This was to be the Under 11’s first real test of the season as they encountered a Cottesmore side who were up for the challenge, ready to scrap and defended relentlessly. It was Cottesmore who struck first as their speedy winger found enough space around the outside to canter across the line. Our boys found themselves in unfamiliar territory; a try down! Not happy with being behind we began to make some inroads into the opposing defence, setting our stronger ball carriers loose and retaining possession with some solid rucking. After a few phases of play the ball was moved out to Cosmic who bundled his way through 2 tacklers to level the scores. The first half was very much a war of attrition with both sides cancelling each other out in all areas of the pitch, yet still making unforced errors which allowed the other to make ground and threaten the try line. We traded blows with Cottesmore regaining the lead before Alex levelled them again with a good finish under pressure, however it was to be the visitors who took the advantage into half time as their winger, once again, played to his strengths and outpaced our defensive cover to go in 3-2 up.

A couple of changes at half time saw Sonny and Dhruv enter the fray with Jake D and Cosmic making way. The second half was a far better performance and although Cottesmore continued to defend well we began to use the ball wisely and got our runners into space. It was Antony who levelled up the scores shortly before Luca put us into the lead for the first time in the match and the game began to swing in our favour. Liban and Louis got a hold of the game in the half back positions whilst Jake M and Alex got to grips in the ruck area, proving to be a formidable force. Luca used his power to good effect to extend our lead before showing his ball playing skills by offloading to Antony beautifully for the score of the day. Cottesmore managed to pull a try back in the dying moments but there was little hope of a fight back. It is easy to give praise to those who score the tries but it is often the “unseen” work that stands out for me. Ali’s tireless running in attack and solid defence were a fine example of this.

I could not have asked for a better start to the season in regards to results; 3 wins from 3 games going in to the Christmas break is fantastic. The harder matches are most certainly still to come but this is how we judge our progress. It means that we must keep on working hard and improving in order to compete. Well done boys, the perfect Christmas present.

Try scorers: Luca 2, Antony 2, Cosmic and Alex