Sunday 3rd April
HOME to Bolton and Wigan
Today we had two teams visiting us at Hoppers, Wigan and Bolton. Both are teams we have faced before, so had some idea what we were going to face. The day did not disappoint with some lovely dry weather, however the pitches were reasonably hard going in places, with one looking more like a bog by the end of the session. Wigan and Bolton didn’t disappoint either, bringing with them the physical game that we expected, both of them very much up for the contest and more than prepared to get very physical. Our Hoppers boys proved they were just as much up for it, bringing their own A game and what followed was some fantastic rugby. There was some ferocious tackling, excellently competitive rucking and mauling and also some amazing free flowing attacking rugby from all. It was all a joy to watch and by the end of it all the boys were flatout, proving they had given their all out on the pitch.
Sunday 10th April
AWAY at Kendal
Half of our squad made the lengthy trip up to Kendal this morning on what was a glorious morning for Rugby. We played a total of four 15 minute quarters of rugby, with the first two quarters going to Kendal. Our boys were maybe a little slow to get going, with the team from Kendal competing ferociously at the breakdown. They really didn’t give us anytime to settle and stole a lot of ball in the ruck and maul, managing to then get a couple of quick tries on the back of stolen ball. By the second two quarters our Hoppers boys had woken up a little and had got to grasps with the Kendal ferocity and managed to hold their own ground. A really do or die attitude seemed to grow within the Hoppers team with some excellent persistent work leading to some really well worked team tries. With Hoppers coming out on top through the last two quarters, they did just about enough to win the game overall
Sunday 10th April
A group of our squad travelled to the Vale festival, which thankfully was far better conditions that 12 months previous. Having had some great results leading up to the festival our boys travelled carrying a lot of confidence with them as a team and that confidence in their own ability never showed any signs of dying. We were drawn in a group along side Fylde, Trafford, Rossendale, Southport and Waterloo, a couple of teams we know very well having played against them over the years. The group phase of the tournament could not have gone better with five wins and Hoppers going through to the Semi-Finals top of their group. This presented us with a semi against Macclesfield, a team we had faced and come unstuck against in a semi at Manchester festival earlier in the season. This time round it was a much different story with Hoppers running out the victors at 2-1. Hoppers under 10’s found themselves in their first festival final against Liverpool Collegiate. The confidence the boys carried with them just got stronger and stronger throughout the day and this final game proved to be no different than anything that had gone previous. Hoppers stuck to their game plan, with the occasion never getting the better of them, we ran out winners of the festival beating Liverpool 4-2. This brought with it the Under 10’s first festival win and first trophy. This was a win for a squad of 30+ boys who always put in the effort, never take a backwards step and always show pride in the shirt they wear.