CB Festival at North Walsham
The EC festival hosted by North Walsham was attended by well over 300 girls and featured teams from across the EC – this was fantastic evidence of the ever increasing demand for girls rugby across our region.
A couple of last minute cancellations meant some of our star players were missing and our numbers were lower than usual – but the 10 Wildcats who made the trip to North Walsham had a great day.
Our U13 Wildcats had 5 games, all played in the best spirits and with due regard to TREDS.
We started with a fixture against our hosts, North Walsham, and talked at length ahead of the game of the importance of high pressing and good pressure. With some good, high, kickoffs allowing our players to pressure from the very start we very quickly got into our stride and managed to see this one out 6-0 with tries from Toasty (x3), Thea, Acacia and Izzy.
Game 2 was against a Lowestoft & Yarmouth and Ipswich combination team. Between them they had 16 players so 3 of the Ipswich players crossed over the Norfolk/Suffolk divide to ensure we could play a 13-a-side game and all players got maximum game time. Our thanks to the Ipswich girls for stepping in. The score was a much tighter 2-0 with tries from Thea and 1x Ipswich. The scoreline though did not tell the full story as L&Y/Ips put huge pressure on the Norwich tryline, with constant attacks requiring a solid defensive display. I have no idea how they didn’t score other than some really brave tackling and defending.
The L&Y/Ips girls did get across the line on one occasion but Nancy had managed to position herself under the ball and opposing player to hold the ball up. As the score was only 1-0 at this point it proved to be a real deciding moment. The second try was very much against the run of play on one of the few times Norwich managed to get hands on ball and break the L&Y/Ips line. Once they had though, the ball was recycled quickly through a number of phases before being passed out wide to Thea who scored.
Game 3, against a Shelford/Beccles/Wymondham combination. Having played Shelford a few times we knew they would be a tough opponent and we were not wrong. We started the game quickly racing into a 2-0 lead but She/Be/Wy came back really strongly and soon evened the scores. She/Be/Wy then went ahead but rather than allow our heads to drop the girls gathered themselves together, reminded each other of what works well and got back to high pressing and concentrating on getting the ball back. Final score was 6-4 with tries from Toasty(x2), Acacia and Thea(x3) but it was very tense and again the score did not tell the whole story.
Game 4, against Crusaders/Diss/Bury. There were some experienced girls and some development players in the Cr/Di/Bu team and with the use of the high kickoff tactic we managed to secure ball quickly and kept the scoreboard ticking over. Final score 10-1. Tries from Thea, Lizzy, Toasty(x3), Nancy (x3) and Acacia (x2). Fantastic to see Lizzy getting her first ever Wildcats try – well done Lizzy.
Game 5, against Cambridge, Sudbury and Harwich & Dovercourt. Similar to the previous game where some of the Ca/Su/HD girls were playing their first ever matches. This game was a bit messy with a LOT of handling errors on both sides, lots of dropped balls. The referee chose not to play any advantage after any of the handling errors which made for a lot of stoppages with lots of scrums. The score was 4-1 with tries from Thea, Nancy, Millie and Evie. Another two girls got their first ever Wildcats try in this game - well done Evie and Millie!
As a team we can be pleased with our improving defending and it was great to have a couple of games where no tries were conceded.
The team continues to go from strength to strength and we are now looking forward to the season building to a climax with great anticipation.
As always, still plenty to work on but the coaches came away very pleased with all the girls effort and ever improving tackling abilities.
5 games, 5 wins, 24 tries scored and only 6 conceded.
Thanks as always to our hosts, our opponents, the coaches that reffed and the parents that continue to accrue significant milage(!) to ensure our girls are getting as many opportunities as possible to play rugby.
Players POTD was Millie and Coaches POTD was Nancy for her solid defending, chasing of lost causes and never giving up.
Match report by Darrell
(U13s head coach)