Mini’s Festival: Coaches Review

19th November 2015

It was great to see the kids charged and ready for games on Sunday.  In fact they were so charged up pre-match we were worried they would be tired out before our first matches!  They worked terrifically well within their teams, remembering the formations for attacking and defending we had focussed on in training.  Great passing down the line and some very creative play, finding space and looking for opportunities to flank the other side.  

A special thank you to Lenka Cato and Sandeep for the huge task of collating the scores.  We would have been lost without your persistence and hard work!
LS B1 Specific (Coach – Iain Whyte);
I was nervous as coach to see us meet the legendary Wasps first up in our first tournament of the season.  Our team however quickly showed them the strength of this London Scottish side and the score, we all agreed, reflected the quality of play from both sides finishing up as 5:4 to London Scottish.  With terrific support from the whole side Christopher managed to put down 3 of the 5 tries!  We had rolling substitutions to ensure everyone got to play and had some time on the ball in each match.   We went on to equalise in the following two matches and then beat Wimbledon first team 4:3 with London Scottish stealing a Wimbledon ball  during a knock on and Daniel running the length of the pitch finishing with a spectacular match winning try.  Cameron showed fantastic turn of pace on several occasions, receiving the ball from out on the wing and then selflessly and strategically quickly passing pall to the other wing to secure a try for the team.
Throughout the matches Ethan always ensured he was in position to support the forward player and calling in support where necessary with some stunning side steps.  Jacob was astounding in tagging a record number of players before they got even close to the try line and showed fabulous sportsmanship in quickly returning tags.  Vinay was superbly quick on his feet and always ensured he ran back into a defensive position, quickly tagging any fast ball.  
The final seen us meet our toughest opponents of the day, the other London Scottish B side!   Both sides played a blinder of a match with Rebecca scoring a wonderful try in the last seconds of the match to secure a 3:3 draw.  Fabulous play from both sides and finished up a great day for our teams.
LS B2 Specific (Coach – Spencer Draper);
The tournament truly proved once again what a great set of rugby players we have in the U6/7s this season. All the hard work that the children had put in during our training sessions paid dividends in the tournament as we were matched against the mighty teams such as Rosslyn Park, Wimbledon and Wasps. 
It was great to see the confidence level growing amongst the children as the tournament progressed but it was so fantastic to see the smiles of both children and parents when tries were scored and tackles made. Monty was our captain on the field. He was key in making sure that we were organised in defence walls or attacking pyramids; and he scored some important tries throughout the tournament. Will was our demon tackler. In the match against Wimbledon, he grabbed tag, after tag, after tag. Frank, the youngest member of the team, made sure that we gained yards every time he got the ball. With a smile on face, he was fantastic in taking on players and supporting his team mates. Fynn was the live-wire of the team. His enthusiasm, motivation and determination made sure we never gave up. He also was an expert tag-grabber – never stopping and never letting anyone pass. Last, but certainly not least, we had speedy Rebecca. On a number of occasions, she would get the ball and run through gaps that didn't exist, to score many a try – particularly in the final, against our friends in the other London Scottish team.
As well as the great rugby being played, it was great to see so many parents helping out in the tournament or supporting the children from the sidelines. Thank you! 
LS Dev 1 Specific (Coach – Alistair Gay);
Despite this being a first festival outing for our Dev1 team, the group gelled quickly into a determined team, with a keen eye for any errant passes from the opposition and for the try line. We kicked off with a game against local rivals Quins, going down by only a couple of tries but with LS running them close with a brace of tries themselves. Similarly close games followed against Hammersmith & Fulham and Regents Park with LS running in some great scores, ending in a 5-5 draw in the final play-off game. 
Special mention to Arturo for his great pick-ups and direct running, Faye for her tiger hands and getting back well in defence, Finlay for his abrasive running and tagging, Rory for picking up a great solo try, Rupert for his support play and marshalling the defensive line so well and William for his defence and braving a heavy knock to get back on the pitch and help out his team mates. Had the touch lines been better marked, this team could have picked up a few more tries! Well done all, and a special thanks too to all parents who helped in running the lines, organising subs and looking after the kids when coach was refereeing other games.
LS Dev 2 Specific (Coach – Ian Crichton)
With a young team playing their first matches in the U7 development tournament we had a fantastic morning building walls and pyramids across the fields of the athletic ground and even showing off our rugby skills at the same time. Our first match was against Harlequins – a tense affair at the start of such a prestigious tournament (these things can be nervy and I’m sure everyone was on the edge of their seats down the road in the fanzone) in which we ground out a 1-1 draw with cracking try from Jack sealing us a point to start off the tournament. Next up we played Southwark who kindly gave us a demonstration of why we need to stay organised in defence  and beat us handsomely in the process – the team tried valiantly to even up the score line but weren’t quite able to do so.
In our final group game against Wasps the team regrouped and excelled themselves against a largely older team giving a fantastic display of running rugby from each and every player including  memorable tries from Maria and Archie coupled with tenacious defence personified by the Mighty Hugo. Unfortunately we couldn’t quite finish the game off but, we did ourselves proud scoring 5 tries and remaining competitive to the last.
Our final game was a mighty exiles clash against London Welsh and was played in the great spirit we had enjoyed all day (which was slightly marred by Tegan refusing to  share her chocolate sandwich with me). Again, we saw some sterling work in defence from the whole team and, capped the day off with some memorable tries as Liam charged the length of the pitch and Tegan rounded the day off slicing through the middle of the opposition for our final score.
All in all a memorable day where we displayed our ability to run forwards pass backwards and occasionally even take a break from the to stop and have a chat in the middle of the pitch. Great fun with a team to be proud of!


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