I was delighted to have the opportunity to referee the Under 10 As v Lancing this week and they did not disappoint. The opposition arrived with only six players which meant that we had to manage rolling substitutions and try to keep everyone warm at the same time on a bitterly cold day. The boys were very understanding and happily trotted on and off as and when required. Lancing started the match with possession but were met by a wave of determined tacklers who soon turned over the ball and within the first minute Henry had sidestepped his first opponent and then outpaced the rest of the defence to score in the corner. This set the tone and within 5 minutes Henry had a hatrick. In fact the boys raced to a 5-0 lead very quickly with Felix and Dylan both showing great strength with ball in hand and William demonstrating dancing feet and elusive running. At this point, we fell off a couple of tackles and one of the Lancing boys showed good pace to run round the rest of our defence to score. Our tackling was committed if a little high and so we did not always bring the ball carrier to ground but our work at the breakdown was effective. Towards the end of the first half, Toby picked up the ball close to our line and set off on an outside break which rounded most of the opposition before scoring in the opposite corner. He repeated this trick twice in the second half to earn a hatrick. Pranav also showed good strength with the ball while both Josh and Rafe always looked to run straight and make ground which allowed others to run through a disorganised defence to score. William again demonstrated both good pace and a high work rate in making several cover tackles to prevent what looked like certain tries The boys will still need to work on maintaining width in both defence and attack in other matches but they were clearly the better side today and this was reflected in the final score of 11-4 with an impressive 8 tries to Henry and 3 from Toby. Man of the match must go to Henry for a fine all-round display including real aggression in the tackle and genuine pace but well done all!