Hoppers U13s 40 Fylde U13s 5
A bright but cold morning for the match against local rivals Fylde. Games had gone with Hoppers in recent history, but we always know it’s going to be competitive and a hard fought game. A strong squad had turned out for Hoppers with around 25 players with Fylde also sending a strong squad. Hoppers were looking for a quick comeback from the disappointing loss, with a ‘half-term’ weakened squad, last week against Sedgely Park.
Hoppers kicked off and Fylde had good early posession. Harvey set off a good move down our left hand wing, involving Jake and Kieran, ending with Kieran being held up under the posts by good Fylde defence. From the ensuing ruck, Matt S drove over hard from close in to score converted by Kieran, 7-0.
Hoppers had really come out of the blocks strongly after last week – from the kick off they scored an excellent try. Matty C stopped the kick off, passing the ball to Sam W and after passing through several hand and off-loads, the ball went to Duggy who powered over to score. Converted by Kieran, 14-0.
Fylde were knocked back by the start, but got themselves together and were playing well. The match was then well balanced with good attack and defence by both sides. Good runs from several Hoppers players, including Jake on the wing and a notably strong tackle by Callum to snuff out a dangerous Fylde attack. Eventually, the Hoppers attacking efforts paid off after a storming run by Kieran down the left resulted with him just being caught, but Jake followed up to dive over to score, 21-0 to Hoppers after the conversion by Kieran.
Fylde were still playing hard, and were getting the better of Hoppers around the fringes. Fylde eventually scored down our right hand side from close range to make the score 21-5 having missed the conversion. There followed a period of close play, with both sides pressurizing well. Duggy nearly scored as he stretched over to score, but didn’t quite make it despite his size! Owen made several very strong runs and Henry powered forward on several occasions, Kieran linked well with Harvey after a strong run from full back – but there was no addition to the score before half time.
The second half started with Hoppers receiving a low kick off, held up in the muddy pitch with Duggy kicking through and nearly scoring. Hoppers kept the pressure on Fylde, with an excellent tackle from Teo pinning them back near their line. Duggy picked up from no8 after a scrum was conceded for a knock on by Fylde and scored under the posts, 28-5 as Kieran converted.
Owen (who took the ball up hard and straight all day) ran back strongly from kick off, and after good work by Kieran he was unlucky to not score. Overall, Hoppers were really starting to play well in all areas, with Sam R throwing in well to the line out and good performances all round in the forwards.
Fylde put in some strong attacks, but good defence from Kieran, Jack, Aaron and Ollie repelled their charges, with finally Duggy ripping the ball and making a clean run up the field to the 22. Fylde were also defending effectively in mid field, coming up very fast to put pressure on the Hoppers’ backs. They were also more than holding their own in the scrums and break downs.
Fylde kicked several times to try to create some opportunities, but kicked poorly at times. From one such poor clearance kick, Kieran fielded a ball from the full back position and ran straight through most of the defence, before being held up and offloading to Duggy who went over to score again, 33-5, conversion missed.
Fylde were not giving up and attacked gamely again, but Hoppers stood firm, with a series of good tackles from Harvey and a good defensive performance by Andrew. The forwards were performing better as they went through the half and following a win against the head in a scrum, Kieran took the ball down the left wing, a great run, including standing up the full back spectacularly, he cut into mid field and scored under the posts. 40-5 with Kieran converting his own try. Kieran took the ball from the Kick off, and started a move that nearly added another score.
Despite several more attacks through the backs, The game ended 40-5 without more score. A very strong performance by the Hoppers lads.