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Under 15 5 v 12 Leighton Buzzard RFC - Away League on 17 Sep 2017

Published on Sunday, 17 September 2017

Saints so nearly clip the Buzzards wings

East Midlands U15 League 3

17th September 2017

Following on from a spluttering win in the East Midlands Cup versus Northampton BBOB (27-14), the U15 squad experienced their first ever league match away to Leighton Buzzard.  Their only previous encounter had been a relatively one sided affair.  This match was to be nothing of the sort.

Players were rounded up at the crack of dawn for the lengthy drive – Hagen didn’t require rocks being thrown at his window this time.  The usual in car discussions that only 14 and 15 year olds can have ensued – with Ed proclaiming his ambition in life is to be taller than his fridge.

While the prima donna kickers bemoaned having to practise with flat balls (more on that subject later) the real business got under way as parents jockeyed for position on the subs bench – with Kerry merrily flinging bags and bodies aside to claim first dibs.

Leighton Buzzard were a big squad numerically and physically.  The Saints brief was to get up in their faces and put them under pressure with, as Ben described, ‘moist ‘conditions meaning the ball would be slippery. 

Saints kicked off down the slope and immediately had Buzzard deep into their own 22.  However after 3 minutes a move down the short side released their rapid winger who broke a tackle and fleet footed his way the length of the pitch.  That was to be the last missed tackle of the game.  A fired up Saints team came back and dominated territory.  A penalty kick opportunity drifted wide on 10 minutes but Saints were pressurising the Buzzard players with such intensity that they were coughing up plenty of possession with Billy literally driving the Buzzard players back 5 metres with every tackle.  A flurry of substitutions as niggling injuries and flattened balls (Ethan) did not see any let up in the intensity of the contest.  Buzzard slowly gained some territorial advantage but an absolutely thumping tackle from Billy stopped Buzzard once again.  However the tackle was deemed to be beyond the horizontal (it wasn’t) and Billy was seeing yellow – an extremely harsh call but the relief from the opposition players and supporters that he was not on the pitch was palpable.  Instead of buckling under the pressure of playing with 14 men, Saints had their most inspired period as they resolutely defended wave after wave of attack through to half time.

Half Time: Leighton Buzzard 7 St Neots 0

The 2nd half was no less intense with the hill to cope with Saints set about scoring the all important try.  After 10 minutes a series of moves looked to have come to nothing as several players took it upon themselves to try and score rather than shifting onto the man outside – but eventually the pressure told and Joe pummelled his way over to bring the score back to 7-5.

Buzzard attacked with renewed vigour but the defensive line was unbreakable – the ref was so astonished to see how quickly the backline came up that he was convinced on several occasions that Saints were offside – touch judge Luca was unsurprisingly vocal in his disagreement!

With 5 minutes remaining the pressure told as eventually Buzzard found a gap to take the score to 12-5.  Back Saints came and from the restart they looked to get a second of their own.  Time was against them and an indication of how relieved Buzzard were to end the game came as they thumped the ball out of play once time was signalled as being up.

A terrific game – probably the best game the side has played in two seasons and they certainly deserved some reward from the game.   Buzzard were extremely complimentary, especially about the tackling, and did not recognise Saints from the team of last year.

Final Score: Leighton Buzzard 12 St Neots 5

Man of the match was Billy whose tackling and mindset set the tone for the whole team to copy.   The squad were a credit to their parents and the club – things are looking good if we can play like that every week.

Squad: Rhys, Dan P, Noah ©, Sam G, Matt, Ed, Jay, Ethan, Rob, Cam, Joe, Billy, Ben, Jack M, Zak, James, Hagen, Charlie, Luca, Luke, Daniel R





Scores 

 

 

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St Neots Rugby Club, The Common, New Street, St Neots, Cambridgeshire PE19 1RU England
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