Under 16s gain revenge over Trafford

Date: 22 April 2015

Hoppers U16s 43   Trafford MV U16  10
Sunday 12th April

With local rivals Fylde’s first signs of reluctance to play Hoppers this season coming on December 14th when late notice of a prior commitment meant a hurried rescheduling of fixtures we were grateful of the offer to visit Trafford MV. Not having played each other in the junior years since the days of the Vale Tournament we welcomed the opportunity of the fixture especially as a quick look at their form showed them to be going well this season. With a good squad available Hoppers made a very bright start playing some fantastic rugby against a strong Trafford side but a lack of clinical finishing denied us our deserved score line and at half time it was a surprise to be a little disappointed with a 10-19 lead. A further quick try after the restart taking the score to 10-24 saw Hoppers ring the changes to accommodate a couple of injuries and squad rotation. Sadly however Hoppers were guilty of complacency and ultimately paid the price and in doing so suffered the first defeat of the season 24-34 against a side well worthy of their win having identified and targeted a defensive vulnerability when we repeatedly kicked away possession to their strong running backs.

Great progress by Trafford in the Lancashire Cup saw them beat Fylde 6-0 in the quarter final to book a semi final place against the form side of the age group Manchester but this proved a game too far but as a consequence it opened up the fixture schedule and we were grateful when Trafford accepted the offer of a return game at Lightfoot Green.

Having trained well in mid week no one was underestimating the challenge of facing Trafford again but there was a confidence amongst the squad that if we remained focused and executed our game we could put together a far more representative display of our rugby this season.

It’s fair to say our visitors competed hard and played with commitment and passion but on this meeting Hoppers were not to be denied. Focused team play with a strong cutting edge and superb execution of training ground moves saw Hoppers comfortably move ahead to a 24-0 lead by half time. Game time for the entire squad with frequent rotations did little to disrupt our flow but a touch of indiscipline penalised by the referee saw our visitors build some momentum and earn a reward for their hard work with 2 tries of their own to leave the final score 43-10 and Hoppers pride restored.

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