Horsham Tigers match report by Justin Taylor:
As with James report below, fairly pleased with what I saw on Sunday. It was good to play against different opposition for a change.
Still plenty to work on regarding tackling and rucking, seems to be a case of just extending the arms and hoping to grab the shirt as oppose to getting in low with the shoulder. Rucking still a little stand off ish and not really getting over the gate to gain possession of the ball.
Having said that they all performed exceptionally well.
1st game we ended up at a 2-2 draw, score line did not reflect the game, we lost it on poor tackling. Most of the possession was Horsham's.
2nd game unfortunately we came out of this with a 2-1 loss. They scored a dubious try at the end, the player dropped it and the ref gave it.
3rd game we had a good victory at 4-0.
4th game we strolled in with an easy 8-0 win with the opposition only getting into our half a couple of times.
I believe every player scored a try with James Andrews getting a hat-trick. General play was effective.
Special mention to Jack for winning player of the day, his endless running, speed off the mark at kick off to close them down and his general play was well driven.
Ross again had a great game with some good running and offloads.
Nathan again great tackling, running and support play.
Rhys usual good running but still needs to run forward more, seems to be rucking over better and tackling well.
Brandon great ripping and running.
Ethan at times seemed a little unfocused and sleepy but every now and then we saw some sparks with his play.
George all round played well, good tackling and needs to stop getting upset with the ref's decision!
Mason all round good play, some good runs but didn't see too much of the ball as we seemed to struggle to get the ball it to the wings.
Seb again a solid game but I still think he could do with more game time.
On the whole a good day and the boys all seemed to enjoy it.
Horsham Lions match report by James Gordon:
A very pleasing day for the Lions. The team have been struggling of late to cope with the increased physicality of U10. We seem to have a few more players that believe themselves to be “fairy backs” and like to score the tries but have been reluctant to get stuck in and get muddy. This week the coaches were determined to get the boys working hard at the tackle and competing for the ball – and we finally saw a breakthrough!
Our first match was against Farnham’s B side, as Farnham have 70 regular U10 players and 5 teams entered into this tournament we made sure not to underestimate them. We won 4–0 and played excellently, best performance this year. The rucking was superb, with body positions much lower and a real aggression at the breakdown. Morgan, Finlay C and Harry were particularly effective at winning and turning over the ball.
2nd game was against Slough A who had the most enormous young lad who may have had a beard, but despite this distraction I am glad to say that our performance continued. Liam was proving very effective in the tackle, driving the opposition back with excellent technique and a very effective leg drive and it was also good to see Sam Thurston running effectively again and getting himself on the score sheet. A comfortable win 4 or 5 to 0.
3rd game was a titanic battle against Farnham A, it was a ferocious game with Morgan in particular playing out of his skin. The game was so close and our team so committed. A 0–0 draw.
4th game was against Bracknell A where a couple of lapses in concentration and a drop in our energy levels resulted in a disappointing loss. We just could not get our momentum and tried to over-complicate our play, throwing wild passes out of tackles and making silly mistakes which resulted in possession being lost. Sam G was proving very effective with his elusive running and great tackling but Bracknell scored two breakaway tries and we learnt the lesson that sometimes the easy options are the best.
5th game was an easy win against Bracknell B 5–0.
Special mention must go to Liam for man of the match performances throughout, great passes and superb defence. A very happy coaching team this week with the Lions finally playing to their potential. The challenge now is to maintain this level and build.