Birmingham & Solihull Bees - U10's
By Laura Jones
For those parents who braved the surprisingly quick journey up the M40 to Birmingham on Sunday morning, there was the reward of a really good team showing with both strong individual and team performances.
After 10 minutes of the first match, it was not looking quite so promising. The team was extremely slow out of the blocks (the Banbury coach accepted afterwards that this was his fault!!) and were tentative in the tackling and at the rucks. As a result, a determined Birmingham side were able to make good ground and scored a couple of good team ties.
Finally, at the end of the half, Will Godefroy (who was consistently excellent all morning) made some great ground and created a great chance for a try in the corner for but our player was well tackled inches short and the half-time whistle prevented any further chances.
After an honest and frank half-time talk, the team looked like a different side. Our defence looked more positive and solid with Charlie M and Junior putting in some powerful tackles and awesome covering for line breaks. Charlie D, Sam T, Eddie and others put in a large number of tackles to support this and were the cause of many “spills” and knock-ons. This led to quick ball for the team to unleash the many quick players. Harry and Eric provided some great link play and we scored a number of eye-catching tries through our wide play – James, Lucas H, Teddy, Leyton all making good runs or finishing good moves. Lucas A threw the “dummy of the day” following great team play to walk in without anyone getting near to tackling him.
The team ended up play five “halves” of rugby and improved consistently across the morning. By the end, a good and spirited Birmingham team were struggling to make ground and Banbury were scoring at will through consistently good team play.
It has been great to see the improvements players are making – building on the foundations of the training sessions and learning quickly through recent matches. There are always things we can improve but watching players learn and improve is hugely rewarding as a coach and a parent. New players have come up to speed v quickly and have been welcomed to the squad by all players which reflects well on the spirit of the wider group.
One final mention to the Birmingham referee who was excellent all morning and allowed the games to flow as much as possible. Having faced the increasingly difficult challenge of refereeing at the Towcester tournament, I was really impressed with the way he managed the matches.
It is worth a gentle reminder at this point to all players that we need to remember the referee is always right and there is no excuse for questioning decisions…..