The Skin of their Teeth
Rochford U14s secure the narrowest of wins against Billericay
Most of us enjoy the coming of Spring, the weather can be a mixture of all the seasons but it's the drastic change of the receding winter and an increased new growth around us that stirs the imagination. Having washed the shirts all season I can testify the effort, the grime, the mud, sweat and blood that our machine has to clean, On Sunday they had a distinct different aroma..... I conclude that it was the sweet smell of success! With a smile and warm pride a put them all our front loader.
On Wednesday night in training I walked home very enthused by the session I had witnessed by the backs , After some impressive sessions throughout the year to see our young lads go to another level was enormously encouraging, and to see elements of theory put in practice four days later I felt I was watching all of winters hard work coming into a spring bloom in front of me.
Primarily in the opening 10 minutes of this game I didn't count one tackle , because we had the ball and not only were going to keep it but we played, we passed , we rucked, mauled ,passed again and the team had a bit of confidence and control, marvellous rugby.
In truth we have not often scored first, when we do we tend to concede quickly as its not a position we have been use to, the last few games the team like the seasons have been changing and from previously posting record yard gains, tackles today was about passing, pressing, supporting and it was beautiful to watch. When Matt broke through to score it was through team support and team thinking.
Despite conceding a try we again nudged ahead through passing, team support and Malikay finishing off a great piece of support play (12-7,half time after a conversion). The second half begun with a huge sigh of relief as I've always felt it a vulnerable phase, we can switch off, concede and like Autumn phase out, but today the game went into battle mode and after a sustained period of condensed play with small gains a couple of last ditch tackles it was the impressive captain who broke through and scored.
Billericay having turned us over twice (58-24 & 62-15) earlier in the season then put in their most sustained pressure pushing us back and scored two lovely tries from their scrum and being converted they resumed the lead 17-21.
Time was ticking on the game looked so tight that our chance appeared over after a hold up and we couldn't capitalise on a penalty advantage. Billericay moved the ball away from their try line and we moved into the last five minutes, Billericay had a turn over and moved the ball to the wings, Louis made a terrific interception and his capturing the initiative appeared to Galvanise our whole team, I dropped my pen at this stage and like most watching just became encapsulated by events.
I do believe the sun came out it felt like summer as everything appeared so clear, the players pressed the advantage the ball moved one way then the other and players appeared on each other shoulders ,eventually Malikay finished of a superb piece of team work with the try in the corner.
There was still three minutes of play our boys redoubled there effort met tackle after tackle. Billericay were awarded a penalty,which fortunately they kicked we caught gained possession and eventually saw the ball out, the game was won.
So the progression of our team continues our seventh win of the season and what's more important we appear Rugby literate, a developing team and we appear to be making our own story with each week. Again very well done to the 15 today, With Mother's Day next weekend I believe it's a well earned break before the last batch of Spring games before the tour.
Final Score: Rochford 22-21 Billericay
Scrums. 6-4 (1 against the head)
Line out. 5-4( 2 lost by Billericay)
Yards. 1 half 215
2 half. 230