Windsor U17s v Aylesbury (League)

14th February 2010
by Garry Irwin
The listing was posted by Windsor RFC - Juniors - u17s - Season 09/10

On a cold but dry morning, we started to assemble at the clubhouse for the last of the postponed league games. After the warm-up on Pitch #1, both teams disappeared into the changing rooms for their last minute talk etc. Meanwhile a lady walking her dog off the lead allowed it to cock a leg up one of the goal posts. Chris Brown (assuming the officious manner and tone of a HM Customs official), asked the lady “could you kindly not allow your dog to foul the playing area and keep it on a lead please – we really don’t enjoy rolling around in your dog’s wee”, followed by a weak apologetic tone “I am not having a go or nothing”. Actually although we had not been on his customer facing training courses, we all agreed he really was having a go! - made us laugh anyway, even if the dog walker didn’t see the funny side ? A certain lady supporter (who shall remain nameless but as a clue the family name is a primary ingredient for **** and onion stuffing) was explaining to the lovely wife of the Match reporter that she was sporting a hot water bottle inside her trousers – nice thought and considerate, but I must say the water carrying has not been the same since Cookie Snr. went. Anyway, I seem to have digressed so let’s talk about the rugby.................... *************************************** Windsor (home) vs. Aylesbury - Pitch #2 with Windsor playing right to left (as you look at the castle) First Half: (kick-off 12:35pm) Windsor kicked off and the battle commenced. Early pressure from Windsor had immediately forced a Penalty which was only narrowly missed. Several probing cross-field attacks left Aylesbury defending on their own goal line wondering what they were up against. Windsor certainly seemed up for this one and our forwards were constantly in the faces of their opposition, never letting even the breakdown push us out of their territory. It was a full fourteen minutes of play before Aylesbury managed to get into the Windsor half for the first time, with a kick to touch. An attempt to run the right wing saw Tom connect up with Michael and release Ryan for the final run. Aylesbury again on their back foot and within 5 metres, were scrummaging like their lives depended on it. Aylesbury managed to turnover ball and run back at us, only a superb tackling double act from the Flying Twiglets (Luke and Ryan) were able to prevent a counter attack up our left wing. Great tackling again from Windsor greeted an Aylesbury scrum on our 10 and Michael was able to plant a beautiful kick to within 5 metres of the Aylesbury corner flag. Pressure like this was sure to deliver some points, you would think, although recent weeks has seen Windsor control the game but have been unable to convert the pressure into points. This time a Penalty awarded to Windsor allowed Michael Chambers to put the first points on the board at 3 – 0 and 23 mins played. Aylesbury responded admirably, with a break immediately from the restart, turning over the first ruck, making a break straight up the middle, snaking through a hole with just Sam Irwin hanging on for grim death, but the momentum of a second lad clattering into them both drove them over the try line for a score of 3 – 5 (conversion missed). Usually a stinging blow like that would drive our heads down, but Windsor seemed more resilient today and realised they had suffered a sucker punch but all was not lost! From the restart Windsor were right back in the driving seat and made way to the left wing, Tom Hay hooked up with Tom Brocket (I will avoid the obvious humorous TomTom Sat Nav reference) and again Windsor was within striking distance. Aylesbury, with all credit were very good in the scrum and rucking, frequently thwarting the Windsor onslaught. Windsor opted to scrum a penalty decision which worked wonderfully as it set of Batesie towards the opposite corner with Ryan eagerly waiting the final pass, complimented with a dramatic diving try and converted by Michael for 10 – 5 (game on!) at 29 mins played. The Aylesbury restart kick was clearly not going to make the 10 metres, but Tom Hay spotted the opportunity and ran through the unsure looking Aylesbury players and booted the ball forward. This started a succession of some lovely play off the back of the scrum on their 22, with Tom B, Michael, Bates, Theo exchanging some excellent quick hand work and switching runs, only the acrobatic Aylesbury full back managed to catch the ball for a mark. Half time whistle came shortly after. Half Time Score: 10 – 5 Coach’s Comment: Rucks, we must drive over. Backs need to straighten up the runs. One silly mistake, but overall a great half and some lovely tackling. Some squad changes – Tom Hay (after playing a great first half) was replaced by Will Sage. Second Half: (kick-off 13:16pm) The opening two minutes was a disaster for Windsor. Aylesbury had managed to get the ball into our “In Goal” zone soon after the restart kick. Sam caught a deep kick and proceeded to run back at the opposition but unfortunately ended in an accidental obstruction. Aylesbury noting they were in striking distance opted for the scrum and managed an equalising try. Now with a score at 10 – 10 and just two minutes into the half, it was a devastating blow, but the lads did not drop their heads. It was not long before a counter-attack initiated from a Luke run, gained a penalty, which Tom connected up with Michael who nearly scored but sadly clattered into the left wing corner flag. Aylesbury were dug in on their 5 metre mark, the lineout had not allowed them to break out at all, with our forwards absolutely doing their stuff in the rucks. Eventually the pressure told and a penalty was awarded to Windsor following the departure of an Aylesbury lad, yellow carded (for what I do not know, probably not much – but being fair to the ref had warned both teams at half time that he was mindful of some late activity). Windsor capitalised on the momentum of the original play and the advantage of the extra man, with Tom from the back of a ruck setting off Batesie for a try (conversion missed) for 15 – 10 with 7 mins of second half played. Within a few minutes Windsor were back on the Aylesbury goal line with Tom nearly scoring, unfortunately the clearance kick ended with Luke taking a injury to face (a lovely shiner not doubt – one to brag about to the ladies!) and Alex Cook came on in the same position. It was a further 10 mins of some intense Aylesbury pressure before Windsor would get back into the Aylesbury half, as they put up a tremendous effort in an attempt to equalise, especially when they were restored to 15 players once more. Fortunately once Windsor were back to the half way line and back on our front foot again, you felt we had the impetuous to finish the game off. It came at the 23 minute mark, from a well placed scrum, allowing Michael to break right and with Matt Quinn as his wing man; we had the overlap for a nicely worked try. The conversion was missed (by inches) as the ball actually struck the very top of the left post for a score of 20 – 10. Sam Irwin came off suffering from a “wee chesty cough” and was replaced by Miles Hay who joined the forwards, with Ryan dropping to Full Back and Matt Quinn on the wing. Aylesbury were clearly not intent on losing and robustly developed a play from the restart, working a succession of rucks and scrums to our right wing corner, forcing a maul over the line for their third try (not converted) to once again close the gap to 20 – 15 and with 10 mins still to play. The remaining 10 mins were predominantly Windsor’s with two more thrusts at scoring, with an a forward pass robbing Matt of scoring, then followed by a penetrating run from Ryan and some lovely quick handling between Tom, Stuart, Batesie and finally James Brooke, who was so close to completing the sequence on the right wing. But, full time could not come quick enough for us, Aylesbury always looked a threat and I think we were all happy to hear the final whistle and secure those hard earned points. Hats off to Aylesbury though, good solid team, formidable pack, who played a very entertaining game of rugby, they never gave up and no handbags or back-chat, which from two teams of U17’s makes a pleasant change. Coach’s Comment: Well done you *********! Are you deliberately trying to give me a heart attack? Great win against a good side. Also a big thank you to the subs, especially Scott and Henrik who never got a game, but were itching to get on. *************************************** Match Stats: Tries: Ryan Johal (1), Alex Bates (1), Michael Chambers (1) Conversions: Michael Chambers (1) Penalties: Michael Chambers (1) Squad was made up from: Forwards: Jack Richardson (1-C), James Brooke (2), Josh McClenn (3), Tom Hay (4), Daniel Jacobs (5), Charlie Turnbull (6), Matt Quinn (7), Stuart King (8) Backs: Tom Brocket (9), Michael Chambers (10), Ryan Johal (11), Alex Bates (12), Theo Brown (13), Luke Suares-Whaley (14), Sam Irwin (15) Subs: Miles Hay, Henrik Davison, Alex Cook, Scott Davies, Will Sage