With England’s exit from the world cup there was an empty feeling on Sunday morning, but the sun was shining and The Mighty Oaks U8s were fielding 4 teams at 3 separate Festivals.
With some new rules to heed and larger pitches to contend with, two teams headed West to Guildford where they faced some tough opposition, acquitting themselves well playing some great rugby. A single squad headed East to the Medway Festival, providing a good first outing for a strong squad who played well to make it through to the finals, narrowly missing taking the overall win.
At the Foxbury Festival, the squad faced four worthy opponents in the run up to the final, but staying well-disciplined and with good teamwork they showed solid dominance throughout. In the final, Sevenoaks played Old Colfeians where good communication and consistent passing saw a convincing 5 – 1 victory.
This weekend sees Sevenoaks U8s in action at Blackheath on Saturday and Warlingham on Sunday.
The Mighty Oaks U8’s were fielding just one team at the Foxbury Festival so the challenge was on.
First up was Old Alleynians who we beat 3 – 1 after a slow start, but our size and strength prevailed over a physically smaller side. Next up was Beccehamians who we beat 6 -3 with some convincing breaks and straight running but the fragmented defensive line let three relatively easy tries in for Beccehamians. Our 3rd match was against Bromley whom we beat 5 – 2. This match was primarily won by some superb tagging by all the players as they adopted a structured and straight defensive line pushing Bromley further and further back which resulted in two turnovers on the 7 tag count and consequential tries. The last of our group games was against Beckenham who we beat 5 -2 due to some superb individual runs and exceptional support play that involved all the players and subsequently winning the group.
In the final, Sevenoaks played Old Colfeians who were the winners of the other group. The Sevenoaks players by now had fully gelled and so they were communicating and linking up exceedingly well and thus capitalised on the oppositions mistakes which resulted in a convincing 5 – 1 victory.
Players & Tries Tally: Callum Le Roux (1), Edward Smith (3), Forbes Logan (1), George Rehbein (1), Isaac Rosier (3), Luke Coll (5), Raphael Landgrebe (3), Tiger Bussey (7), William Blackmore.
The boys all played really well and given the slightly disjointed timetable did well to remain focused. Both Grant and I were of the view that they really switched on at ‘game time’ and executed what they had been encouraged to do in practice. There was for example a noticeable improvement in their tagging. We adopted a strict rotation at each half and all boys contributed to a good overall display. Yiannis and Louis provided the pace and all the others linked up well to produce some prolonged periods of passing and progress up field with plenty of tries scored.
The Final was a strong contest and the boys played well in the face of the referee having to make some difficult decisions and tough calls. Whilst they didn't manage to win, both coaches were proud of their performance.
One thing we did note is that as time passes, and opposing teams are better organised and tag more effectively, relying on one player will not get you positive result against the better opposition. They were as ever a pleasure to coach and their enthusiasm when it came to the games was fantastic – a great morning at Medway.
Results: Pool games: Blackheath (Draw); Sittingbourne (Won); Play off: Alysford (Won); Final: Cranbrook (Lost)
Players: Ben Hunter, Daniel Scalding, Finnbar Dalton, James Parker, Josh McClinton, Louis Prade, Toby Edwards, William Davis, Yiannis Papadopoulos