This was our 1st 'Development' festival and we picked a team consisting of new players and some 'experienced' hands. It was an ideal opportunity to share out a lot of playing time to all our new players knowing they wouldn't come across solid opposition. Or so we thought!
We played three pool games and came 3rd out of 4 then one play off game against the 3rd placed group from the other pool.
The games were as follows:
Haywards Heath lost 0 - 3. Unfortunately, this was a more experienced side with no new players. Their experience showed though we were not soundly beaten. The team defended well but were no match for HHs strong running and tackling. HH were also very good at ripping.
Winchester won 2 - 1. The team (I can't say boys anymore!) seemed to gel and find their feet and it could have been more. Some powerful running by the bigger boys was a strong feature. There were happy glowing faces after this game - coaches and players!
Tadley drew or lost 1 - 2 or 2 - 2. We think the ref logged it as a loss though made no difference in the end as Tadley scored more tries overall. As the scores suggest, this was our closest game and frustrating for all that we did not win it. The team played well and again, strong running was a feature.
Playoff, Weybridge won 4 - 2. The team really got in to their stride here with a special mention for a textbook tackle by Edith. Some good running and some try saving tackles with turnover in the rucks. There was a bit of a wobble in the middle of the 2nd half but a final try killed the game off and left the team 5th out of 8.
Overall a very pleasing day with the 7 seater a little quieter on the way home...
Our man of the festival was given to Harry Jolly for is tackling and powerful running. We think we will be seeing more of him.