Six squads and their entourage of parents, grandparents, siblings and friends made the journey south on hallowed Mothering Sunday for the prestigious Kent Cup hosted by Cranbook this year. With the largest presence on the day, expectations were high in this mixed ability tournament, drawing teams from all over Kent. With the onus on Rugbys ‘Core Values’, enjoyment was the main aim of the day and the shining sun helped achieve this.
Sevenoaks had every single member of the U9s squad available playing and acquitted themselves well, winning two thirds of their games despite some tough opposition at times. With no official winners, SRFC U9s came away happy in what had been achieved over the year and how well the players had taken to tackling.
Next year, the players will start to contest for a larger ball than they have been playing with since U6s and the introduction of the scrum, Ruck and Maul.
Team 1: W3 D1
Team 2: W5
Team 3: W3 L1
Team 4: W3 D1 L1
Team 5: W3 L1 D1
Team 6: W1 D1 L2
Match 1 – Won - 8 – 6 – Folkestone 1
Match 2 –Won – 10 – 4 - Beckenham 2
Match 3 –Draw – 6 -6 - Sidcup 1
Match 5 – Won - 9 – 4 - Westcombe Park 1
All in all a very solid performance on the attack due to some excellent support play with perfectly timed offloads resulting in a number of tries. The tackling got off to a slow start but improved greatly over the course of the festival with all the players trying their best. We received a couple of compliments from opposition coaches and a ref abouthow well they played as a team – which says it all. Well played team !!
Team: Daniel Scandling, Edward Smith, Georgia Houchin, Harry Corstorphine, Jamie Williams, Max Clark, William Crosby, Yiannis Papadopoulos
A drive down the A21 for the team to Cranbrook for the Kent U9's festival on a gloriously sunny day beckoned.
The day started against Blackeath 2. We knew this would be a tough game and so it proved. We started strongly with strong defensive efforts. Our defensive efforts were complimented with a strong attacking game with some good passing and support running. The team also benefitted from an interception try and pulled away towards the end of the game. This resulted in a 6-4 win.
Second up was Ashford 1, a strong defensive performance forced the opposition into several mistakes. The players continued to follow a relatively structured and straight defensive line pushing Ashford back. However the difference in this game was that we continued to execute much improved passing and straight running allowing our attack to benefit. This resulted in a 5-0 win.
Our third match was the toughest of the day; against Dartfordians 1. A very strong defensive performance by both teams prevented several tries being scored in the first half. In fact in the fast half Sevenoaks struggled to contain Dartford but our commitment to defence was outstanding, resulting in a 1-1 result at half time. Several pieces of superb play including a lovely cut out pass resulted in us pulling away but despite the final score line it was a hard fought 4-1 victory.
The penultimate game was against Thanet 1. Our straight running benefited the team and yielded results as we kept the ball moving down the line. This resulted in a 4-1 win.
The final game was against Medway Reds which was a relatively comfortable 7-2 victory as we let in two tries as the players started to tire.
Well done to the players. Nice to see so much improvement and teamwork come together in a festival.
Festival Reflections and improvement points:
- Tackling was solid but players need to continue to tackle low and spread out (avoid bunching)
- Better passing and link play but always scope to improve here (Heads up rugby)
- Mostly straight and fast running
Team: Alexander Paizes; Andrew Crawford; Harvey Head; Hugo Smith; Imogen Anderson; Jimi Aiyeola; Luke Coll; Mackenzie Copp; Priam van Asche; Tom Harvey.
A bright sunny spring morning greeted our 9 man squad on Mothering Sunday. Due to one no show, we were down to just two substitutes from the off. As long as we stayed true to form, we would be able to hold our own if we stick to our strengths and defend firmly.
First game was against a very strong Tunbridge Wells side, well drilled and no weak links to be seen. Our boys stepped up to the plate and played the game to the best of their abilities, tackling strongly and running where they could. But the game slipped away from them, with our players a little bruised and battered by the final whistle. Whilst out gunned, the lead was only marginal and the boys acquitted themselves well.
The second game we were a little more considered in our approach, with the introduction of our lucky charm for the day, Coby. With heads needing to be kept up, the team talk looked to wipe the slate clean, with some positioning of the players on the pitch, assigning a scrum half and two wingers for a more strategic approach. It worked. A performance worthy of the squad ensued, with some hard tackling and great running from Coby, with William Blackmore consistently taking the ball over and beyond the gain line, only to recompose and find himself repeating the challenge moments later. Lucas managed to sink a number of tries after breaking away from the pursuing pack to take the win over Gillingham.
Game three was more of the same against Deal & Betts, our tackling dominance and ability to run with the ball giving us the win. With Tait serving up a phenomenal defense, rebutting any attempt to get through our line, a couple of strong runs and structured play from Leo and Stein, saw Sevenoaks flexing our abilities to the max.
Our last game against Aylseford was a tough encounter, with great tackling and running by the opposition bringing the game to Sevenoaks. With some excellent pair tackling from Arthur and Elliot, we kept their advances at bay where we could - Elliot on two occasions stood in the way of the largest player in the opposition to make a tackle that would have surely seen a try scored against us. With some excellent recycling at the breakdown, Sevenoaks were able to unleash Alex to run in a number of tries leaving the opposition in his wake as he went, securing the win by one try.
As coaches, Simon and I were over the moon with the performance by every single player today – with each man carrying their team to the best of their abilities. As a result of playing together as a team, some excellent rugby followed, with players leaning on their strengths and improving areas that they didn’t feel as confident in - smiles on their faces at the end of the day indicated a successful outing.
Team: Alex Yeabsley, Arthur Trussler, Elliot Soong, Leo Hofmann, Lucas Gorrill, Stein Russell-Jones, Tait Anderson, William Blackmore, Coby Smith
Without an out and out flyer team 4 won the first 3 games by playing as a team, passing the ball to find space and scoring tries. We saw real commitment in defence with all boys tackling and covering the width of the field. The effort was kept up even through the draw and a loss at the finish. Great attitude from all the team and exemplary behaviour. Steve and I were very proud of them. And great support from the parents too.
Soaks vs Maidstone 2 (5:4)
Soaks vs old Dunstonians (5:2)
Soaks vs Blackheath 3 (3:3)
Soaks vs Dart Valley (5:4)
Soaks vs Tunbridge Wells 2 (3:5)
Sevenoaks 5, Mixed Team went to the sunshine of Cranbrook and played very well - lots of good tackling and offloads in both defence and attack to please the coaches.
Our first match was against Ash and Sevenoaks were pretty slow out of the blocks, but end to end tries resulted in an initial 4-4 draw against the nimble players from Ash.
Next up were Aylesford who although a much larger proposition, Sevenoaks had learnt from the first match and were able to create a much wider game and used the space to good effect and deservedly ran out 6-2 winners
Edenbridge were next and Sevenoaks had to change to a white strip to avoid the usual colour clash - Again the boys from Sevenoaks played really well, with lots of tackling forcing Edenbridge back and not allowing them to play much apart from some breakout tries. The result was a 6-5 Win to Sevenoaks.
Old Alleynians were next - and they upped their game to meet Sevenoaks, their tackling was superb and stopped a lot of Sevenoaks attacks. The game was a ferocious affair and with so many injuries we had to play 6v6 for some parts of the game - OA`s deservedly won 2-4
Our last game after a quick turnaround was against a big Bromley side - the injuries we had suffered in the previous match were forgotten and our tackling game was back. Our attacks were precise and deadly pushing back Bromley and Sevenoaks ended up 7-3 winners
All in all the coaches were very proud of out Team - they all worked together in tackling and attacking and it was great fun to have them.
Daniel Scandling, Dexter Williams, Gurvan Ollivier, Jan Lousberg, Josh Clare, Ollie Maltarp, Sam Pearl, Thomas Kerton, Tiger Bussey
We Won 3, Drew 1 and Lost 1
With one player down, Sevenoaks 6 went to work with two subs.
Game 1 was against Cranbrook, losing by two tries with almost all their tries scroed by a single player.
Aylesford provided the opposition for Game 2 and whilst physically bigger than Sevenoaks, we stood our ground well, unfortunate to lose by one try at the final whistle.
Dartford turned out for the third game with two very large players for our squad to contend with, with some committed tackling and great offloads seeing the draw held.
Whitstable our final opposition saw us take an early lead and noticing at half time they were a man down, the curse of the coaches son saw Harry changing postcode for the second half, to bolster their team and reflecting the true spirit of the game and the reason we turn out every Sunday in all weather – thank you and well done Harry.