Cup pool campaign ends with dominant performance
By Richard Culver
A powerful performance, getting back to winning ways following last the disappointing performance last weekend.
Half term holidays, illness and injury robbed the U14s of some of their most influential players but a commanding, dare I say professional performance was too strong for a game Sedgley Park side who improved as the game wore on but were unable to contain a dominant TMV side who scored 10 unanswered tries.
A bare bones 15 lined up as
1 Ollie J; 2 Charlie H; 3 Ethan; 4 Dan; 5 Azzanne; 6 Ali; 7 Yousuf; 8 Jacob; 9 Jack (c); 10 Charlie B; 11 Ollie B; 12 Cian; 13 Alistair; 14 Tom; 15 Robin
From the off the MV 15 had Sedgley pinned into their 22, a strong crosswind made the job of clearing lines tricky, and Sedgley were not helping themselves, trying to pass there way out of trouble. A couple of early chances went begging, some lateral running allowing the home side to scramble and snuff out trouble, but after about 5 minutes Olllie J opened the scoring with a powerful drive from the Sedgley 5m line.
Another knock on saw MV win a midfield scrum, the ball was recycled through a couple of phases before Jacob found Cian with a skilful offload and the MV centre added a second try. Jack converted and after 10 minutes MV led 12-0
Cian added a third, a big hit on the Sedgley 12 forcing the knock on, Cian stayed composed, picked up the loose ball and crossed to make the score 17-0.
The MV tight five were enjoying their morning, Ethan had a strong run and looked to find Tom but a knock on prevented the wing from adding to the score.
A few good positions were wasted, again lateral running the main culprit, with Yousuf, Tom and Jacob crowded out, plus a couple of forwards slowing the backline and allowing the Sedgley defence to get around the ball. MV were bossing the breakdown though and Charlie B and Jack found their runners with quick accurate passing allowing MV to cross the gain line and get behind the home team. Dan and Azzanne were helping to ensure that the MV set piece was dominant, and another big scum allowed Jacob to cross, a pickup from the base, and some weak tackling giving him a straightforward run in.
The final score of the half went to Ollie J. A determined finish, running through several attempted tackles. In reality he should have passed several times but Sedgley failed to go low and the powerful prop crossed near the posts, allowing Jack an opportunity to add the extras. Half Time saw the lead at 29-0.
The second half saw little respite for the Sedgley side, Azzanne scoring early, following a driven lineout, the big forward peeling off and having too much pace for the exposed home midfield.
Sedgley had a good period, their pack woke up and threatened to disrupt the MV set piece, a strong scrum looked like it had MV under pressure but Jack was able to tidy up and he released Alistair who made a clever run to the blind side, who in turn found Tom who did well to fight his way over the line for a well deserved and popular try. It was a good moment as both players had looked a little out of form in recent weeks and this was a clever piece of play.
Tom was soon on the scoresheet again, Sedgley found Azzanne from the restart and his run took him to half way, he drew the home wing and put Tom away, a smart finish from half way. 44-0.
Still Park struggled to get out of their half, Ali making some big hits, and a well organised defence kept up a disciplined line all game. The crosswind made handling tricky and the MV line speed was too much for the Park players who found themselves going backwards.
The 9th try was particularly eye-catching, some good passing, and some smart play from Charlie B freed Ollie J who drove deep into the Sedgley 22, before offloading to Cian for his hat-trick score.
Jacob closed out the game, a kickoff return, which Charlie converted to end the match at 56-0.
A great reaction following a heavy defeat, with big performances all over the pitch. Robin and Ollie B saw little ball today but kept their concentration levels up and contributed well to a suffocating defence that gave Sedgley no room to play.
Ollie J and Charlie B were named as Man of the Match on a morning where a few of the lads got some confidence back and others will benefit from getting a full game under their belts.