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.