Sidmouth U8’s v Withycombe U8's

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It was a mild and breezy day at Withycombe RFC in Exmouth.

Today’s focus was on ensuring that we continued in our process and development areas for the first half of the year:
Inattack - support each other, pass early on the run and exploit the space
In defence. - keep alignment, look and listen.

Game 1. The Withy referee’s “Home Rules” took us by surprise, as runaway and “off feet” tries were the order of the day for the Withy players. Although technically legal, runaway tries are disallowed during our training sessions, as we try and emphasise teamwork and use of the ball as opposed to exploitation of any single player’s speed. The game got off to a fast pace and the opposition’s attack was formidable - with lots of direct running by both sides. At the end of the first half the score was Withycombe 3 – Sidmouth 2 (Try scorers, Max Mayor and Toby Richards). The second half was more of the same with our opposition’s runaway and “off feet” tries resulting in a frustrating final score ofWithycombe 6 – Sidmouth 2.

Game 2. The 2nd game had a tighter focus on the game laws allowed at u8 – providing a more level playing field, and introducing a large element of parity to the teams . Our opponent’s attack was still strong but our defence even better. At the end of the first half the score was 1-1 (Try scorer George Manly). In the second half our defence remained impressive and focussed. In attack we were looking for space and passing on the run. Regrettably tries proved elusive. Final score Withycombe 3, Sidmouth 1.

In all, a very satisfying day for both the coaches and players. If one eliminates the “off feet” (3) and runaway (3) tries scored by Withy today, we actually drew in total scores – not that that matters one iota.

After 4 sessions, the players are starting to recognise and understand our pattern of play – and for the most part are very comfortable implementing it. A huge plaudit needs to go to our “senior” players (those who’ve been around for a couple of years). They have done very well in welcoming the newer, less experienced players and are helping them develop a very strong team culture!

Congratulations all round – a great days’ play!