So on a lovely October Day, Sevenoaks Team 1 U8s with 9 excited players headed off to the North Downs to play at the Warlingham Festival.
Sevenoaks 1’s first game was against Old Cats, and Sevenoaks started rather slowly, and were a little too bunched up, but with some determined tagging and some mazy running, they ran out 7-3 winners.
Then it was Warlingham Blue – this proved a much more resilient test and Warlingham came up quickly from the starts. It was lucky that the rather ordinary Sevenoaks Ref who made a dreadful decision against Sevenoaks did not impact the overall pool result – but the game still ended 4-4.
Old Alleynians were next and this is where the tagging of Sevenoaks 1 really started to come out – with 3 Tag-count turnovers in the first half – Sevenoaks pegged Old Alleynians back and ran out 7-3 winners again.
Warlingham White were next, and this proved to be a much more physical encounter for both sides, as straight running and trying to find spaces caused multiple collisions – this again resulted in a 7-3 win for Sevenoaks.
By winning 3 and drawing 1, Sevenoaks 1 ran out as trophy winners of the pool.
Sevenoaks 1 then played Warlingham Reds who were the other pool’s winners – and this proved a very even match where tagging and turnovers for both sides resulted in well-deserved 3-3 draw.
The boys were excellent – all 9 were so eager to play and get involved. It is a delight to coach them all and they deserved going unbeaten and taking home the Trophy.
Squad : Arthur Trussler (1), Ethan Anderson, Finnbar Dalton (2), Harry Corstorpine (4), Jan Lousberg (4), Leo Hofman (2), Louis Prade (2), Max Clark (10), Sam Pearl (3)
Sevenoaks 2 had a very busy morning, with almost back-to-back games right from the first whistle. Our nine players, Barnaby Burns; Josh McClinton; Hugo Smith; Mackenzie Cobb; Oliver Gueorguiev; Raphael Landgrebe; Thomas Kidd; Toby Edwards and William Jenkins all put in enthusiastic, supportive and sometimes brave performances, and were rewarded with the League 2 runners up trophy.
Game 1: Sevenoaks 2: 9 - Warlingham Green: 8
This was the first competitive match of the season for a lot of our boys, and they were a little unsettled and disorganised in the early stages of the game. As a result, Warlingham took an early 5-3 lead. However, the penny had dropped by the start of the second half, and Sevenoaks began making the tags, finding space to move into, and supporting the ball carrier. The fightback was impressive, with Sevenoaks scoring the winning try on the final play of the game.
Try scorers were: Hugo: 2, Mackenzie: 3, Raffael: 2, Oliver: 1, Toby: 1
Game 2: Sevenoaks 2: 3 - Warlingham Red: 6
This was a difficult and much more physical game. This Warlingham team had some quick players, and practiced a much more physical game than our boys were used to. Despite some very brave performances, too many missed tackles, and a tendency to fall back when in defence, allowed Warlingham to take the game.
Try scorers were: Barnaby: 1, Hugo: 1, William: 1
Game 3: Sevenoaks 2: 6 – Old Alleynians: 3
A recomposed team stepped out to face OA’s, and dominated the game almost from the start. Very determined tagging and consistent pressure forced a number turnovers leading to trys. The boys’ confidence was back, and they were finding and even generating space. Barnaby sold a lovely dummy in the second half that lead to Sevenoaks’ 4th try. Our habit of falling back in defence was still happening, but fortunately on this occasion it didn’t impede what was a great effort by all.
Try scorers were: Barnaby: 1, Josh: 1, Hugo: 3, Mackenzie: 1
Game 4: Sevenoaks 2: 5 - Warlingham Yellow: 2
A relatively brief, but welcome break allowed our boys to come back fed and watered to face the third Warlingham team of the day. Sevenoaks victory in their last game set confidence and moral high leading to some excellent tagging, particularly by Raphael, which put Warlingham under real pressure. We also saw much more running straight that lead to more ground being gained, and more pressure on Warlingham. A really excellent performance by all our players.
Try scorers were: Barnaby: 2, Raphael: 1, Mackenzie: 1, William 1
Game 5: Runners Up Play Offs
Sevenoaks 2: 5 - Warlingham Blue: 7
To use a very tired sporting cliché, this really was a game of two halves for Sevenoaks. Our boys dominated in the first half, attacking strongly, finding space and supporting each other. In defence tagging was consistent, but our habit of falling back at the restart was starting to creep back in. Sevenoaks finished the half ahead. However, during the second half the excursions of the day, and perhaps the larger pitches, saw legs and minds getting tired. We fell back in the face of each opposition attack, and we were missing a lot of tags all of which allowed Warlingham back into the game and to eventually win.
Try scorers were: Barnaby: 1, Hugo: 1, Mackenzie: 2, Raphael: 1
In summary, all our players worked very hard today and coaches and parents should be proud of how our boys performed. The final game was an unfortunate way to end, and not representative of the general effort they put in. This was a great start to the season, and bringing back silverware is a success in anyone’s book.