The combined Toc H-Broughton Park Under 13s took to the road this week travelling to Rossendale RUFC in the second round of the Lancashire RFU Waterfall Tournament. Before kick off the opposition looked a solid set of lads and in good form warming up, whilst Toc-BP unfortunately lost back Kiran to a leg injury in their warm up.
From the kick off Rossendale pushed forward into the Toc-BP half, however a dropped pass ended up in the arms of danger man Georgie in the centres who picked up where he left off last week to sprint three-quarters of the pitch to register the first score. A few minutes later he was at it again after the ball was well won at a scrum and spread wide quickly to find Georgie in space. From the restart Toc-BP pressed hard with an offensive-defence, pushing Rossendale RUFC back into their own 22 before a good contest at the breakdown saw Ted pick and go from the ruck to lollop over for a try. A good first 5 minutes and 3 tries to nil up! That good start was then offset as prop Ushayne for forced off with an ankle injury after carrying the ball strongly into a heavy tackle.
Midway through the half a big tackle from scrumhalf Luuk dislodged the ball which found its’ way to the hands to Georgie to score his third try. Despite the score line the opposition continued to offer good defence but, after several rucks on the Rossendale 5 metre line the ball was eventually popped up to Ted on the run who crashed over from close range for try number five. Where Rossendale had done well was with their bigger forwards in the scrum, causing the Toc-BP pack to struggle in this area throughout the first half. However, just on the stroke of halftime the pack gelled and dug deep to hold their own scrum close to their try line. This launched a counterattack from deep resulting in another team score for Georgie to finish off.
The second half started with a much improved attack by Rossendale, only withheld by the solid line of defence by the whole Toc-BP team, including subs Lucas and Tyrone who’d joined the fray. Seb forced himself over for the first try of the half, shortly followed by winger Rob cutting a line through the Rossendale 22 after receiving a pass from Georgie. Again Rossendale forced their way back to camp for a long period in the Toc-BP half and forcing play into the 22. But relentless defence from forwards George, Seb and Nathan eventually resulted in the turnover and outside half Ben spotted the opportunity to counterattack finding Ollie with a crisp pass for a mazy run upfield before support arrived from winger Robert, who then fed centre Jamie to sprint clear over the half pitch length to score (unfortunately winding himself with his Chris Ashton style ‘Ash-Splash’!).
The spirit, skill and effort of the day was exemplified in the next try (see video if I manage to upload it!). Rossendale won their own scrum on the Toc-BP 10m line and opted to go down the blind side. Unfortunately for them Ted was waiting and shut the door in a big way “BOOM!” – credit to the Rossendale player for holding onto the ball to recycle it back! More tackles, and constant harrying from the Toc-BP defensive line, plus Luuk driving one of their props off the ruck(!), eventually saw CJ rip the ball from the opposition, drive forward, find his safe place on the ground to make a target for Nathan to form the ruck. Scrum half Luuk quickly fed Georgie who broke through the first line of defence before outpacing the covering defence to score just the one for this half.
Probably the easiest try of the day fell to Leon from the resultant restart. Rossendale failed to catch the ball and misread the bounce; Leon didn’t, catching the ball cleanly and in his stride to sprint away untouched to score.
In the last five minutes Rosendale finally got the try their effort more than deserved, scoring in the far right-hand corner. They pressed hard again from the restart but the Toc-BP players soaked up the pressure and, just like the All Blacks, seized on a mistake by the opposition to send CJ sprinting nearly the whole length of the pitch to score. The match was wrapped up by Luuk, who slid the ball through the Rosendale defensive line with a neat little grubber kick, following up himself to gather and dive over the line.
The score for the Waterfall Tournament would go in as 35 – 5, but 13 tries scored was a fantastic performance but not just from some good (even great) individual performances, but of an excellent team performance from all involved. The Man of Steel awards could have gone to a host of players but this week went to Luuk for his relentless tackling and all round good scrum half play (topped with a cheeky try) and to Seb for his classic backrow play- tackling, rucking and scavenging at the breakdown. A high standard of endeavour and commitment shown by all players. Long may it continue!