Newark U12 Knights v. Lincoln
We Love it when a plan comes together!
Written by Ian Gooden
Verified by Alan Staines
Coaches: Rushy, Ian and Nigel
Players: Freddie, Henry B, Ted, James, Elliot, Matthew G, Ethan H, Alfie M, Adam, Thomas, Joe R, Cisco, Calum and Matthew W
Due to illness (get well soon Finn) we travelled to Lincoln with a clear game plan and a squad of 14 players as Lincoln could only field one side at U12. We knew from our last encounter with Lincoln that their core strength is the ruck and maul. They commit players in numbers and are very capable of stealing the ball. Our tactics therefore revolved around drawing Lincoln players in and then exploiting the open space created with quick ball to our backs.
We agreed to play four x 10 minute quarters and the early exchanges were fairly even. Newark soaked up some early pressure and then won the ball back and scored a good try. Lincoln responded almost immediately with some poor too high tackling allowing them to cross for what turned out to be their only try of the match.
At this level mistakes by players in key positions (hooker, scrum half, fly half and full back) become very visible – to team mates, coaches and spectators. Newark made some very basic errors but held on well and ended the first quarter just ahead.
The mid-half break allowed the coaches to focus on addressing the basics and the players responded brilliantly. Cisco and James combining really well to ensure quick ball out wide where our fast runners like Tom, Henry and Matthew W could really move the game line forward – supported well by the wings and full back. A number of good tries were scored as Newark increasingly took hold.
Our key message at half time was to keep focused. When dominating a game there is always a risk of “easing off” and allowing the opposition back at you. If anything the Knights went up a gear. Alfie moved in to play scrum half and Tom took over full back duties from Matthew G. Special mention to Henry who put the Lincoln scrum half and fly half under huge pressure when they had the ball. More tries followed as the Knights forwards Adam, Ethan, Freddie, Calum and Teddy started to control the breakdown forcing errors and knock-ons.
The challenge to the team for the final quarter was to keep a clean sheet. James, Matthew G, Tom and Joe were solid in defence and put together some good moves in possession. Ethan then drove over for a final try. Our forwards fitness was impressive as they had to play every minute of the game.
All credit to Lincoln who showed real character and kept going to the final whistle. We are sure we will play closer games in the years ahead as many individual players showed real potential.
Player of the week went to Henry B.
It is now for the Tigers to maintain the record when they face Sleaford in three weeks’ time.
Training for all players next Sunday at Kelham Road.