As Mother’s Day dawned dads and children alike got up early, made breakfast, delivered presents….oh no wait….that’s what we probably should have done but instead we got boots cleaned, gum-shields ready and headed off to the RAG….
Written by Iain Whyte, Darren Bartlett & Chris Pinney
Many of the team were already nursing bruises from their efforts at the Middlesex tournament the day before but they turned up ready to go again for the cause and show.
London Scottish fielded two U9’s sides, one white and one blue.
London Scottish blue feedback;
First up, Richmond Red and the Blues were out of the blocks with some hard running, quick offloads and through to score the first of the day’s many tries for this talented team…..throughout the match the commitment to tackling and support lines made it tough for our spirited opposition….the highlight being Maria and Will M combining to send Taylor into space who finished off the move with his usual power and pace.
After a short break we faced Henley Hawks who demonstrated some ferocious tackling and impressive line speed throughout and after a shaky start from our brave Blues they re-grouped and started to take the game to them…..Eva led the charge from the re-start and made sure her power committed 2/3 tacklers every time and with Hugo playing the part of sniping scrum-half to perfection made sure our pocket rocket Tabs had space to make life difficult for Henley in the second half.
Next up we had Beaconsfield in what was a closely contested match between two equally talented and committed teams. Willem took over some the first phase attack running and used his speed and power to create space for our side-stepping star Vinay to cut through and play Max into space who caused havoc with his speed and swerve all day long
After a well-deserved break we were back on with our double header against Richmond Yellow and finally Richmond Black….our weary heroes from Saturday were beginning to fade but as a team they pulled together, cheered each other on and the unity in our little warriors saw them take the games to Richmond right up until the final whistle…..so many moments to savour from our future stars but we must recognise….
Taylor for his hard running in both attack and also commitment in defence to track back and make several touchline tackles….
Hugo for stepping up at scrum-half and showing a huge engine to make sure he was first to the breakdown and give us the quick ball we thrived on
Maria the Speedster…who would make Jonny May look like a flat-footed prop…always finding a gap and getting us across the game line
Tabs our other pocket rocket who tackled like a player twice her size and has a game face to send shivers down the opposition spine
Willem for his powerful running that gave us go forward momentum at crucial times to turn the game back in our favour
Vinay for his never-ending support play in both attack and defence and that side-step is a thing of beauty!
Max with his never say die attitude, a constant smile on his face and lightning feet that left countless defenders in his wake all day long
Will M for marshalling the team, making sure they reset their line in defence and getting our attacking shape set in every game and then making some fine runs that really put the opposition on the back foot
Eva for her power game always presenting herself to help out her team, taking the ball and making sure we straightened up our lines with some hard yards up the middle to pull defenders in and make space for our speedsters
London Scottish white feedback;
White team’s first match was against one of the host teams, Richmond black. The Scots were tight in defence and there was no way Richmond were getting through our line. Leo made the most utterly massive tackles, one of which will go down as the “tackle of the tournament” not only for his commitment but for also managing to secure possession as the ball carrier lost control of the ball. It wasn’t long before Fynn’s patience holding position on the blind side wing was rewarded as Max made a long clean pass right out to that wing just before being tackled. Fynn stretched those long legs and showed us his pace, running the length of the pitch as Richmond gazed at him scream past them to score a try.
Our second match was against Richmond yellow, who had some extra ordinarily tall players! Our players weren’t phased, remembering all the training. We could hear from the side-lines them shouting between themselves “go for the legs” and “TACKLE, TACKLE, TACKLE!!”. It was William Pinney’s turn to show us his fancy footwork this time. Jacob, Max and Leo mad a lovely series of passes shifting the ball quickly from left to right wing where William was waiting. He picked a line and went for it. His turn of pace clearly terrified Richmond and so they put in late uncommitted tackles that hardly slowed William at all. He ran straight through their defence to lay down a lovely try. Monty was a “tackling machine” throughout the match. For the entire weekend Monty was consistently giving 110% for every minute he was on the pitch. Even when one Richmond player made a horrific foul (resulting in the first red card we’ve seen this season) Monty composed himself and got back on the pitch to finish the match. Ethan ensured Richmond payed the price for poor discipline putting down two tries in succession, one of which was a result of the almightiest dummy that foxed their players.
In an “interesting” fixtures arrangement, London Scottish white played Henley white twice. This actually turned out very well indeed in terms both LS and Henley coaches managing to give the children some great advice and pointers during the game. Jacob showed us that he isn’t afraid of tackling, throwing in perfectly executed “ring of steel” round the legs that took down even the largest of players swiftly. One highlight of both matches was when Fynn and Jacob were exerting pressure on Henley defence they knocked on. It was swiftly and efficiently collected by Max who threw it wide to Leo. Despite not being the tallest player on the pitch, Leo tore up the pitch going for the corner and laid down the most awesome of tries! The crowd went wild at this display of true team work and beautiful execution. Taylor once again delivered the goods dodging past 3 and 4 players who almost looked stationary compared to the fast side stepping feet of Taylor.
Our other match was against Beaconsfield green by which time we were 4 players down due to injury or shear exhaustion. This didn’t stop those still able to play but the real stars of the show were Vinay and Eva who, despite having played 5 matches already for the blue team, stood in for their injured white team mates. That is TRUE team work and commitment. The team were down to only 7 players with no subs and so had to battle through the entire match as their opponents put on fresh legs. They put up a fierce fight and the strained effort battling tackle after tackle was clearly visible on their faces. The hits were harder than ever and Beaconsfield defence was finally holding back those almighty Scottish players. Ethan, William Pinney, Leo, Will Malcom, Jacob, Vinay and Eva went it “beast mode” tapping into their final reserve of energy. They played a terrifically defensive game, bringing the attacking line to the opponent. Will Malcom was the one this time to show us what he was capable of. He took full advantage of a turnover ball, quickly thrown out to him on the wing from Leo. Will M took to his heals and could only be stopped by a total of four of the Beaconsfield side. Eva was outstanding in both attack and defence, managing to charge through a host of the Beaconsfield boys that sent them flying like skittles! Vinay, clearly having learnt much from his past games stayed on his wing throughout the game, not being lured into the gathering of bodies in centre field. Vinay’s hard work and discipline both resulted in terrific defensive tackles preventing tries and setting up a cracking try for Ethan to finish the match and see us end on a fabulous high.
A great day, great Scottish teams and looking good for the IoW Tour where with some more focus on our line speed in defence this team can only keep improving…..