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U13s - Match centre

Liverpool Colligate
Trafford MV RFCC
Sun 18 Nov 11:00 - Cup Full time

Liverpool Collegiate u13s 20 - 5 TMV u13s

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So, after a poor performance last week, TMV u13s hit the road again this time to play away at Liverpool Collegiate in the Lancs Cup.

Liverpool Collegiate u13s 20 - 5 TMV u13s

I have been passionate about rugby for 45 years now and the pleasure I get from seeing my son share this passion is immeasurable. I played for 30 years and have had the pleasure of watching my son play for 8 years and helping out with coaching for the last few months.

I always loved the passion, the competition, the beauty of a flowing move resulting in a try, the fairness, the respect for the ref and the values. Values Stu Oram has introduced and nurtured in this special squad. The values all rugby followers hold dear and, sometimes flaunt, without the awareness of their own actions.

Today’s game delivered despair and pride of rugby in equal measure.

So, after a poor performance last week, TMV u13s hit the road again this time to play away at Liverpool Collegiate in the Lancs Cup.

We had only played once before - at the Vale of Lune tournament only 7 months ago when TMV were victorious in a fair, hard fought, tight game with a neutral ref. The same tournament where the Liverpool coaches and parents were generous in the praise of Stu’s refereeing in a grudge match against their local rivals, Waterloo, which had previously seen Liverpool the victims of some of the worst examples of coaches refereeing and coaches forgetting that this is a game and the boys safety, and enjoyment are the only things that truly matter. So. 7 months on.

The TMV boys knew the need to deliver a performance and from the start our ambition and commitment was heart warming. As was the attitude of the guys starting on the bench who understood this wasn’t about ability but the team. And when they came on their effort and impact underlined the squad ethos Stu has so expertly developed.

But from very early on, it was clear this would be a difficult day. Liverpool seemed unable to recall the events of only 7 months earlier refusing to allow TMV to referee the second half. Unusual and not in the spirit of the game. They could argue that Stu had expressed some of his frustration in the first half, but they should also look at the decisions and balance in a really tight game like this, the penalty count is usually pretty even but today this was not the case.

Anyone who has played the game has a feel for it and a first half penalty count of 20 to Liverpool and 2 to TMV was perplexing.

It was a really hard fought game, and played in the right spirit, but that in 25 minutes we only got one penalty for a high tackle and none for any ruck offences was unusual to say the least. With only 2 minutes of the half to go we were only 2 tries down but the boys were managing their frustrations and crossed just before half time although one of the Liverpool players had to be replace after 2 cynical headshots and running to a maul on the line to kick one of the TMV players a brief melee ensued and half time was called.

The second half followed a similar pattern without the aggression tipping over the edge.

Overall, it is fair to say TMV showed much more variety, adventure and ambition. We continued to try to move the ball and develop space. And our tackling and rucking was so much better than the previous week.

I’m a big believer that refereeing doesn’t decide matches, players do. But when a knock on that rolls forward nearly 10 metres, directly in front of the ref, and isn’t whistled and leads to a try it is difficult to accept. But the boys did and kept true to our principles and our commitment to attack.

And if any Liverpool supporters read this and are incensed? I would ask to look back at the game, look back at the decisions, look at which team had to have a player substituted for kicking another player. And this.

The two teams were exemplary. Both played hard and, on the whole fair. Liverpool has the benefit of the decisions but they are not at fault for that. They were a good team and a group of genuine and competitive and courteous young men. And TMV the same.

If only the same could be said of both sets of supporters today.

Values.

Paul Howarth

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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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