Black go well at Twickenham today
By John Reynolds
Some great sides on show and we more than hold our own
Twickenham 10’s Festival
Wasps U14 A 24 – 7 Ipswich U14 Black (Tries: Haz Conv: Murph)
Old Redingensians U14 A 12 – 12 Ipswich U14 Black (Tries: Freddie vM, Murph Conv:Murph)
Richmond U14 A 19 – 26 Ipswich U14 Black (Tries: Ollie S 3, Dom Conv: Murph 3)
Twickenham U14 A 5 – 26 Ipswich U14 Black (Tries: Ollie S 2, Haz, Joe F Conv: Murph 2, Vic)
Harlequins U14 A 5 – 33 Ipswich U14 Black (Tries: Joe M 3, Ollie S 2 Conv: Vic 3, Murph)
Today was a day full of learning for coaches and players alike. We took 18 lads which was far more than other sides and managed to bleed players in and out of games across the day. Not all got as much game time as others, some grabbed opportunities with both hands, some shone, some showed true invention, some showed the hearts of lions and some showed unbelievable bravery. A very good day. We learned a great deal about the group and where our initial focus areas are.
After losing to Wasps in the opening game, a game we should have won, had about 70% of the ball and the lions share of the territory, we picked ourselves up to play some lovely rugby and eventually roll in as runners up. Are we disappointed? Well it is always nice to win trophies but the learning today was gold and I think that is what will ultimately stand us in good stead if we can harness it and deliver on it moving forward.
Rugby at this level is hard, fast and unforgiving. Mistakes are punished and errors highlighted for the impacts they cause. This level of rugby is where we want to live. For now, we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and learn to develop our game management so that we can then play without fear and at the tempo we decide to impose. The future is very exciting and lads are cordially invited to show their team mates and the coach team that they are prepared and want to be part of the journey. It is with you lads.
We plan to hold a parents meeting/BBQ over the summer after the end of season awards to talk about the future and the shape of it. That said we are happy to talk to parents and lads between now and the end of the season about things to work on over the summer, preseason, next season and beyond.
I left it with Paul and Stu today to pick forwards and backs to mention in dispatches plus the MoM.
A couple of key moments from me though before that were Freddie von Moll’s game management in the Old Redingensian game and his dominance of their 9. Our team game management in the Richmond game in the final minute to work the opening with patience and get Ollie in to score to win the game. These are the types of individual and team skills that we all need to learn and develop to allow us to dominate week in, week out at this level.
Freddie von Moll was excellent today. He makes us tick, works his pack and gees them on. His distribution is good and he chips in with a try or two. Ollie showed immense strength, good feet and real pace to score a number of tries. Joe M destroyed Quins with some devastating hard and fast running, Joe F worked himself into some good positions and got away to score a lovely opportunist try against Twickenham. Tom hit some really intelligent hard lines and gives us real options in the centres.
Haz was very good again today constantly breaking the gain line. Dom was solid ball in hand, bumping players and making himself a difficult shape to contend with in contact.
Paul and Stu both went for Arch today. He had a very good day in terms of pure effort and in contact hitting monster tackles time and time again. Well done Arch.
The lads are tasked with stepping up to the levels we are imposing on the group as a standard. Those standards will be positive, fun and engaging. We accept and agree that form is temporary but commitment and work rate can be measured as a standard outside of form. Where are you lads as individuals? Are you the hardest worker in the room? If you’re not, you need to change that. Now.