Caldy U14s 7 Hoppers U14s 59
29th September 2013.
The first match of season was eagerly awaited by the lads after several weeks of training. The setting was excellent, in the leafy part of the Wirral, with a beautiful sunny day – just right for Hoppers’ running style of rugby. The game was not the cliche ‘Game of Two Halves’, but four quarters to help give all of both squads game time.
Caldy made a solid start, receiving the kick off well and returning the ball strongly. Hoppers had a slight slope with them, and Caldy had a breezy wind in their faces, which gave them some difficulty in clearing their lines early on. Eventually, Caldy had a penalty and relieved the Hoppers pressure.
The early exchanges saw some strong forward play by both sides but Hoppers got the first try after Duggie picked up from 8, blistering down the blind side and beating several disparing tackles. Converted by Kieran to make the score 7-0 Hoppers.
Several players were making their debuts, and Harry made an excellent play at open side flanker to turn over the ball and Adam, at scrum half, span the ball well to set the backs away, only for a deliberate knock on to prevent a second try. Kieran pushed the ball in to the corner for a dangerous line out on their line, but Caldy won well and ran the ball back. Good defense by Jamie and Duggie kept them at bay.
Hoppers were now starting to dominate, and Jamie ran in the second try on our left wing, put away by Duggie after excellent work by Kieran bursting into the line, and Ben in mid field, and good work through the phases by the Hoppers’ forwards. 14-0 after a brilliant conversion from out wide by Kieran.
Hoppers continued to put lots of pressure on Caldy when they did get ball, particularly the backs with Callum and Harvey working well together. The continued pressure led to Caldy errors, and eventually the third Hoppers’ try. Adam fed Harvey and Callum who timed a great pass to Kieran as he again burst through the Caldy defensive line from full back. He then cruised around the full back to score. Kieran converted his own try to make the score 21-0.
Caldy did not give up after this Hoppers’ blitz, and looked dangerous at times, needing strong defense again from Hoppers. Hoppers were also now tending to over complicate the moves a little in the backs, bringing Caldy back somewhat into the game. However, from a great platform by the forwards in the tight Duggie was causing mayhem with his drives from 8. He picked up to run the next try in, 28-0 with the conversion made again by Kieran. End of first Quarter
A brilliant move from Hoppers from the start, with Harvey fielding and running back strongly before feeding the backs, and Callum setting up the outside backs well: the move breaking down as we were penalized for an offense in the ruck. Caldy kicked us back to our own half, and following another penalty to them, ran in their first try after a really strong run by their forward, bursting trough a ruck and powering over. 28-7, try converted.
Caldy were coming back to the game but Hoppers backs were playing really well, handling and offloading excellently. After a quick tap penalty, an excellent move with Jamie running really strongly set them up for the next try. Duggie took the ball up well and the forwards set up quick ball when he was stopped, and Lewis straightened the ball in mid field. Kieran acting at scrum half got the ball out to our left, through the backs to Ben and to Jamie who span in the tackle to break free and score on our left wing. 33-7 with the conversion missed.
Caldy did not give up at all, and came back into the game for a period. They nearly scored again after a strong attack and a couple of penalties in our 22, but Harvey made a great tackle to stop the danger. Good defense from Hoppers, including Nathan and Adam M helped to stop any further scores from Caldy, despite their strong effort. Hoppers backs were still looking really dangerous, but did not add to the score.
The third quarter saw changes in both sides with Hoppers kicking off and putting pressure immediately on Caldy. Duggie was firstly unlucky as he fed Ben in to score only to have it ruled out as a forward pass. Duggie made no mistake though as Hopper’s forwards won the scrum against the head, and he picked up to run the try in himself! 40 -7 conversion converted. Ben was not deterred either and after good hands by Callum and being set free by a cut out pass from Nathan, ran in a great solo try on the right wing, beating four Caldy attempts at tackles. Converted again by Kieran 47-7.
Caldy, kept trying with Charles defending well on the right wing, but Hoppers were rampant and ran in another try from the backs. The ball was really well spun out to our left from the scrum, and Callum put the ball via Kieran to Harvey, playing wider who went through the line beating several players. 54-7 Kieran converted. Another try followed after good work by Tom, Kieran burst through before feeding Harvey who ran the angle to score wide out. Conversion missed 59-7.
There were more changes from Hoppers, and they took a time to realign. Caldy came back more into the game and had good territory for the first time. Aaron put in a great covering tackle, and eventually Duggie ran the ball out well to relieve the pressure.
Despite some excellent play again from both sides, there was no further scoring and the game ended 59-7. An excellent start to the season from Hoppers with a really dominant display. The lads were now looking forward to the Lancashire Cup first round against Fylde next week.