Under 12s season openers

Date: 09 October 2017

Lancs Under 12 Waterfall competition
September 25th 2017

So the first week of fixtures for season finally came around and with it the under 12’s first tasting of Lancashire Cup rugby, with the first round of the season waterfall tournament. The double headed fixture brought Southport and Vale of Lune across to Hoppers, two very familiar opponents from across the years.

First up was Southport. With a fairly evenly match start to the game, the Hoppers boys starting to click together and work some excellent moves and produced some fantastic passing rugby. With some superb team rugby played, the Hoppers boys came out on top winning 9-0.

Second game was a much tougher proposition against a very well drilled and very physical Vale of Lune team. Our Hoppers boys took some time to adjust to the more physical nature of the game and overall took a little too long to adjust, ending up losing the game 3-2, but with a lot of very valuable lessons taken away to be worked on.

Away at Fylde
October 2nd 2017

Another Sunday rolls around and another very familiar fixture awaits for the under 12’s, with the short trip across to play Fylde.

With Hoppers taking a full travelling complement making up to full teams, we played three 20 minute games. The first 20 minutes, some of the boys were still getting over the jetlag from the journey across, with a few slower legs and not quite as quick to fill gaps in defence, the fylde boys came out on top.

The second twenty minutes brought a much more organised effort, with some excellent team work and team spirit. The Hoppers boys working excellently organising in defence and making the most of attacking ball when it came, or was successfully turned over. The second game being a win for Hoppers.

With the third 20 minutes came a very mixed game of two halves. The first ten minutes being played with a great intensity and awareness, with all Hoppers boys digging deep and finding the resolve to come out on top. By the second 10 minutes, the shape started to fall a little in patches, but overall the Hoppers boys still came out on top.

Manchester Festival
October 9th 2017

With the beginning of October coming around, with it came the first festival of the Season, the Manchester festival and this year for the Under 12’s the Landrover Cup. The was the under 12’s first proper opportunity to play competitive rugby, with a chance to win something at the end (although this was still not the focus).

Hoppers were drawn in a group against Littleborough, Heaton Moor, Chester and Brougthon Park. A couple of teams we had played previously, but also a couple of unknowns.

Our game against Littleborough brought with it the usual Hoppers way of being a little slow getting off the bus, as always seems to be the way in festival rugby. The boys losing shape a little and getting dragged into a middle of the field physical battle. The final result of the game finishing 1-0 to Littleborough.

Game 2 brought Heaton Moor and a really good advertisement for attacking and defensive rugby, with both teams proving to be a very good match for each other. A lot of push and shove between each other and not very much ground given, ended with a 1-1 draw.

Game 3 against Chester, a team we weren’t familiar with before the day. Having watched their first couple of games, we’d found they were very good at moving the ball around, with constant, purposeful offloads. Our Hoppers boys found a way to defend against this very successfully, only once turning off slightly to let them through. The Hoppers boys then rallied themselves and produced one of the teams tries of the day, with every boy on the field getting their hands on the ball and eventually managing to drive it over the line to get the equalling try to end the match 1-1.

Game 4, in rock Broughton Park, a team we have previously played in festivals and this proved to be the game that everything in the Hoppers team clicked. Defence was immense, turning ball over for fun. Attacking play was superb, with the ball being passed around with great ease and gaps being found in the Broughton defence. All boys came off the field with a smile on their face after a very enjoyable game which ended 7-0.

This set of results placed Hoppers third in their group with a playoff game against Wilmslow as our prize. With Wilmslow having been stood around waiting for results for a longer period of time than Hoppers, we were definitely quicker out of the blocks, but Wilmslow came back at Hoppers towards the end, but leaving it just a little too late, with the game ending 3-2 to Hoppers.

Overall an excellent day of Rugby and a team of boys to be very proud of, showing great togetherness and amazing team spirit.

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