Two squads made the now familiar coach trip to the home of Saracens, Allianz Park, last Saturday to face new and familiar opposition.
Both teams acquitted themselves with passion and verve, managing a healthy bag of results and over the 2 teams they won 3, drew 1 and lost 4.
SRFC U8s now have a full compliment for the finals in February 2016 and will no doubt need quite a procession of coaches to transport the squads and supporters.
The U8s Sevenoaks 2 team playing at the Saracens Development tournament on 19th December 2016 comprised of Arthur Trussler, Dexter Williams, Ethan Anderson, Harry Mitchell, Jason Rodgers, Nick Sumner, Owen Williamson, Sam Chapman and Tom Kerton.
On an unusually warm, dry and sunny mid-December day, all of the boys acquitted themselves admirably. It was a close run thing. The boys won their first game 9-8, against the Brighton Blues. Losing to Maldon RFC 1 8-4 in the second fixture, an 7-7 draw against the Chichester Spitfires in the third and final game left us unsure about whether we'd got through to the next round of the tournament, due to be held at the Allianz Stadium in March 2016. We were delighted when, in the Saracens vs Oyonnax game, it was announced to all of the 9,200 people in attendance that the boys had got through to the next round.
In the first match, against Brighton, Sevenoaks 2 made a quick start with Nick Sumner scoring three impressive tries in succession. Arthur also got on the scoresheet in the first half with a well crafted run. Although we were 4-1 in the lead at one point, Brighton started to pull back and we were level pegging by half time. Effective going forwards, the boys struggled at times to maintain a defensive line across the whole pitch, with Brighton able to run through the gaps that were left. Something to work on in training, since it was a feature not only of this match but of the following 2 games aswell. But the boys battled on valiantly. Sam Chapman, who came on at half time, scored three times; what was especially impressive about Sam's performance was that he's really taken on board feedback about not running into touch, and the tries he scored were a direct result of this. Well done Sam! Also to score were Ethan and Tom with one apiece.
The second match was against a good side, Maldon. The boys played well going forwards, with some impressive passing and supporting play. Arthur made some excellent runs (being complimented by the Maldon coach in the process), with two tries. Owen also stood out in this fixture, also with two good tries. However, Maldon proved too strong in attack and the boys struggled to get the tags we needed. Although we lost 8-4, the boys played extremely well against a strong team and must be proud of themselves.
The third, and final, match against Chichester was something of a try-fest, with both teams scoring 7 each. All of the Sevenoaks boys made a great contribution with Harry leading the way, scoring 3 tries. Sam scored 2, with Dexter and Ethan scoring 1 each. An excellent team effort.
Also worthy of mention is the Saracens referee who, although strict, kept the game flowing and explained all of his decisions to the boys so they were able to learn from him. Thank you to the referee on behalf of the club.
And thank you to all of the boys from the coaches for turning up early on a Saturday morning just before Christmas, for trying hard, for working as a team, and for making it such an enjoyable day. See you all at the Allianz Stadium again in March.