Aldwinians U14s 5 Hoppers U14s 21
25th October 2015
I’m currently sat watching the “spectacle” of American football (Or throw stuff to the overdressed Michelin inspired American Woo-Haa” junkie until such is appropriate that I get an either ex English footballer; or someone with a European fifth cousin – BALL).
It’s quite inspiring actually!
How come our gun frenzied cousins can have a sport that promoted harmony within an extended family team – Please see Lemar Odum for reference! When there are “hundreds” on the roster, how come they have the cheers mentality where everyone knows your name and everyone cares about your game.
Cue dilemma! Do I fight for Argentina for the first and last time whilst I allow ITV get my hard earned TV ratings minutes when actually I’m really learning something here?
RUGBY WINS – of course….but the seed is sown in respect to reflecting at what cohesive teams can do despite size, ability, shared interests, hair colour, shoe size, favourite cheese and “person we most want to be randomly crushed by a giant concrete Hippo on X FACTOR”.
Today we proudly saw the return of the under 14’s team. Welcome home boys. A relaxed atmosphere met us at the gates of this proud Manchester club. The boys seemed confident yet apprehensive after a disappointing weekend the previous week. It was essential that this was consigned to the annals of Hoppers once played, if we were to progress as an outfit this season. I think we can safely assume that this was the case by the time we queued for those irreplaceable hours queuing for a couple of piping hot fried oven chips.
The first half was a tale of 3 teams! Firstly, was a stubborn and confident home side that had some very menacing forward marshals; as well as a few deft handed backs whom wanted to attack an advancing defensive line like a bag of angry hornets. The Hoppers front row showed that from early on they would be masters of their trade. With poor Brady facing the human equivalent of bigfoot, their low straight driving at the front meant that within seconds of each ball being placed they had made 1-2 meters without a single return shove. Its impressive to note that a consistent back 3 in the forwards showed that we would be able to hold, control and recycle the ball when we wanted it and where we wanted it. Cam (I’ve abbreviated because I’m tired!) has shown we have a good performer in carrying and shoving in the forward ranks. Shaun showed his usual ball carrying skills to push toward the opponents’ defence in a menacing and direct manner. Maxie G (Not abbreviated because it sounds really funny!) showed his usual carrying skills with some aplomb. I’m fairly sure he was looking for some sprinting meters like 2 weeks ago at times; and were it not for the 2-4 players trying to slow his trunks he would have succeeded. HOWEVER………
The hosts got first blood. A well earned turnover in the Hoppers 22 led to a quickly spread ball to the blind side. We swamped the ruck with an army of resources, leaving a wide open gap on the open which there was never going to be a recovery from. I recall talking about special awareness and re positioning after the tackle at the time (as well as a couple of fruity silently hummed one liners) as their winger trotted over the whitewash for the first score. At this point we wouldn’t have assumed this would be their last check in at Hotel Hoppers for the day. But surprisingly it was. Some excellent return ball running from Luca on the left and Omar on the right saw miles of land collected, but no try cultivated.
The half progressed with the opposition making good ground against some “shoddy” rucking (Why we need more spectators when rucking than the ones that “brought you to the game” I will never know. End to end our attack was repelled with strong opposition running and lacklustre defensive duties. To leave in front was as much a blessing as a miracle.
Second half; second chance.
The boys seemed to be fresher from the start than their colleagues. Brady made a very good point “They look at near to their try line they get the more tired they get”. Why? Pressure and dominance. We missed a couple of clear overlaps at the end of the first half that had a 3 on 2; and 4 on 2 being missed in the backs because we wanted to try and take the ball back into the safe haven of the forwards; against their tiring front 8. When the second halve arrived. Game changed!
Shaun, Alex, Max, Cam and Callum showed good skills on the ball and worked as if they had signed a professional contract together. The quickly fed ball to a hungry back division saw Lincoln do “His usual thing” in ignoring any defensive strategy and running through the man to make the score (With a couple of flyers hanging on his wings just in case – If there would ever be a doubt!). Next we saw the magic of a torrid Tom taunting the defence with a blistering break in the centre field. A jink to the left then a thrust to the right and the “end zone” (Still thinking a bit NFL here!!!!) was in the company of its newest 5 point scoring customer.
Today we saw a group of lads show the makings of a great team. We had passion (Lincoln discus at will on Wednesday!); we had guts (Marcus and Joe, enjoy those ice packs and warm baths’) and we had enjoyment.
Cup defeat doesn’t need to repeat.
FIND OUR FEET WE’LL BE ALREET’.