After a long weather-enforced lay-off the U12s took to the pitch against a much bigger squad from Great Walstead. So much bigger that they were able to replace almost the whole team at half-time! They began with their strongest players which quickly put us on the back foot. We had talked about the importance of keeping a defensive line and pressing forwards together but either due to the weather or the lack of match practice we were not delivering in this particular part of the game. As a result, we had the more enthusiastic tacklers trying to cover the entire width of the pitch while others held back in a multi-layered defensive formation which was rather too swiss-cheese-like. This allowed their elusive runners to weave their way through, past outstretched arms, to the try line. Despite the valiant efforts of Austin, Luca and Ben C in particular we conceded six tries without reply before half-time.
The boys regrouped during the break and we agreed to press the reset button. Our defensive organisation was much improved thereafter which reduced their scoring to just two more tries. In attack, Austin continued to make good ground and he and Alex both scored good individual tries. Luca contested strongly for the ball in contact and I was delighted to see real aggression and determination from Alex with the ball in hand. Sam S put in some excellent tackles, often one-on-one and continued to put his body on the line right up until the final whistle. They were not at their best, but the boys should be proud of the fact that they drew the second half. Man of the match goes to Sam S for commitment in the tackle.