Fixture

Abercarn RFC | Under 8s 15 - 15 Oakdale RFC | Under 8s
Griff Tovey
4 Try
Max Baldwin
1 Try
Brody Baker
1 Try
Joshua Johnson
7 Try
Harri Williams
1 Try
Kian Davies
1 Try

Match Report
12 April 2018 / Team News

Al-Fie Your Mind (And the Rest Will Follow)

Mud!! Kids love it, but it doesn’t bode well for a game of rugby. The last couple of weeks have either been a non-event or our running style of rugby has been severely hampered. With the rain abating on Sunday morning we all travelled the short distance to play near-neighbours Abercarn and a fine spring time morning.

A minute’s silence was impeccably observed by all players and then the Apples stepped onto the smallest pitch in the history of Under 8s knowing that the home coaches knew our strengths and therefore looked to combat our pace and verve.

Elliot Hall captained the side on the day and he got his team off to a great start with some fine forward running. It was Josh JJ Johnson who got the Dale onto the scoreboard first with some great support play to get his first of the morning which was duly recognised as great play by the Referee.

Olly Morris was looking for anyway to get through the defenders but found his way blocked on either side of the pitch. He did though make enough forward gains for him to ship the ball to Brodie Baker and he crashed over to make it 2-0.

Abercarn hit back with a try of their own before JJ showed some more great support play to take the ball from Olly to go over to make it 3-1. Hannah Benger took quite a few tags in the first period and when the ball was in her hands looked to take on the defence constantly but was denied a try of her own by some last-ditch tagging.

Abercarn scored to close the deficit but from the re-start the ball found its way into Kian Davies’s hands and he showed a great turn of speed to evade all the flailing arms and got himself on the scoresheet to take the Dale further ahead at 4-1.

The home side did not lose heart and a few quick substitutions they scored three quick tries without response to bring themselves back into contention with the scores level at 4-4. And with the seconds ebbing away JJ got the ball in his hands and showed some great hip movement to sway this way and that to cross for his 1st period hat-trick. But no matter how hard they defended the Dale could not stop some impressive passing and support play from Abercarn and they got the all-important score to level the period with a final score of 5-5-

Looking to break away from their opponents the Bananas stepped onto the paddock and as soon as they got the ball they passed to Griff Tovey who weaved this way then that way and cruised over for the first try of the period. Abercarn hit back immediately but with the pitch being so small people were running into each other all over the park. This was a problem when one of the Abercarn players cracked heads with Alfie AJ Short. AJ looked like he had taken one of his namesake, the Heavyweight Champion of the World he was dazed that much but he managed to take himself off the field to get emergency first aid from the busy Gemma Morris. This allowed JJ to come back onto the field and with his first touch he got his fourth of the morning.

Everytime Shay Edwards found the ball in his hands he was side stepping everyone and his running skills has certinaly improved over the season. One of the highlights of the game was the cheer his Dad let out when Shay took an excellent tag and on the morning Mr Edwards had a fine game.

Harri Williams had found the art of the dummy and he was sending the ball left and right trying to put the opposition off his scent and it worked well as he managed to flummox the home side into a state of confusion and traipsed his way over the line for his first. Yet again, Abercarn came back at the dale and brought the score to 3-2 but Tovey then outpaced the back-tracking defenders to make it over the line before Max Baldwin got in on the act with some mazy running to make the final score of the period 5-3 in the favour of the Dale.

Because the pitch was so small everyone had not done that much running so everyone was keen to go again which is exactly just what we did.

Coming back onto the field the Apples knew they had to go some more if they were going to take the spoils in the third period, but it didn’t start well when Abercarn scored three quick tries with some excellent support play, never being afraid to pass the ball along the line. With Zayn Haymann starting to look like a formidable player he made some excellent yards and as always it was JJ who was there in support and he got another quick-fire hat-trick to bring the Apples back level at 3-3. It was a frantic last two minutes with both sides dropping the ball and giving away possession, but it was Abercarn that showed the most control and managed to crash over in the dying seconds of the period to sneak the period win at 3-4 and an overall score of 13-12 to the Crazies

So, the last period started, and everyone could see that this one was going to be a tight one with the spoils potentially going to either side. At the start of the game Coach Julian said that as it was such a small pitch players needed to run straight and gain yards knowing they were going to lose their tags for the betterment of the team and if there were two players on the morning that took the advice and ran straight it was Aimee Lock and Leilan Davies who both showed great courage running forward and must be commended for it.

But it was Griff Tovey who was the ‘go-to’ person when tries were required and both times he got the ball in his hands he crossed to take the Dale into a 15-12 lead. But the home side were having none of it and each time they were tagged there was always another player on the shoulder and the ball was passed quickly with yards being eaten up. Seconds after their first try was scored their second followed immediately after and panic began to settle into the Crazies play. A couple of dropped balls gave away possession and although the Referee told all players not to step over the touchline the Dale handed over the ball too many times.

With every player breathing heavily and trying to cling onto the one point lead they held. Abercarn started their final attack and the Dale were determined to take the six tags required to end the game but a pulsating last 30 seconds saw the home side show how far they have come and some excellent offloading saw them score in the final inches of the corner of the pitch to make the final score 15-15

It was a good morning overall. We got some good game time and we know we need to build up momentum to see us playing at our best. A round robin next week against Hafodyrynys and Whiteheads will go a long way to getting us back on the right track and on a pitch where we can cut loose. Player of the Match was an easy one this week. Alfie AJ Short got a massive whack in the chops during the first period, so much so that he looked a little dazed to carry on. But the magic sponge did the trick and he showed great bravery to come back onto the field and complete the game. Well done Aj you thoroughly deserve the award.

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