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.


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