The U8A squad travelled to Windlesham on Wednesday to take part in the annual tag rugby festival. With 12 schools split into 2 pools, Copthorne were put into pool A against Hurst, Brambletye, St. Christopher’s, Windlesham and Handcross Park. Each game was only six minutes long meaning that there was a big emphasis on scoring quickly and not making any errors.

All the boys performed well throughout the afternoon. Their efforts were not helped by playing on the only pitch out of the four with a steep slope on it and having to play four of the five games going up the slope. It seemed like a big disadvantage and the fact the boys scored as many tries as they did shows how much effort they put in throughout the entire afternoon and can count themselves unlucky.

The first game against Hurst was a tight affair with Hurst going 2 scores up only for Copthorne to reply with two well worked tries of their own. Unfortunately with seconds to go, a Hurst player gathered speed down the hill and scored in the corner to leave the final score at 3-2. The Brambletye game saw Copthorne score first and defend really well. Time and time again the boys passed the ball very well only to be tagged or pushed out in the corner after working their way up the hill. I think this took a lot out of the boys and Brambletye scored 2 late tries to win the game 2 tries to one.

St. Christopher’s had some skilful players but again Copthorne looked as if they would get at least a draw until once again the quickest player on the opposite side seemed to gather momentum down the hill and score in the corner. Another 2-1 defeat.

Windlesham had two very quick boys that we found hard to cope with and they ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.

Finally, for the last game against Handcross Park the boys got to play down the slope and it made a huge difference. The boys seemed to be able to run with the ball much more freely and we scored 4 unanswered tries before Handcross pulled one back. A great performance saw the boys win 4-1 and I guess proved what might have been if luck hadn’t been against us for much of the afternoon.

It was an enjoyable tournament and I am sure the boys will have learnt much from the experience. Their skills are ever improving and I am looking forward to the second half of the season where I think there will be a lot of positive results. CC