (3:5)

Team 5

Sevenoaks 5, Mixed Team went to the sunshine of Cranbrook and played very well - lots of good tackling and offloads in both defence and attack to please the coaches.

Our first match was against Ash and Sevenoaks were pretty slow out of the blocks, but end to end tries resulted in an initial 4-4 draw against the nimble players from Ash.

Next up were Aylesford who although a much larger proposition, Sevenoaks had learnt from the first match and were able to create a much wider game and used the space to good effect and deservedly ran out 6-2 winners

Edenbridge were next and Sevenoaks had to change to a white strip to avoid the usual colour clash - Again the boys from Sevenoaks played really well, with lots of tackling forcing Edenbridge back and not allowing them to play much apart from some breakout tries. The result was a 6-5 Win to Sevenoaks.

Old Alleynians were next - and they upped their game to meet Sevenoaks, their tackling was superb and stopped a lot of Sevenoaks attacks. The game was a ferocious affair and with so many injuries we had to play 6v6 for some parts of the game - OA`s deservedly won 2-4

Our last game after a quick turnaround was against a big Bromley side - the injuries we had suffered in the previous match were forgotten and our tackling game was back. Our attacks were precise and deadly pushing back Bromley and Sevenoaks ended up 7-3 winners

All in all the coaches were very proud of out Team - they all worked together in tackling and attacking and it was great fun to have them.

Daniel Scandling, Dexter Williams, Gurvan Ollivier, Jan Lousberg, Josh Clare, Ollie Maltarp, Sam Pearl, Thomas Kerton, Tiger Bussey

We Won 3, Drew 1 and Lost 1

Team 6

With one player down, Sevenoaks 6 went to work with two subs.

Game 1 was against Cranbrook, losing by two tries with almost all their tries scroed by a single player.

Aylesford provided the opposition for Game 2 and whilst physically bigger than Sevenoaks, we stood our ground well, unfortunate to lose by one try at the final whistle.

Dartford turned out for the third game with two very large players for our squad to contend with, with some committed tackling and great offloads seeing the draw held.

Whitstable our final opposition saw us take an early lead and noticing at half time they were a man down, the curse of the coaches son saw Harry changing postcode for the second half, to bolster their team and reflecting the true spirit of the game and the reason we turn out every Sunday in all weather – thank you and well done Harry.

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4 Squads, 2 Festivals - A Mixed Day Out

Sevenoaks 2

For Sevenoaks 2 it was very much a morning of two halves at Beccehamian’s on Sunday.

The first two matches were simply a disaster.  It seemed that the team did not want to be there.  Very few of the players  were tackling, supporting the ball carrier or calling for the ball and as a result they lost 5 nil to Cranbrook and 7 nil to Tunbridge Wells.  The team was obviously very disappointed as all their heads were down and a few comments made by some of the players was suggesting they did not believe they could do any better.

Therefore, a very “firm” discussion was had before the 3rd match.  Whilst the skills that they needed to improve on were discussed, the most important message the coaches asked of the players was to show to them and their parents that they wanted to be there and show that they were trying and doing their best !!

Match 3 – Was like a different team on a different day.  Tackles were made forcing turnovers, passes were made, tries were scored, support play was almost in over supply and most importantly smiles were restored to the player’s faces.  A great 6 – 5 victory against Beckenham.

Match 4 – With self belief and smiles restored there was lots of positive attacking and support play resulting in a 6 – 4 victory against Old Whitgiftians.  A great way to finish a challenging morning. 

The main lesson learnt on Sunday was not so much the skills of tackling, passing and supporting etc but all the players finding their self belief and desire to try their best.    

Well done all of you – A superb turn around after a very difficult start !!

Coaches: Jeremy and Diddier

Team:  Edward Smith, Imogen Anderson, Olly Jones, Peter Clews, Rishan Saini, Tait Anderson, Tom Harvey, Xavier Prongue.

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SRFC U9s - 4 Squads Travel 12 March 2017

Sevenoaks U9s had four squads at festivals this weekend, in mixed conditions underpinned by mud.

At Eltham, one squad faced off against local opponents acquitting themselves well.  The theme of the day was staying strong in defence, with the scrum half securing and recycling the ball almost faultlessly and many opportunities taken to off load the ball before and during the tackle.  One of the high points of the day was a game against local friends Dartford.  A well drilled and physical opposition bought the game to Sevenoaks, but on the final whistle Sevenoaks had stood their ground well, with the score line not reflecting how close the game had been.

At Guildford two squads faced opponents from further afield.  In windy, muddy conditions making the recycling of the ball at the breakdown all the more important, defence was key once again.  With a slow start initially, tackling kept opposition teams in check but a lack of straight and committed running ultimately cost the team’s early success.  Beyond the first game, the Sevenoaks teams found their stride, collecting tries and a decent covering of mud.  With all players stepping up to the tackle well, it was important to keep the tackle low to ensure the player goes to ground.  Direct, quick running made the difference in the end and encouraging the movement of the ball down the line becoming more and more key to success.

One squad headed to Old Colfeians, meeting local teams including another Dartford team in the process.  With a strong team defending and running well, Sevenoaks delivered performances to be proud of, with a convincing win against Park House seeing the coming together of a strong defence and a solid running effort.  Again, recycling of the ball being key and making sure it is not at the expense of our defense.

A good weekend of rugby a great precursor to four more squads at two festivals next weekend.

Eltham

Eltham Mar17.JPG

Match report and player info below.  Thank you so much for all your support today.  We hope that all the children enjoyed the day, and we’re sure that you’ll agree that they all produced a fantastic performance at the festival.

Match 1 Vs Alleynians – 2 - 8

Match 2 Vs Old Elthamians – 5 - 4

Match 3 Vs Dartfordians – 3 - 7

Match 4 Vs Sidcup – 6 - 2

A shaky start in the first half of the first game, but a much improved performance in the second half.  It was obvious that the players were confident going into the second game, and they took on board all of the negatives from the first game, begun running forward and passing the ball into space, and worked really hard for a win.  The third game against a very strong and well drilled Dartfordians was closer that the score line suggests.  Some fantastic tackling in this game, with all the players stepping up in what proved to be a really physical game.  Again, some fantastic passing out of tackles and great forward running which was rewarded with tries.  A step up again for the last game.  Although not as strong an opposition, the players really used the opportunity to show what they are capable of.  Superb passages of passing and off-loads to work around the pitch, backed up by committed tackling. 

Guildford

Another trip down the M25 beckoned for the team on what proved to be a wet and very muddy day in Guildford. 

The day started with the formidable challenge of Windsor. From history we knew this would be a tough game and so it proved. We started strongly with an all-encompassing defensive effort (a theme of the day) particularly prevalent however our attacking let us down. Our running was not as straight as it should have been and crucially were unable to convert our chances as passing (or rather a lack of it) let us down.   At half time it was 0-0 however in the second half we let in two tries. This resulted in a 2-0 loss. 

Second up was Chobham Reds where the strong defensive performance continued forcing the opposition into several mistakes. The players continued to follow a relatively structured and straight defensive line pushing Chobham further and further back. However the difference in this game was that we executed much improved passing and straighter running allowed our attack to benefit. This resulted in a 5-0 win.

Our third match was against the hosts Guildfordians. A strong defensive performance by both teams prevented many tries being scored. Further we missed a few opportunities especially as the ball become increasingly greasy as conditions became relatively more difficult. This resulted in a 3-3 draw. 

The last of our games was against Brighton which was a close game. Strong defensive efforts ensured it remained a closely contested game throughout. Our straighter running benefited the team and yielded results as we kept the ball slightly tighter given the wet and muddy conditions. The resulted in a 3-2 win. 

Well done to the players. 

Festival Reflections and improvement points:

Tackling was solid but players need to continue to tackle low and spread out (avoid bunching)

Passing and link play needs to be improved (Heads up rugby)

Straight and fast running - too much sideways running

Team: 

Ediz Karsak, Francis Webb, Harry Corstorphine, Hugo Smith, Isaac Rosier, Jamie Robinson, Luke Coll, Stein Russell-Jones, Yiannis Papadopoulos 

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Aylesford Bulls Festival Nov16

Sevenoaks 1

Squad: Edward Richards, Finlay Hawkins, Forbes Logan, Jack James, Leo Hofmann, Lucas Gorrill, Tait Anderson, Thomas Kerton, Xavier Prongue, Sam Heale.

Coaches: Greg Gorrill, Didier Prongue

This is the last tournament of the year 2016 for the U9’s. The tournament was played in good conditions for mini rugby; a dry & firm pitch, sunny but cold with a slight breeze.

We started the tournament playing in match 2 and were carded to play 5 games during the tournament so the players had a long morning/afternoon ahead of them to keep warm, fit & focused for the games ahead.

Matches:

Game 1  Drew 4-4 vs Thanet (3 tries from Lucas)

Game 2 Lost 8-1 vs Aylesford 4

Game 3 Draw 4-4 vs Aylesford 2

Game 4 Lost 3-2 vs Gravesend 2

Game 5 Match cancelled vs Canterbury 1 by consensus as the tournament was running in excess of an hour behind schedule 4/5’s of the way through the festival, and therefore an early bath for all before the forecast of rain to arrive was a sensible decision.

Coaches summary:  The day was a bit up and down for all the team. All the players in this team had good spells showing us they can all do what they have been taught to do but they also went off the boil for periods of time in both attacking and defensive play meaning it was difficult to sustain pressure against our opponents and ultimately we ended up losing against stronger opponents on the day.

From the start of the tournament our shaky tackling of the opposition players and shyness or perhaps a lack of confidence in front of our opponents saw ‘individual runaway tries’ scored against us. Saying that it was very encouraging to see the team reach 7 tackles and earn a turnover; so a lack of consistency in our play was a problem not a lack of ability.

The coaches at the various festivals have now had ample opportunity to see the areas we need to work on as a team / squad and also the development areas we need to focus on for individual players. 

The players were without exception a credit to the club and all embraced the 5 core RFU values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline & Sportsmanship on and off the field and came away with a certificate of achievement from the organisers on the day.

The enjoyment the players showed playing rugby is very encouraging, their will to play as a team despite consistently (deliberately so) being jumbled up as teams through out the season is great for the squad overall.

Back to the paddock next week-end where we will focus on developing skills and confidence to play the game through fun small sided games. 

Sevenoaks 2

Two Sevenoaks teams headed up the M20 to Aylesford Bulls RFC Minis Festival. Braving the bitter cold, and traffic and parking challenges now familiar with this festival, we played four tough games against determined and disciplined oppositions. The players of Sevenoaks B were Elliot Soong, Ben Hunter, Coby Smith, Barnaby Burns, Harry Mitchell, Jan Lousberg, Nicholas Sumner, Raphael Landgrebe, Sean McInally and William Blackmore.

 Game 1: Thanet A: 1 v Sevenoaks B: 6

A great first game by Sevenoaks. We did suffer from some of our usual first-game nerves in the opening stages, which led to some reluctance to tackle. But the boys found their focus and, led by a couple of great efforts by Elliot, everyone was soon making the tackles. The second half opened with some great defensive work as Thanet threatened to score. Our pressure forced an error, and Barnaby ran almost the length of the pitch to score. The half also saw our boys win two 7th-tackle turnovers, one of which definitely save a try. Both Raphael and William put in impressive runs to get our last 2 tries. A great efforts by everyone, and is turned out our best result of the day.

Try scorers were: Barnaby: 1 Jan: 2 Raphael: 1 Sean: 1 William: 1

 Game 2: Aylesford 3: 5 v Sevenoaks B: 3

Aylesford were a physically big team, and were also very proficient, aggressive tacklers. This really spooked our boys, to the point that our great tackling in the first game completely vanished and we ended the first half 3-1 down. At half-time the Coaches gave Raphael and Barnaby the job or proving to the rest of the team that the big Aylesford players could be tackled. The boys did their job and the spell was broken, we had our mojo back! Jan bravely held onto a try-saving tackle despite a nasty hand-off, and Harry was able to prosecute a great run and try from the play that followed. During this half the boys played their hearts out, matching Ayleford try for try. Sadly, Aylesford’s first half lead was too much.

Try scorers were: Harry: 1 Jan: 2

 Game 3: Aylesford 1: 5 v Sevenoaks B: 3

Suddenly it was Groundhog day at Aylesford! This game was almost a complete facsimile of game 2. Aylesford again ran out a physically large and well drilled team, and again our boys were a bit intimidated by the sight. That said, there were some excellent performances from Sevenoaks, with Ben being tackled just short of the line but using his height to full effect and reaching the ball over the line for a try. William made a very impressive run down half the pitch, only to also be tackled just short of the line. But he didn’t panic, saw and passed to Raffael who was able to get the try. We started to struggle during the second half, which saw us bunching around the ball carrier when attacking. This led to us running into players, not space and losing a few 7th-tackle turnovers. Jan’s blistering pace brought us a 3rd try, but not even Sean’s determined tackling could overcome the fact that legs were getting tired and we were not stopping enough of their attacks, so 1-0 down at half time, turned into 5-3 down at the end.

Try scorers were: Ben: 1 Jan: 1 Raphael: 1

 Game 4: Gravesend: 6 v Sevenoaks: 2

The score line of what turned out to be our last game didn’t reflect the effort put. Whilst tired legs and cold hands certainly led to a bit of a half-hearted effort with quite a few tackles, there were some great moments of supporting play. Frustratingly, we missed out on a 3rd try through some great defending by Gravesend. But that effort saw everyone thinking about how to support the ball-carrier, and almost everyone held the ball during that attack. The second half saw some inspired tackling from Coby, without which we would certainly have conceded more tries than we did, and he was well supported by Nick who’s tackling confidence has been growing all season. Sadly, we had run out of puff and were just out paced in the end. A great effort by all our players, which has given the coaches some good indications as to where the training focus needs to be for the next few sessions.

Try scorers were: Jan: 1 William: 1

 

 

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Sidcup Festival Nov16

Problem solving.....

Problem solving.....

Sevenoaks 1

On a cold but clear, autumnal, day, the under 9s acquitted themselves superbly with some excellent tackling and attacking rugby at the Sidcup RFC Henry Dowswell Festival of Rugby.

The Sevenoaks 1 side comprised of Alex Paizes, Arthur Trussler, Callum Le Roux, Ed Karsak, Harry Corstophine, Isaac Rosier, Jason Rogers, Josh Clare, Max Clark and Sam Pearl.

The side played four, and won four.  Convincingly.

First up was Park House.  The game was a bit of a mismatch, with Sevenoaks 1 cruising to a 8-0 victory.  I failed to write down the scorers for this one.  Sorry, suffice it to say that some boys scored a lot of tries.  I am pretty sure Sam, Jason, and Josh scored in this game.  And the boys would have scored more, but the ref (rightly) in a bid to even things up and let Park House play some fluid rugby, stopped counting tackles by the Sevenoaks boys.  Prior to that, we achieved a number of 7 tackle turnovers, with some excellent and relentless tackling.

Old Colfeians 1 were next up.  Although tougher opposition than Park House, Sevenoaks 1 again posted another strong win, with 6 tries for and one against.  Scorers included Ed (2), Josh, Max, Callum and Jason.  The tackling was especially impressive in this match.  During the first half, the boys stopped what looked like a certain try by the Old Colfs just yards from the try line, with coordinated and committed defending as a team.  Sam Pearl, in particular, was noteworthy for some crunching tackles.  Fantastic stuff- the boys should be proud of themselves for their efforts in this match.

Sidcup 1, Sevenoaks 1’s third opponents, gave the boys what was probably their hardest test of the day.  Not least because one of the Sidcup boys scored two tries, running at lightning speed down the wings, early on.  But Sevenoaks tries from Callum, Arthur, Max, Harry and Jason helped the Oaks to a 5-2 win in the end.  The fact that all 5 tries were scored by different players shows what a team effort it was.

During the Sidcup match, Callum injured his knee with a committed tackle.  It was a desperate shame because he’d been outstanding to that point.  The ref, wisely, called an end to the match early when Callum couldn’t continue.  We would, perhaps, have won by more had the game continued.  Well done to Callum and hopefully he’ll be on the mend very soon and ready for next weekend. 

Callum wasn’t the only boy to have picked up a knock, with Harry, Isaac and Arthur all sustaining injuries during the course of the tournament.  It’s obviously a more physical game than tag rugby, but the boys ploughed on, undeterred. 

The last game, against Edenbridge 1, became the Max Clark show, who scored 4 tries (Jason scoring the other) with a series of Usain Bolt-esque runs that the ‘bridge defenders simply could not get near.

The mysteriously monikered ‘Barbarians’ didn’t turn up, so Sevenoaks 1’s fifth game went unplayed.  I’m pretty sure we would have won that one too, such was the boys’ form!

Overall, an excellent day of rugby by the Sevenoaks 1 boys.  They were presented medals by Mrs Dowswell, unbeaten and a credit to their club.  Thanks to the boys from the coaches.  We look forward to the next festival with you all.

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Beccehamians Oct16

11 of SRFC’s finest all managed to remember to put their clocks back, and drove carefully north through the mist to Beccehamian RFC Minis Festival this morning. The members of Sevenoaks A were Amy Vickers, Barnaby Burns, Daniel Peters, Luke Coll, Finnbar Dalton, Nicholas Sumner, Oliver Bown, Owen Williamson, Thomas Kidd, Toby Edwards and Harry Mitchell.

Game 1

Westcombe Park B: 2 Sevenoaks A: 4

We went into our first game with a degree of nervousness, as this was the first time most of us had played together, and for some it was the first festival of the season. It took the first half for us to really settle into playing again, with nerves or a lack of confidence holding almost everyone back from tackles. However, we had held Westcombe to a 2-all draw at half time. We were a little more settled during the second half, but a rather timid approach to tackling threatened to loose us the game, and it was only the blistering speed and dogged determination of Luke that carried us through. However, at full time the Coaches instructions to the team were that Luke wasn’t the whole team, and he would be exhausted if everyone let him do all the running. We all need to get stuck in

Try scorers were:  Luke: 4

Game 2

Edenbridge A: 4 Sevenoaks A: 4

Confidence levels had gone up half a notch as we ran out to face Edenbridge. Finn proved effective in attack, moving forward and intimidating the opposition. Both teams were very well matched, with Edenbridge maybe having the edge in tackling confidence and discipline. But we had better pace, and when we found the space we made great use of it. In the opening play Amy made a terrific tackle that stopped the advance in its tracks. Barnaby took up the challenge and put in some extremely effective tackles, and Toby found his legs later in the second half to score a well-earned try.

Try scores were: Barnaby: 1 Luke: 2 Toby: 1

Game 3

Beckenham: 3 Sevenoaks A: 7

Our confidence was definitely building as the day progressed, and 7 very enthusiastic players ran out to face Beckenham. The Coaches advice to Nick to push forward more seemed to pay dividends with him much more confident to exploit his height and be first up in defence. Toby appeared to accept that he was actually a good tackler, and the opposition suddenly found him a force to be reckoned with. During the second half we discovered that Owen showed how well he could run, going over for 2 cracking tries. The final play of the game was an excellent piece of teamwork, with everyone passing at least once, moving the ball the full width of the pitch and culminating with Oliver making a great run down the line for our 7th try. A great game!

Try scorers were: Barnaby: 1 Luke: 2 Fin: 1 Oliver: 1 Owen: 2

Game 4

Whitgiftians: 0 Sevenoaks A: 5

Definitely our best result of the day. Heads were up and everyone wanted to play in this game. Amy built on her first game’s experience with another great tackle, and Daniel showed real confidence in defence, pushing forwards and not letting the opposition get up any speed. Thomas followed Amy’s lead with a couple of really good tackles, helping to win a turnover on the 7th tackle, and during the second half Harry showed some great support running, picking up a pass and scoring with ease. This was a tremendous game were everyone really put in a huge effort, and were rightly rewarded with an excellent win.

Try scorers were: Barnaby: 1 Luke: 2 Toby: 1 Harry: 1

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Cranbrook Development Festival Oct

The Sevenoaks Rugby FC Under 9s acquitted themselves well in Cranbrook RFC Mini’s Development Festival on 23rd October 2016.

The U9s is the first season of contact tackling, progressing from tag rugby in the U8s.

Another big difference this year is that nobody is keeping scores, the focus now being on player development.

Had we still been scoring – which we weren’t, honest – the Sevenoaks U8s would have won one, drawn one and lost three matches.  All games were close, with some excellent attacking play and strong tackles from the boys.  Cranbrook, Tunbridge Wells, Sidcup, Cannterbury and Westcome Park all gave the Sevenoaks team some good competition.

The Sevenoaks team was made up of Arthur Trussler, Coby Smith, Daniel Scandling, Francis Webb, Gurvan Ollivier de Saint Aignan, Jamie Robinson, Jamie Williams, Joshua Clare, Nicholas Sumner and Tait Anderson.

A good time was had by all and given the way the boys played, the future for Sevenoaks rugby looks bright.

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Saracens Work Rate and Honesty Festival

Saracens Oct16.jpg

Sevenoaks 1

Won 1, Drew 1, Lost 1

For many of us having visited Allianz Park a few times now this was the first time that we have experienced sunshine since so often it has been freezing cold and driving rain. So with a beautiful Autumn day set up for us and the prospect of the players demonstrating the skills they have learnt on a premiership pitch, there was a buzz of excitement from the players and the parents.

Match 1 – Bancroft 2 Drew 9 -9

In Match 1, we witnessed some excellent running attacking play from both sides with some creative and well linked manoeuvres by Sevenoaks.  However, the defensive play from Sevenoaks and Bancroft was very week with countless tackles missed and so each side after conceding a try and then restarting with the ball then scored so the score was only ever one try apart.  Given the tackling errors from both sides both sides were pleased to come away with a draw which was a fair result.

Match 2 – Finchley Won 6 - 5

The emphasis of the team talk before Match 2 was all about the tackle – TACKLE, TACKLE, TACKLE.  There is no doubt that the players got the simple and clear message delivered to them that they needed to “tackle”.  Since they went out there and “tackled, tackled and tackled” and boy they had to.  Finchley were a fast and agile side and this match was won by all 7 players on the pitch tackling and forcing errors.  A great effort by the whole squad.

Match 3 – Braintree – Lost 2 – 4

 In the third and last match of the festival, the boys went out on the pitch with determination and the self-belief that they could win after their efforts in the last match.  Unfortunately this match got off to a bad start where two tries were conceded in succession from off side positons which were not picked up by the officials and resulted in some of the Sevenoaks heads dropping.  Despite, heads dropping they did work hard to try and rectify matters by scoring two well-structured tries but Braintree were the bigger and more physical side and powered through to score two further tries resulting in a loss for Sevenoaks.

Players : Edward Smith, Ethan Anderson, Ethan Craggs, Forbes Logan, George Rehbein, Yiannis Papadopoulos, Jan Lousberg, Toby Edwards, Nicholas Sumner.

Coach : Jeremy Smith

Sevenoaks 2

Win v Luton 5-2

Win v Brentwood 4-3

Win v Bancroft 5-2

Players:  Callum Le Roux, Ed Richards, Ediz Karsak, George Pearson, Rishan Siani, Sean Mcinally, William Blackmore, Zach Owen

Thank you to the parents for arriving early at the Saracens U9 Work Rate & Honesty Festival. This enabled the coaching team to take the boys away before games to warm up and run through 1:1 & 2:1 tackle drills. Throughout the drills every boy gave 100% to being tackled and tackling.

Going into the first game every boy man-marked their opposite player and the tone of this game was set early by some fantastic tackling. The tackle count in the first minute of the game was in the high teens. Every tackle going in low and hard, and where one player couldn’t stop the bigger boys a second support player followed up with the second tackle. This complete team support by every player lead to Sevenoaks 2 playing over 8 minutes of rugby in the oppositions half. All players having made the tackle got back on-side, and only tackled the first receiver respecting the scrum half could not be tackled, on the pass several players worked on hunting the ball carrier and making multiple tacks. The work rate in the first half was something to admire in such young children in their first year of contact.

Our next game against Brentwood proved tougher competition with some strong tactical substitutions from the opposition, to get another positive result against this team of bigger players required some committed two man tackles to slow up the attack. But again the collective team work as one unit created the turn overs through hard work, and when chances came several players ran strong straight lines up the middle sucking in players with some quick pop passes to create the space out wide to be exploited.  Sevenoaks 2 closed out this game by killing off the opposition chances and maintaining continuity of the ball in the final minutes of the game.

After a much need break and lunch the players came into the final game focused on what they enjoyed in the last two games as quoted by the boys; they enjoyed tackling, the quantity of tackles and watching the opposition throwing the ball loosely because they knew the tackle was coming. This attitude to playing their game meant going into the final game the players were fired up. Straight from the off they played as a team hunting in PODs of two of three players, giving the opposition little time on the ball and turning over the ball through forced errors. The last 6 minutes of this game was played out in the oppositions half, allowing Sevenoaks to dominate possession and control the game with another successful result.

All the players in Sevenoaks 2 showed that it was not the individual that won these games but the sum of its parts. Great performances from a special bunch of boys all working for one another.

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Old Colfs Oct16

Match 1 Vs Tunbridge Wells:  lost 3 – 9

Match 2 Vs Old Colfs: lost2 – 7

Match 3 Vs Westcombe Park:  lost 3 – 8

Match 4 Vs Old Alleynians:  lost 1 – 7

A timid start to the festival, meeting a strong and well drilled Tunbridge Wells squad.  An improvement during the second half was noticeable, with fewer tries conceded.  Although the scores never went our way, we were impressed with the “never give up” attitude of the entire squad, who worked together and kept on trying to push on forward against the opposition. 

Coaching points worked on during small breaks between matches and at half times, were taken on board by the players, and we continued to see improvement from them all throughout the festival.  Whilst we did not see the results we would have all hoped for, an encouraging first tournament for many of the players with noticeable improvement for all match by match.

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Blackheath, Warlingham and Bromley Festivals - Oct16

Sevenoaks U9s were playing in three tournaments last weekend with our investment in tackling starting to pay dividends. 

The first was at Blackheath on Saturday where Sevenoaks fielded two squads in their first contact festivals, playing eight games against familiar local squads.  With one game missed due to a no show, a win, a draw and five losses gave an unfair representation of the success seen on the day by the two squads.  As we would want, strength in the tackle was evident and something we are aiming to develop ahead of anything else at the moment, but we ultimately lost ground and games on the attack.  With every player executing tackles, the coaches were very pleased with the performance on the day.

Sunday saw a single squad heading to Bromley to face tough opponents, but again stepped up to the challenge of the tackle well.  Being the first contact festival for most, pleasingly the performance of the tackling evolved with each game.  The counter attack and running game can be focused upon going forward, but tackling and handling were excellent with some very committed players.

Two squads headed to Warlingham for Sundays second festival, with Sevenoaks fielding mainly players taking their second bite at contact festivals.  Some excellent rugby played by Sevenoaks as well as opposing teams saw some tough games, with the concentration on defence paying dividends.  Structured attacks and physical imbalances were met with committed tackling and strong defensive lines from Sevenoaks.  Strong counters and good hands provided the SRFC U9s with a clean sweep of 12 wins for the 12 games played by the two squads.

Excellent performances from all the squads

Blackheath As

Match 1 v Aylesford - Lost

Whilst Sevenoaks minis are notorious for getting off to sleepy starts at festivals this was not the case on Saturday.  Despite Aylesford winning the toss and opting to start Sevenoaks made themselves known by putting some excellent tackles in from the outset of the match.  Tackle after tackle was made albeit the first try was scored by Aylesford.  Further into the game Sevenoaks continued to put in some very impressive tackles which forced errors and turnover ball but unfortunately, Oaks attacking play lacked the pace and continuity between the players required to score a sufficient number of tries to win, so a narrow loss was chalked up.

Match 2 v Old Alleynians - Won

This was very much a match of two halves. Mainly because the coaches did not have the right balance of players on the pitch resulting in Sevenoaks being 3 – 0 down at half time.  With an inspiring team talk at half time and the rebalancing of the team the second half was a very physical encounter.  Big hits were put in by both sides but the Sevenaoks players kept calm and ran in 4 tries clinching a win in the final seconds of the game.

Match 3 v Tonbridge Juddians – Lost

Essentially, this was the local derby being played at a neutral ground in South East London. The players continued to put in an excellent tackling performance but on the attack they had run out of gas, possibly due to their tackling efforts throughout the morning.  With the ball in hand, several of the players were out of position, not really attacking the game line, which resulted in a narrow loss. 

Match 4 – Cancelled as Kings College Pirates were a no show.

Summary – Won 1, Lost 2

The coaches were absolutely delighted to see all 11 players fully committed to the tackle.  There was no hesitation as they applied their tackling skills that they have been developing since the beginning of September.  Where we felt there is some room for improvement and work to be done is on their attacking play and pushing up on the gain line, but this can be easily improved.  In a “nut shell”, a cracking effort for their first contact festival.  Well played boys!!

Team: Ben Kerr, Edward Smith, Finley Vanblarcum, Francis Webb, Jan Lousberg, Joshua Clare, Louis Watson, Mackenzie Copp, Thomas Kerton, Will Beazleigh, William Blackmore.

 Coaches :  Jeremy and Spencer

Blackheath Bs

Sevenoaks 2 vs Tonbridge Judds (4 - 7)

Sevenoaks 2 vs Blackheath (3 – 6)

Sevenoaks 2 vs Old Alleynians (4- 4)

Sevenoaks 2 vs Hampstead (5 – 7)

What went well/Things to work on

Coby Smith - Brilliant strong running every time you had your hands on the ball.  Excellent determination to move the team towards the try line, resulting in numerous scores.  Work to hold your depth as a support runner so that you can take the ball at pace.  Run with the ball in two hands until you pass the last defender.

Ben Thompson - Great work as first receiver from restarts to gain ground and advance the team up the pitch.  As the festival progressed, you worked really hard to be involved in each wave of attack.  Try to be more proactive in defence and work to put yourself in the right position to make the tackle.

Ethan Anderson - A great effort in defence throughout the festival.  Confident running with the ball and good support play.  Remain focussed in attack once you have been tackled to ensure the pass/off-load goes to your team-mate.  Don’t rush, you have more time than you think.

Georgia Houchin - Lovely passing off the floor in the scrum half position, and great support running in attack.  Be confident in defence and put yourself in a good position to make a tackle.

Owen - Great effort in both attack and defence throughout the festival.  Excellent evasive running to score both of your tries.  Watch your height in defence, concentrate on good body position to make an effective tackle.

Leo Hoffman - Fantastic determination when tackling.  You worked really hard to defend your try line and made a try saving tackle on more than one occasion.  Lovely evasive running in attack as your outstanding number of tries demonstrates.  Take the easiest route to score a try.  It is not necessary to cut back through the defence.  Trust your speed and take the shortest route.  This will make it much easier for your team-mates to support you.

Toby - You became much more involved as the festival progressed and worked really hard to support your team-mates and be available to receive a pass.  Be more vocal in attack to make sure your team-mates know you are ready to receive the ball.  Be positive in defence and put yourself in position to make tackles.

Tom - A quiet first game but you soon showed how effective you can be in attack.  You set up several tries by determined straight running, making it so difficult for the opposition to stop you.  You will have to make an extra effort when tackling to ensure your body position is correct and that you make contact below the waist.  Think about your position earlier, to make sure you have enough time to adjust.

Tristan - A really good effort in attack to keep up with play and ensure that the ball carrier has an option to pass out of the tackle.  Confident running with the ball in hand.  Keep going in attack.  Continue to drive your legs to make it really difficult for the opposition to stop you.

Warlingham As

Warlingham was the first full contact festival for many teams but that didn't detract from the commitment and enthusiasm shown all round.

Sevenoaks 1 fielded a competitive side, which on paper would've been expected to produce fast flowing running rugby. On this account the team didn't disappoint, but most pleasing today was the strong defensive formations and rock solid tackling. We won 6 out of 6 games, culminating in a final match of mixed sides, barbarian style exhibition rugby played at a standard we as coaches would only be expecting towards the end of the season. Rugby, friendships and all round smiles were the real winners today.

Game 1 Sevenoaks beat Reigate 8 - 1

The first match set the tone for the day with our faster runners burning the opposition round the outside for pace. We managed to turnover possession a number of times with a consistent "team wide" defensive wall. Special mention to Jan for some smother tackles that would've stopped Jonah Lomu in his heyday. Opposition coach remarked our boys were very sportsmanlike in tackle and attack and asked me to pass on their thanks and compliments.

Game 2 Sevenoaks beat Warlingham white 8 - 2

Warlingham had been coached on an attacking set piece with a runner coming onto the ball at pace. Many other sides would've struggled to contain their momentum but our boys made first time tackles consistently throughout the game and from broken play, our runners were just too strong, running in multiple pitch length tries from Harry, William, Andy et al.

Game 3 Sevenoaks Vs Warlingham Blue 7 - 2

The same Warlingham set piece move was once again smothered by our committed tackling, which pleasingly seemed to involve every single Sevenoaks player at some point. It had been a relatively close match in the first half and we were absorbing pressure. A telling turnover close to our line seemed to break Warlingham hearts and the flood gates opened after that. Max scoring a few blistering breaks while Isaac using route 1 very effectively with strong leg drives.

Game 4 Sevenoaks Vs Wimbledon 8 - 2

A match we expected to be one of our toughest was certainly a matchup of two sides filled with speed merchants. Pretty evenly matched attacking exchanges were eventually broken down when we turned them over in 2 consecutive attacks. From that point our team moved through the gears and ran out easy winners.

Game 5 Sevenoaks Vs Old Cats 9 - 0

Some larger boys in the opposition team made it look pretty intimidating at kick off but a message we've tried to drill into the team's psyche all season is that even the smallest boy can bring bigger opposition down with good tackling technique. It was very pleasing to see Elliot holding on very effectively and stopping an attempt from a rampaging Old Cat. On attack however, we just had too much pace and ran in tries at will.

Match 6 Sevenoaks Vs Old Alleynians (mixed team) 5 - 3

Our opposition had already sent half their team home. The remaining boys were all keen for a final match so a few of our runners were passed across for an open, running exhibition game. Oh Boy, were we to be treated! Even the neutral ref commenting that it was one of most enjoyable matches he's been involved in. Both sides were evenly matched and every single boy stepped up and played a blinder - specifically the boys who didnt always get the limelight in prior games were all visible in high quality rugby. The 2 try winning margin did not do justice to the quality on offer.

A great day all round, culminating in a trophy for the Sevenoaks cabinet.

 

Warlingham Bs

Squad: Ediz Karsak, Ethan Craggs, George Rehbein, Josh McClinton, Louis Prade, Priam Van Assche, Raphael Landgrebe, Sam Pearl, Tilly Smith, Xavier Prongue & Yannis Papadopoulos.

Squad: Ediz Karsak, Ethan Craggs, George Rehbein, Josh McClinton, Louis Prade, Priam Van Assche, Raphael Landgrebe, Sam Pearl, Tilly Smith, Xavier Prongue & Yannis Papadopoulos.

For a few in this group this was the first tournament of the year with the introduction of tackling.  The tournament was played in good conditions for mini rugby.  Dry, sunny and mild temperatures for October.

We started the tournament playing in match 1 and were carded to play the last match of the tournament on our 6th game, so the team had a long morning/afternoon ahead of them (especially when the tournament overran significantly) and they all managed to stay concentrated and focused for their games.

Game 1 Win 6-4 vs Streatham 2

Game 2 Win 4-2 vs Reigate 2

Game 3 Win 6-2 vs Beccehamians 2

Game 4 Win 7-2 vs Old Alleynians 2

Game 5 Win 4-2 vs Warlingham 2

Game 6 Win 9/3 vs Chipstead 2

36 tries vs 15 against

All the individuals in this team evolved significantly as players during the tournament.  It was very pleasing to observe real step by step improvements in the teams performance with every game.

From the start of the tournament, when from time to time our shaky tackling of the opposition players saw ‘individual tries’ scored against us, the squad improved and managed to win 4 turn overs by getting 7 tackles to count.  This growing defensive ability allowed our side to force their opponents into errors (dropping the ball, passing forward or running into touch) which then gave us the ball and show some good running & passing rugby.

With the ball our team more often than not would score and it was impressive to see some good straight & effective running, strong ball carrying in both hands and also some good passing to supporting players and relatively few turnovers.

The players were rightly proud & pleased with wining all the matches, winning the cup and going home with a tournament medal each.

The enjoyment the players showed, their will to play as a team, their resilience to get up and play after a hard tackle or a bump on the ground (which is still quite hard) is very encouraging to see and is a promising start for this year group of players.

The parents & supporters of Sevenoaks Rugby can also be happy & proud of how all the players acquitted themselves.

Coaches: Robert Pearl, Didier Prongue

Bromley

Sevenoaks played 5 matches at Bromley in what, for most, was their first taste of competitive contact rugby.

We lost all 5 matches against "mixed ability" teams from Cranbrook, Beckenham, Bromley, Westcombe Park and Old Elthamians.

Stein Russell-Jones scored the majority of our tries with Zach Owen and Ollie Maltarp also making the scoresheet.

Our tackling was tentative until the last two matches which were closer affairs as players gained confidence. 

The whole team played well with decent handling and improving tackling and positioning as the day wore on. Whilst Stein's scoring was certainly notable, credit is due to Tait who as a new player this season, pulled off a couple of very big tackles and to Zach and Harry's tenacity.

Link to some pictures from the day: 

https://www.flickr.com/gp/61552706@N07/3289T4

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U9s First Contact Festivals - Oct16

Sevenoaks U9s were in play at 3 different festivals last Sunday.  This was the first outing in festivals following the introduction of contact and tackling.  With three weeks of coaching under their belts, five teams headed out to apply what had been learnt in such a short period of time.  Every player stepped up to the challenge with confidence and gusto and whilst some may have been slower out of the blocks, every player at least attempted to make a tackle. 

The squad at Medway faced some tough competition but battled through to win 3 and lose 1, with strong tackling seeing the ‘drive for 5’ become a ‘drive for 15’.  At Foxbury, the players acquitted themselves valiantly with four very close matches, losing three and drawing one but the losses were very close with just a single score being the difference at times.  Two teams headed West to Guildford for an A and B festival.  The As turned up in force and tackled relentlessly to win every game convincingly, covering their opposition consistently in the tackles – coupled with strong running, the score lines reflected a capable side.  The Bs were more cautious in the execution of the tackle initially, but by the end of the four games every player had committed to and completed a clean tackle, with two wins, a draw and a loss to show for their efforts.  An excellent evolution from them all.

SRFC U9s running and passing skills continue to be finely honed, but the focus going forward is to concentrate on the tackle and resisting the advance of the opposition.  As applied last season in the TAG game, defence is the most important element to the game and the area we as coaches will continue to try to develop.

Guildford As

First up were the hosts Guildford as we entered our first tackling tournament in mid-morning autumn sunshine; how the players adapted to this significant change was going to be crucial.

We started strongly with an all-encompassing defensive effort (a theme of the day) particularly prevalent which coupled with some convincing breaks and straight running yielded good results.  That allowed Sevenoaks to contain the home teams challenge as we ran out as fairly comfortable winners 7-0.

Second up was Farnborough where the strong defensive performance continued forcing the opposition into several mistakes. The players followed a structured and straight defensive line pushing Farnborough further and further back.  This resulted in a 7-1 win.

Our third match was against Effingham & Leatherhead. Our more fragmented defence was tested particularly in the first half however after a good half time discussion we improved our defence in the second half and ran out winners by 6-2. 

The last of our games was against Old Reigatians Green which was our closest game winning 6-3.  In the first half we again suffered several defensive lapses meaning we led by 1 try at the break. In the second half we again tightened up our defence which resulted in several turnovers from the opposition. 

A strong start to the season from a team where all the players contributed not merely through scoring tries and running support lines but more crucially in defensive duties through tackling, maintaining the defensive line and sheer commitment. A fantastic team effort.

To work on: maintaining intensity of the tackle work, and crucially maintaining a better defensive spread across the field; better support work (ie. better linking play); more composure in attack from tackle area (time is available) and consider 2/3 quick passes as a better option to work the overlap; and lastly spread out during broken field attacking (too many players gathering around the ball).   

Players & try scorers: Callum Le Roux (1); Edik Karsak (2); George Rehbein (1); Isaac Rosier; Jan Lousberg (2); Luke Coll (2); Max Clark (6); Raphael Landgrebe (1); Tiger Bussey (3); Yiannis Papadopoulos (7)

Guildford A Squad

Guildford A Squad

Guildford Bs

A cold morning met the travellers to Guildford and after the referee briefing, thoughts turned to the long cold gaps between games and how to keep the players warm and conserving energy.  It was short lived as the continuation of the ‘Indian Summer’ saw temperatures slowly rise to the late teens to keep all invigorated and ready for play.  The 40-50 minutes between games also flew past.

Our first outing was against Old Reigatians and a well matched game – this was both sides first competitive match and the momentum grew throughout the game with defence being held by a few – lots of ‘near miss efforts’ as the boys got close to the tackle but struggled to tip themselves in to the tackle impact and the ring of steel.  In possession we attacked well with some excellent tries run in by Lucas, Hugo and Harry to draw the game 7-7.

Next up, we faced Barnes and the squad pulled together and the defending tacklers grew in number – relentless take downs by Alex, coupled with excellent forward runs by Rishan who when tackled, presented the ball excellently for the scrum half.  Priam and Harvey stepped in to the SH role time and again with the ball recycled quickly and efficiently.  Hugo, Alex, Harry and Louis took us to a deserved win of 7-3.

In our third game we faced Battersea Ironsides and ultimately lost the game on our tackling – the ‘near miss’ tackles came back with the opposition scything through our boys with ease at times, despite Harvey nailing a cross pitch try saving tackle.  Alex and Joshua managed to take three tries from them but the game finished 3-5.

In our final game we rose to a crescendo against Camberley – a good side with some relentless attacks in their arsenal.  But our boys stepped up to the plate with ‘The Real Joshua Clare’ showing his colours early on.  Clearly something had pushed Joshua’s button as he tore through the defence to run two tries in and tackled frantically.  Harry Edwards put the shoulder in low and hard as the oppo failed to break through time and again.  Lucas found his tackle bringing down bigger and heavier players to stop their advance, often with some Priam assistance to balance the scales.  Harvey too made his way through a wall of players to get on the score board.  Hugo found his gear in the final throws of the game showing the confidence to unleash the speed we know he holds, carrying the ball over the line to add to the tries from Joshua, Lucas and Harvey securing us a 5-1 win.

IMG_5110.JPG

The coaches had an air of concern pre festival that some of the boys may not take to contact that well – it is after all a very physical sport and the varied ages, heights and strength of the players can create a level of fear and anxiety.  Whilst it took some of the boys a bit more time to overcome their initial nerves, by the end of the tournament each and every one had completed an excellent tackle and held the opposition at bay – our fear evaporated.  Well done all – we are very proud of how you have done and the evolution that has taken place. 

Top: Alex Paizes, Louis Watson, Hugo Smith, Priam Van Assche, Rishan Saini  Bottom: Harvey Head, Joshua Clare, Harry Edwards, Lucas Gorrill 

Top: Alex Paizes, Louis Watson, Hugo Smith, Priam Van Assche, Rishan Saini 

Bottom: Harvey Head, Joshua Clare, Harry Edwards, Lucas Gorrill 

Foxbury

Foxbury Squad

Foxbury Squad

Sevenoaks v Beccs 1 – 4

Try by Louis Top Tacklers: Forbes, Zach, Jason

Sevenoaks vs Bromley 5 – 7

Tries: Louis 3, Elliot 1, Jason 1 Top Tacklers: Forbes, Zach, Jason, Josh

Sevenoaks vs Sidcup 3 – 3

Tries: Louis 3, Elliot 1, Jason 1 Top Tacklers: Forbes, Zach, Jason, Josh

Sevenoaks vs OE’s 2 – 5

Tries: Louis 2 Top Tacklers: Forbes, Zach, Jason, Josh

Medway

Team: Daniel Peters, Ben Hunter, George Pearson, Harry Corstorphire, Harry Mitchell, Jack James, Jamie Robertson, Mackenzie Copp, Owen Williamson, Peter Clews.

Played 4: won 3; lost 1.

We got off to a slowish start and lost narrowly to Dartford 1, then played Edenbridge 1 and won comfortably - tries for Mac Owen and Ben.  All boys doing well in defence with some good tackling, one particularly good one from George - absolute textbook.  Gravesend were next and with Harry C and Mac running in 3 each; Owen and Harry M also taking 1 each to take a win.  Gravesend had one particularly big lad who our boys did well collectively to tackle - great team spirit.  Lastly we played Medway and took a comfortable win - with Harry C and Mac taking a few each and one particularly good tackle from Harry C. 

Great attitude and behaviour by all the boys - a great morning at Medway.

Medway Squad

Medway Squad

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SRFC U9 Guiding Principles 2016-17

SRFC U9 Guiding Principles 2016-17

As a group of coaches we follow a set of principles to how we approach our rugby. Over the seasons we will update and amend as we progress – this gives you a quick guide to our coaching philosophy.

Culture

·         Fun - Ensure a competitive, fun environment

·         Teamwork - Build a strong sense of ‘team’ within the player groups : Team first – Self Last

·         Squad - Build a strong sense of identity  as a Sevenoaks Rugby Club representative- on and off field

·         Respect - Treat players, coaches, referees and parents with respect at all time

·         Positive Reinforcement - Recognise and celebrate successes in a positive, supportive environment (from a good pass/try-saving tackle to winning a tournament)

·         Respect – Win or Lose - Recognise and celebrate both winning and losing and develop

Development

·         Squad - Look to grow the squads and players towards multiple, 15 aside Teams (U14)

·         Mobility - Allow players to move as they develop within the game and physicality in the training and team groups – we will never fix these – any player has the ability to move

·         Focus on Core Skills - to create rounded rugby players

·         Match Play - Send as many teams as possible to tournaments

Coaching

·         Fair – to act fairly and responsibly in our approach to coaching

·         Opportunity – listen to, guide and support all players in their development

·         Basics - To establish ‘building blocks’ of the fundamental skills, such as catching, passing, tackling/breakdown, before the win-all mentality.

·         Example – to present as role models and lead from the front

·         Confidence – Instil confidence in our players of their own abilities and worth as individuals and team

Selection and Training Squad Policy

·         Select - Competitive selection based on attitude, form and attendance – matching skill levels and physicality

·         Opportunity - Festival Selection will be at the level coaches believe the player can safely play to – we will aim to get every player to a Festival over the Season

·         Constant Movement - Players will move up and down through the training squads – we will not fix squads – this enables players to develop in different environments and roles (leadership and responsibility)

·         No Show - If players are absent for a tournament or for a period of training they will not be automatically put back into that training squad

Aims for the 2016-17 Season

1.    Have Fun

2.    Tackle and be Tackled safely

3.     Use the width of the pitch

4.     Rush Defence

5.     Pass in both directions

6.     Run forward fast

We want to see an improvement in the core skills of every player and to create a lasting memory of the fun of Rugby.

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Cancer Research UK Sponsored Walk

Steve and Trish Dalton, parents of Finn in our U9s Minis are fortunate enough to be the other side of a long and challenging year.  In Feb 2015 Trish was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer.  But thanks to modern medicine, fantastic doctors and surgeons, the Dalton family are back on track.  Rugby served to be a healthy distraction and an important part of continuity of life for such a young boy, whose parents’ aim was to keep Finn’s life as normal as possible while always reassuring him about the great help she was getting from the doctors to get better.

Steve is now hoping to raise some money to put back in to the system that served the family so well.  Along with fellow walkers in the Chevening Pilgrims, they will walk the South Downs Way over 4 days - a marathon distance per day - to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  Cancer impacts everybody either directly or indirectly and Steve sees this as an opportunity to invest in future care and hopefully a cure for this terrible disease.

Please click on the link to sponsor Steve:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CheveningPilgrimsSDW

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U9s Introduction

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U9 Rugby Intro 2016/17

We signed off last season with a fantastic lunch back in May and for those who missed it, we thanked you all too - our fantastic set of parents for turning out in all weathers for this amazing set of players. The gift you gave us all was very generous and we will make sure it is spent wisely (at the Black Boy!).

Last season showed the incredible strength in depth we have across the squad, as everyone travelled and took part in various festivals and coaching sessions at other clubs.

We had some amazing and well deserved success but it also did the boys and girls no harm to lose from time to time, as it’s all part of experience. The biggest change we saw was the collective maturity of response to finding the going tough and the way in which team spirit shone through - 'I' has certainly been replaced with 'WE' as the squad develops!

 Week in, week out, the players have given their all and as coaches we can ask no more than that.

Next season sees some changes. The new rule development is the introduction of tackling and only tackling – all the rest of the rules from tag pretty much stay the same - but tackling will become our focus.

 I will send to you all later our Guiding Principles for the Squad – we will update this over the season and the years as we progress – but at a high level our Aims for 2016/17 are: 

  1. Have Fun
  2. Tackle and be Tackled safely
  3. Use the width of the pitch
  4. Rush Defence
  5. Pass in both directions
  6. Run forward fast

If you have any questions about what tackling entails for the boys and girls, drop Rob Pearl a line.

Contact might not be for all the players, but they'll never know if they don't try and all players are more than welcome to give it a couple of weeks and see if they enjoy it at the start of next season.

There will be lots to learn from the get-go and as the players enjoy the fun of learning new skills, we will ensure that the training is structured in a way that provides an environment that is fun but also allows them to progress at a speed that individually they are all comfortable with. The first few weeks will see a lot of contact rugby game scenarios, with a progressive lead up to matches with full contact in order to build up confidence, so don't be surprised at the start to not see them flying into each other.

Contact rugby will bring with it a few more knocks, tears and the possibility of injury. We want you to be eyes wide open on that. But equally rugby, the contact form of the game, teaches confidence within a community of shared experience and common values such as respect and fair play and, as ever, we will put safety first – if someone is injured we will deal with it as much as possible but we also need parents to be on standby to take over. Your presence is needed at the sideline.

A quick overview of the Rules can be seen in this RFU video

http://www.englandrugby.com/my-rugby/coaches/new-rules-of-play/

Timings

First session will be 4th September – Our “location” will be infront of the football pavilion (parents stand on the slope) – we should be here most weeks – but do check the whiteboard on arrival.

Training Sessions will begin at 10am – we will start with warm ups – before getting into drills from 10:15

Week 1 we will be doing an explanation to players and parents on the tackle – this will start at 10:15 – we will repeat it following weeks – but it would be good to have most of you there in week 1 – but if you cannot don’t worry – we will repeat these weeks at the start.

Equipment and Preparation

As we get older – so we need to make sure we are properly equipped

COMPULSORY GUM SHIELD

What's vital is a gum shield - if they turn up without they will not be able to take any part in the session – there will be no exceptions on this.  Whether you choose to go down the ‘boil in the bag’ route or the more expensive custom option is up to you. Either way, they need to have a fitted gum shield from the very first session.

Body Armour

Protective body armour (shoulder pads and scrum hats) both have pros and cons and the decision to wear them is left at your discretion ...obviously we would like you to make your children fully aware this stuff does NOT turn them into a super hero and as such they still need to exercise caution. Again, you can discuss this with any of us once the season starts.

Shirts and Clothing

Players during training and games can no longer wear any tops that have hoods or zips – this includes tour hoodies and the ¾ training tops – they can cause injury

For Festivals – we all need to be wearing the same striped kit, so if you do not have one then please can you invest – please do not wear previous tour / non SRFC tops.

Boots

Players must wear rugby boots. Please do not send them in football boots or blades, as these can cause injury during tackles.

Nails

Please keep nails short – there will be lots of grabbing next season. This is both for the players’ and opponents’ safety

Festival Selection and Groups

Our philosophy remains the same as it has always been - Inclusion and Development (for all of us....players and coaches alike!). However we will only put in players to Festivals who have met the required competency of tackling – this is for their confidence and safety – this may for some take most of the season – but they will get there.

Due to our size, we will split into 4 roughly equal groups – this worked last season. We will not fix any player into a group – they will be moved to different groups both up and down as we progress throughout the season and as their abilities change.

We have deliberately not named the training groups A,B,C etc. as we do not want the players, if they move, to be able to use this as some sort of bragging or de motivation. Some players will move down next season – however we find that this will over time bring their skills up as they get to practise with their peers.

Coaches will rotate through the groups so all players are used to all coaches. 

Coaches

For the benefit of those not at the Awards, we took the opportunity to say thank you to Grant and Daniel as they moved to South Africa– but now they have decided to stay !

We welcome Didier Prongue who starts with us this season, Spence Copp returns as a coach,  Mark Edwards and Marius Le Roux from the U11s and Neale Bussey from the U9s. Marius and Neale will float between us and their other age groups

The rest of us you know – or hopefully do; that gives us an incredible 20 coaches – bigger than some other clubs playing squads!  We will use the numbers to make sure we can concentrate on individuals and detail.

Media

Our Media Officer (Greg) can be followed on Twitter @GregGorrill.  We always want photos and videos of the players, which we will put on the site; please keep them coming to him.

We especially like video – Greg loves editing and creating montages.

Social

Our age group Social Secretary Fay Smith faysmith@me.com will be in touch over the season for our get togethers, some with the players, some without.

Website

The Fixtures should be correct (but they do tend to change during the season) and reports are on the website.

As always if you have a question or query please contact either me or the other coaches

U9 Coach Team

 

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FROM A RUGBY PARENT.......

Found on Facebook by Grant:

One of my friends asked "Why do you pay so much money and spend so much time running around for your son to play rugby?" Well I have a confession to make: I don't pay for my son's rugby training or his kit, mouthguard or boots. Or even his hundreds of rugby balls.

So, if I am not paying for rugby, what am I paying for?

- I pay for those moments when my boy  becomes so tired he feels like quitting but doesn't.. 

- I pay for the opportunity that my boy can have and will have to make life-long friendships. 

- I pay for the chance that he may have amazing coaches that will teach him that rugby is not just about game plans but about life.

- I pay for my child to learn to be disciplined. 

- I pay for my boy to learn to take care of his body. 

- I pay for my son to learn to work with others and to be a proud, supportive, kind and respectful team member.

- I pay for my child to learn to deal with disappointment, when he doesn't get that try he hoped for, or dropped the ball despite having practiced a thousand times, but still gets up and is determined to do his BEST next time...

- I pay for my boy to learn to make and accomplish goals. 

- I pay for my son to learn that it takes hours and hours and hours and hours of hard work and practice to create a champion, and that success does not happen overnight. 

- I pay so that my son can be on the pitch instead of in front of a screen...

I could go on but, to be short, I don't pay for rugby; I pay for the opportunities that rugby provides my child to develop attributes that will serve him well throughout his life, and give him the opportunity to bless the lives of others. From what I have seen for many years, I think it is a great investment!

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Great Yarmouth 2016 Tour

Whilst 6 squads had headed West, a splinter U8s squad headed North to Great Yarmouth, representing SRFC in another festival over the same bank holiday weekend.  Whilst the selection pool available was restricted somewhat, a hearty squad was assembled to take the usual SRFC gusto to Norfolk, with yellow beanies in place.

With the ‘one club’ moniker that runs through the whole mini section, the players assembled and discussed tactics and approaches.  With a ‘mixed’ squad, the usual U8s would have to lead from the front and support their new teammates the best they could.  But they needn’t have worried as they all played as a unit, with surprising strength coming from Owen in support, tagging and running straight and true.

Sevenoaks bagged two convincing wins in Great Yarmouth with just one or two tries being the difference in the other games.  The passion and dedication shown by all players testament to the club ethos and approach to training.  With the U11s taking them under their wing for the tour, there was never a shortage of support on the sidelines.  The final bag showed 48 tries for and 53 against.

Try scorers: 
Callum - 9
Harry - 28
Thomas - 2
Zach - 4
Owen - 5

Well done boys and an excellent job representing the U8s in Norfolk!

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