Sale Sharks U9's Rugby Festival
By Seamus Boyd
Showing all who the #Bestclubintheworld is.
It's 9.30 am and it has been raining most of the day before and most of the night. On the flat open pitch beside the AJ Bell stadium the Trafford U9's arrived to take part in the Annual Sale Sharks rugby festival. Those brave 9 soles, 2 crazy coaches (with the foolhardy parents in tow) were ready to take on the whatever was sent their way. Today Callum B, Ben H, Ben C, Ben M, Angus, Liam, Charlotte, Alex, Bradley represented the club with aplomb.
There was a good turnout with approximately 14 teams taking part in the morning. TMV were on pitch 1 and were in the same group as Chester, Blackpool, Congleton and Eccleshall.
TMV v Congleton
Right from the start TMV dominated this game with an aggressive controlled defence. Congleton only once were able to complete their full set of tackles. Bradley showed quiet grit and determination, Ben C tackled like a demon and Callum B not only tackled but often prevented the off load, and it may have been observed that he occasion stripped the ball in the tackle. This was an all around consummate showing from all 9. Each player dominated the opposition.
TMV v Chester
After a comfortable win against Congleton, and a worsening weather situation, TMV went into the game against Chester with a little less determination. This showed in the first few minutes, as they allowed Chester to run onto them, creating an overlap, as they demonstrated their support running and good off loading in the tackle. 3 scores down in the first half of the game, MV began to creep back with some great quick passing, and strong running from Ben M. (It was like a cartoon as at one stage he was still powering forwards with 3 Chester players holding on to him and still not stopping him). Time was not on their side and MV eventually crept back but this set back maintained their resolve to get back onto the horse.
TMV v Eccleshall
This was a return to the play of the first match. By this stage everyone at the ground were soaked through and the cold biting wind almost took out 3 of our players. However the fresh donuts helped to strengthen our resolve. It was wonderful to see the determination to shake off the cold and wet to get ready to play.
The blitz defence once again set the platform from which MV took control. Thundering runs from Alex, Liam and Charlotte brought out a fresh style. Ben C, and Ben H both used their speed around the park to great effect. Liam often put his body on the line and his off loading was consistently high. It must be commented on the silent assassin that is Bradley, who induced a wince from even his own supporters as he performed a strong textbook tackle of the highest order. Sammy Tuitupou would have been proud of it!
This impressive team performance resulted in the opposition players declaring to our coaching staff that we "have a very well drilled team" and that it "was a hard match to play in".
TMV v Blackpool
This was the last match of the day, and TMV finished with a flourish. Angus was given the challenge of stepping up to another gear, and boy did he deliver. Alex jinxed and turned, and always went looking for the tackle. Ben H just tackled and tackled. TMV just moved fluently through their gears. With a lovely mix of straight hard running, fast offloads or great quick ball presentation, the moves and scores just kept coming.The final word on this game has to go to Callum 'the snakehips' B. He finished the festival off with a wonderful try scoring run from his own half, selling outrageous dummies, body swerves and Samoan sidesteps all while running with 2 hands on the ball and looking for his support runners. And where they there. Even at this late stage of the morning, this final try had 3 TMV players nearest to him, to be there in support.
The coaches want to give a sincere thanks to the following people:
The players - there was no single person who ran the show, or dominated the game. It was 9 children who loved to play rugby playing for each other. There was no complaining really of the wet, the wind or the cold. When they did get cold they listened to the adults and got warm, of made a huge effort to get warm before each game. After each game the coaches were smiling like children, not at the result but at how they played, this has definitely been the best performance I have seen from our talented lot. This is the benchmark!
The parents - Our thanks to those who came. Yes it was cold, wet and windy, but you really all pulled together, and the donuts helped. I hope you all dried out and warmed up.
Sale Sharks - for putting on this festival. The children really enjoyed the morning and those that stayed for the half time lap of honour enjoyed the attention. Next time, can we cut out the wind, cold and the rain - it's getting a bit repetitive?