GMS Player Registration16th October 2023
Dear all Please ask all players/guardians to ensure they are registered on the RFU GMS site. Players who are not affiliated can’t play in cup…
The Colts first actual game in the National U18 cup (having gained a bye due to the first-round opponents withdrawing) took place in the heat of Dorchester RFC in Dorset. The Sunday fixture upset the employment routines of 17 squad members, leaving only 19 available to travel and play. Luckily, positions were able to be covered as many of those available played out of position, “taking one for the team”. With only 6 regular playing forwards on the pitch, wingers became wing forwards for the day and the front row was 2/3rds brand new. It also meant that for the forwards, there was no substitution potential…a sweaty energy-sapping 70 minutes was to follow for all!!
That being said, the first five minutes did nothing to reveal such disturbance to the usual All White force, which seemed to stay very strong indeed. South Africa might have caused a stir with their forwards-heavy bench at the World Cup, but this back-heavy colts travelling squad seemed to be using their speed and handling prowess to apply their characteristic pressure to the opposition. The Dorchester line was crossed for the first time after 5 mins with Tristan walking in wide unopposed. 5-0. Dorchester caught the boys napping soon after with a blindside break from the back of the scrum. With the widest channel undefended and wide open the run-in was straight forward, but too wide for the conversion. 5-5.
A riled Newton 15 attacked the restart with intensity, pinning the Dorchester receivers to their 10m line, a well timed turnover brought the ball wide, pitch right, through the hands and to Tristan on the wing, linking back to support infield. Quickly through solid hands to be scored in the far-left corner. This time flanker-for-the-day Josh slotted the extras. 12-5. And so, the team grew in confidence and as a unified team. Each man playing their role on the pitch, as unfamiliar as that may have been. Ash G was up to his usual niggly opportunist half back tricks, seizing on the chance to hack the ball as is bobbled out of the back of their ruck and wrestled the gathering defender to the floor deep into their 22. Swift recycling to the left forced an infringement from Dorchester 5m out from their line. Tireless and quick thinking as ever, HenryG sprung over the line before they could react. Too wide for Josh, so 17-5 it stayed. Dorchester were visibly feeling the heat on the pitch and from the sky and began to fall off the pace set by the Colts, now on a rampage. From a lineout in the Dorchester half, clean ball off the top from the captain Leo set lose the eager running centres, Louis N jinking his way through splintered defence finished off by Toby H in the corner after a little tussle with the last defender. Josh, not being given easy conversion chances today, just came up short again. HALF TIME 22-5 to NARFC
With a good rotation of their squad, Dorchester came out fired up and made some good advances towards the Newton end. They kicked well for pitch position and set to go well with clean line out ball. Through hands it went until it ended up in the hands of JoshL and from there it was kept moving to Toby and then Claude to dot down. Close enough for Josh to slot. 29-5.
On restart Dorchester were pinged for not rolling away leading to a territory kick to line out that was won by Leo and finished by Claude again, but now close to the posts. Thank you Josh. 36-5. But then, Dorchester managed to reap the benefits from a spirited but tiring All White pack, counter rucking and interfering in the loose to create a very unsettled 10 minutes. They rattled their way to within scoring distance and were awarded a penalty on the Newton 5m as defenders scrabbled to keep them out. They converted that chance to dot down but not the chance to convert! 36-10.
This determined effort from Dorchester built from further unstructured (knackered) colts defence made it quite a bit more of a contest than the boys wanted, but each time they got close to scoring, the men in white managed to pull a get-out-of-jail card from their back pocket. The first was Fred and his fluorescent pink head gear taking the ball 40m down the touch before supporting players were able to win the contest for the line 41-10. The second was deep in the Newton 22 as the pack turned over a scrum that unleashed Cally and his mile munching mega strides who took it from coast to coast, Dorchester players swarming him like green and white seagulls after a grockle with a bag of chips. 7 more to the score 48-10. The final “card” of the game was used when the tireless Henry dove into the undergrowth and came up with a ripped ball to turn it over to the backs who sent Fred screaming down the touch before he straightened under the posts for Josh to chip over. 55-10
This result said as much about the resolve and determination of the 19 travelling All Whites as it did the opposition. It showed very clearly that this group of young men is a squad that can respond to the demands asked of it, and that the high standards that are expected of it will be maintained.