Under 15s Match Report
|Teddington U15s B
Sunday 8th December 2013
Herts & Middlesex League U15s Div 5
Herts & Middlesex League U15s Div 5
Teddington B (Teddington) visited Staines on Sunday for Staines’ fourth league game of the season. Teddington had turned up with two very tall players and it looked as though that following recent injuries and unavailability the Staines pack might be in for another interesting game. Currently Staines are holding auditions for second row following the sad loss of both Jack and Joe T to injury. Jason applied for the role this week, joining Josh G in the engine room. Many thanks to both of them for playing in positions that they are not yet fully used to (currently).
The game got underway with a kick-off by Teddington. It did not go 10m and wisely the Staines forwards chose not to accept the kick. Scrum to Staines at the half-way line. The Staines scrum looked solid despite new personnel. Craig was playing at scrum-half whilst not 100% fit. But you would not have known it as he got to every breakdown and started to distribute the ball ably to the onrushing Staines forwards. The first 8 minutes saw play exclusively in the Teddington half.
Aaron got the ball on the right wing and went on an aggressive run. The direction of his run meant that he went deep infield rather than towards the line. Suddenly Staines lost the ball. Teddington were quick to exploit the gap on their left wing. The ball was quickly fed to a very speedy winger who sprinted 65m to score under the posts Staines 0:7 Teddington (T Teddington, C Teddington).
This was disappointing for Staines and against the run of play. But it did show how dangerous the Teddington backs could be. Staines were keen to make amends. They continued to press Teddington. Sam and Andrew were making promising runs, gaining ground but not quite making the breakthrough. Josh van de Pol was having a storming game. He seemed to be everywhere, sniping and challenging for possession. Jason was revelling in his role in the forwards. Each time he got the ball he made ground, running aggressively and taking two or three Teddington players with him.
Staines’s first try was a strange one and certainly a lot can be attributed to the shape of the ball for it. Harry V received the ball about 30 m out. He deftly kicked the ball ahead and set off in chase, his Staines team mates in close attendance. Although not able to catch his nicely weighted chip, Harry V was able to kick it forward. The ball then cannoned off a Teddington player, back towards Harry and Josh VD P, still chasing. Unfortunately neither could collect it as the ball seemed to “nutmeg” both of them. Following up was Sam C who gratefully gathered the ball about 7m out and touched down just to the left of the posts, Harry V deservedly collecting the extra 2 points. Staines 7:7 Teddington (T Sam C, C Harry V).
This gave a great fillip to the team. They now realised that despite the size of the Teddington pack, Staines were more efficient at the breakdown. Shortly afterwards the strong running Ashton was charging towards the Teddington line with an arcing run towards Staines’ right wing. . Ashton was stopped close to the line but there was great support as Staines won the ball and recycled. Ashton had got up quickly and was there to touch down for Staines’ second try Staines 12:7 Teddington (T Ashton).
This seemed to be a turning point. Apart from their first try Teddington had not made an incursion into the Staines half. The forwards were besting the Teddington pack up front and the backs were coming up fast and not giving the Teddington backs time to think. Even though their backs looked handy, they could not get enough clean good ball without being rushed by the eager Staines backs. Calum, who was playing his first full league game was there with a confident catch and offload at the restart. Again Staines attacked via the right wing. But this time it was the excellent Alex who has been playing really well at inside centre.
Alex saw a gap from about 20 m out and went for the line. In a very similar manner to Ashton’s try he was stopped just before the line. Still, Alex managed to present the ball to Andrew who crashed over the line. Staines 17:7 Teddington (T Andrew). This was the half-time score.
Half Time: Staines 17:7 Teddington
So despite the setback of an early try against the run of play Staines had come back with three tries of their own. The forwards were slowly getting back to regaining their form from earlier in the season. Captain Harry G was doing a tremendous job of rallying the troops and his emphasis on the positive. The backs were very good in defence. However, there had been a couple of occasions when the wings could have been released if more communication had been evident. All the team now needed to do was to keep concentrating and keep playing with the same intensity.
There then followed a slight hiatus when the Teddington coaches initially conceded the game as one of their players was injured and they intended to start to use some of their “A” team players. But bravely the 14 Teddington boys complained and so for a period Teddington voluntarily went down to 14 men. This was not going to do their cause any good.
So with the second half starting and Staines a player up Staines continued to press. Even when Teddington tried to clear their lines Harry V was controlling the games with some booming kicks deep into the heart of the Teddington half. Strong running and chasing from Ricardo and Aaron ensured that Teddington were still on the back foot, scrambling for decent possession.
Staines once again were attacking on the right hand side of the pitch. In a nice forward move Staines were pressing with Calum in possession. Teddington concentrated on driving Calum but he had cleverly made the ball available to Josh Van De Pol who raced away from the maul about 10m out and opened the scoring of the second half scoring about 3 metres from touch. Harry V nailed a tremendous conversion. Staines had now scored 4 tries and collected a bonus point for that. Staines 24:7 Teddington (T Josh VD P, C Harry V).
After another safe pouch from the restart by Calum, Staines were back in business and on the attack. Freddie who was constantly in attendance at every breakdown was so close to a try, this time on the left side of the pitch. But the Referee deemed that it should not stand as Freddie seemed to scramble the ball over the line. Teddington were increasingly making risky play, deep in their own half.
After an injury to one of the Teddington players, Teddington conceded the league fixture and brought on more players to restore their complement of 15. So back to 8-man scrums. But yet more pain for Teddington. Ashton was causing real problems for Teddington. The tall fast running centre with a penchant for a hand-off gained ground each time. This time however he was only had 2 metres out to touch down for Staines’ fifth try. Harry V hit an enormous conversion from near the touchline, a superb strike. Staines 31:7 Teddington (T Ashton, C Harry V).
So Staines had scored 5 tries without reply. It is possible that during this period Staines might have thought that they had won the game. It is possible that they started to cruise. Whether it was Teddington upping their game or Staines resting on their laurels, Staines were now coming out second best. No longer were Staines first to the breakdown.
It was also around this time that the scrum had to go to uncontested because Teddington did not have any more experienced front row players after an injury. Now perhaps this change upset Staines more than Teddington. Certainly Teddington seemed more energised and were rucking and mauling more effectively. Staines were going backwards. Suddenly a mid-field break by a strong running Teddington player followed by a poor tackle gave Teddington a glimmer of hope as he touched down under the posts. Staines 31:14 Teddington (T Teddington, C Teddington).
At the restart Staines seemed to get carried away. Possibly keen to make amends it seemed that the whole team chased Harry V’s fine restart kick. Staines managed to win the initial ball but somehow a more eager Teddington side snaffled it back and immediately moved it into mid-field. A strong running Teddington player forced though an ineffective tackle leaving him with just one player to beat. He ran round and scored under the posts. Staines 31:21 Teddington (T Teddington, C Teddington).
These two quick scores stung Staines back into action. Surely Teddington could not come back? With time running out the Staines forwards launched a surge against Teddington. In the middle of the pitch 5m away from under the posts, the Staines forwards hammered away looking for the breakthrough. Teddington, their backs to the wall were heroic in defence. Could they stem this onslaught? Staines forward after forward battered into the Teddington wall and recycled. Finally in the last second of open play Josh Van De Pol saw a gap and crashed over under the post for his second and Staines’ sixth and final try of the game, Harry V converting. Staines 38:21 Teddington (T Josh Van De Pol, C Harry V). Harry V’s conversion signalled the end of the match.
Final score: Staines 38:21 Teddington
A very entertaining game played in a good spirit. Parents of both teams should be proud how their charges conducted themselves today in a well-contested but fair manner. Spectators who included the Chairman of the Club would have had no cause for complaint watching such a game. Both sets of players respected the Referee and their opponents.
This game initially started off as a league game. By the end of the match Teddington B had conceded the fixture and so the game was eventually finished as a friendly. In either case Staines gleaned the five points on offer, 4 points for the win and an extra point for scoring at least 4 tries. Staines are firmly on top of the league with 19 points out of a possible 20 after four matches. Staines now have just two more league games to go.
Staines are a very competent side going forward. But today there were three mistakes and they conceded three tries under the posts. This is an indication that there still is work to do with the defensive line. The score was flattering to Teddington who to their credit kept at it when it seemed that it was a lost cause.
Those Staines players who did not get a full game today will start the next match and last one of the year against Harlequins at home next Sunday 15th December.
Calum, Josh VD P, Freddie, Josh G, Jason, Andrew, Sam C, Harry G, Craig, Harry V, Alex, Ashton, Ricardo, Aaron, Robert, Dax, Luke
Tries: Sam C, Ashton (2), Andrew, Josh Van De Pol (2)
Conv: Harry V (4)