Royston RFC U10s v Cambridge RUFC U10s
Cambridge score 84 tries winning 12 of our 16 matches and drawing the other 4
What a glorious morning’s rugby. This was probably the highlight of the U10s season so far with strong performances from all four of our teams against some solid opposition from Royston. We won 12 out of our 16 matches and drew the other 4 scoring an impressive 84 tries whilst conceding only 33.
It was great to see our boys’ obvious enthusiasm for the game and also to see them using the new skills that they’ve developed over the last few months. We fielded 4 teams of 8 boys and each team played 4 matches. Many thanks to Royston for the efficient way they ran the event and also for providing the referees.
Squad: Austin, Bo, Declan, Hugh, Lenny, Rajmond, Sam, Tobias
Cambridge got off to a strong start with Bo running in an early solo try. We then dropped our guard, failed to make tackles and allowed Royston to equalise through a soft try. It took both sides a little while to settle but this turned into a closely fought and physical match and it was great to watch the teams battling to make progress. There was some good rucking and some strong defending on both sides which meant our boys really had to fight to make ground. Our hard work was rewarded when Lenny made a weaving run to put us back in the lead but frustratingly we again gave away a soft try allowing Royston back into the match. Austin made a strong solo run to put us back in the lead and this seemed to inspire our boys to up their game and our tackling become more effective as we kept Royston out with Hugh, Austin, Sam and Tobias and Declan all making strong tackles. A turnover ball allowed Austin to make another excellent solo run to put us 4-2 up. Several of our boys then tried runs including Declan, Rajmond and Sam before Sam drove his way through to seal the victory. Try scorers: Austin 2, Lenny, Sam and Bo 1 each
Royston 2 - Cambridge 5
There were some doubts about whether our boys could keep up the pace after such a tough first match and our fears were almost realised after a Royston runner swerved several tackles and got very close to our line before he was pushed out. That drama over, Bo made a strong run back into Royston’s half and this was followed by a run by Rajmond and a good move involving passes from Declan to Hugh and then to Tobias who made a snaking run to score. Declan was really on fire in this match especially in rucks and mauls and won the ball several times leading to scores. Royston couldn’t really cope with our stronger runners and Bo, Hugh, Austin and Tobias all ran in further tries. We were also much superior in defence - all our boys were making good tackles and Royston never really looked like scoring after that first minute scare. Try scorers: Bo 3, Austin 2, Hugh, 2, Tobias 2.
Royston 0 - Cambridge 9
The third match started positively when Bo nearly scored after having run all the way to the Royston line only to lose the ball when passing to Hugh. Our boys put in some strong work especially in the rucks and Sam made a nice pass to Austin who streaked down the line to put us ahead. Royston came back strongly and there was more good defensive work by Rajmond, Hugh and Tobias in particular though Royston did equalise. Our boys showed great determination trying to win every ball and another great run by Austin put us back in the lead; quickly followed up by a nice weaving run by Lenny. Royston didn’t give up and our boys had to work hard throughout. Sam made a strong run gaining a lot of ground before being tackled. We won the subsequent ruck and then Sam got the ball again and drove over the line. To their credit Royston still didn’t give up and it took more strong tackling by Tobias, Sam and Hugh to keep them out. Some good work in a maul allowed Sam to run in our final try. Despite the scoreline it was a hard match and it was good to see our boys sticking to the task throughout. Try scorers: Austin 2, Sam 2, Lenny, Hugh
Royston 1 - Cambridge 6
Final match. We knew that this Royston team had performed well against Simon’s team in the previous match and were prepared for another tough game. Royston very nearly scored from their first run but fumbled the ball near our line letting us off the hook. Hugh made a superb solo run to put us in the lead but Royston quickly replied - they had a large player who was strong and difficult to stop. Austin made an excellent solo run to take us back into the lead but Royston piled on the pressure and it took some strong defensive work from our team to keep them out with both Hugh and Tobias making tackles at crucial times. We then gave away a free pass after handling in the ruck and Royston equalised. We responded positively and Hugh and Bo ran in further tries to seal the victory. It was slightly disappointing that we let Royston run in an easy try at the end which made the final score closer than it perhaps should have been. Try scorers: Hugh 2, Austin, Bo
Royston 3 - Cambridge 4
Squad: Andrew, Ebrima, Elia, Freddie, Harry, Mateo, Ted, Theo
Cambridge started slowly in the first of their games against a Royston side that tackled hard and played with good skill levels. There was some strong individual running running resulting in two good tries from Elia and one from Ted. However, our runners were often so quick that they were left isolated and on two occasions our ball carrier was stripped in the tackle resulting in tries for the opposition. There was some good tackling from Mateo and Andrew but overall we needed to defend with more aggression and organisation. Try scorers: Elia 2, Ted
Royston 3 - Cambridge 3
The second match was also closely fought but we missed quite a few tackles that resulted in Royston matching each of the 5 individually impressive tries scored by Elia. There was some good support play by Freddie and Theo but we did not ruck as effectively as we needed to and fell victim to quite a few turnovers that resulted in Royston tries. However the boys showed good determination to draw the game. Try scorers: Elia 5
Royston 5 - Cambridge 5
The third game began with a strong individual run by Ebrima resulting in a try. We were much more alert in this game and Andrew scored a speedy try in the corner followed by another nice try from Elia. Ebrima ran the length of the pitch carrying with defenders trying in vain to stop him and scored his second of the game. By now, we were showing some good skills and a few more direct runs with rucks and several phases of play. Andrew scored another good try after a strong run but we were lucky to avoid further Royston tries as our defence bunched up towards the end. The was some good handling and passing from Ted, Harry, Freddie and Theo in this game. Try scorers: Andrew 2, Ebrima 2, Elia
Royston 3 - Cambridge 5
The final game began with a Royston try within seconds that exposed our lack of defensive organisation and tackling. Ted responded with some excellent tackling and there was also some very strong play from Theo. Finally our runners started to take a more direct line and present the ball well to following players who rucked over. This play resulted in a great try for Harry who demonstrated the advantages of running strong and straight. Further tries from Harry and Andrew clinched the draw. Try scorers: Harry 2, Andrew, Elia
Royston 5 - Cambridge 5
Squad: Alex, George, Jake, Johnnie, Lachlan, Michael, Nikolai
Poor Cambridge tackling led to an early Royston try scored out wide. Cambridge restarted with a crash ball but were tackled into touch. A strong tackle from Nikolai and counter ruck by George lead to the first Cambridge try by Johnnie. Another strong run, Oliver crashing through the middle, lead to our second try. After the restart multiple Cambridge knock-ons lead to our failure to secure an immediate third try. Royston also put in some strong tackles as they warmed up. A great run from Jake meant he went over to score our third try. Phases of possession following multiple rucks enabled George to score the 4th try. Strong running by Michael set up our 5th try by George. However, poor focus from Cambridge at the restart let Royston score from out wide. Following the restart Johnnie bursts through the middle to make it 6-2. Strong tackling and counter rucking by Cambridge lead to George scoring his 3rd. Try scorers: George 3, Johnnie 3, Oliver and Jake.
Royston 2 - Cambridge 7
The second match started in similar fashion when a failure to tackle lead to an early Royston try out on the wing. Royston continued to exploit the wings but didn’t score being bundled into touch by strong Cambridge defence in particular Nikolai. Cambridge counterattack and get close to scoring but were thwarted by continuous Royston offsides. Strong running by Oliver after multiple phases leads to the equalizer, score 1-1. There followed a phase of very strong defence by Cambridge on their line preventing a score. Johnnie got a head knock and Cambridge conceded a soft try to go 2-1 down. A good restart and a strong run by Michael and Oliver lead to a try by Oliver in the middle 2-2. Cambridge failed to penetrate Royston line got counter rucked and lost territory. Alex lead from the front, crashing up and making a try but it was dis-allowed (held up). A quick restart and George scored, making it 2-3. Another try saving tackle by Johnnie on our line, Cambridge turned over the ball and crashed up the centre with 4 consecutive offloads with great link play from Lachlan but failed to ground the ball over the line. After a scrum Johnnie got the ball, crashed through their defence and scored a try in the last play. Try scorers Johnnie 2, Oliver and George.
Royston 2 Cambridge 4
The third match was our hardest primarily due to a lack of rucking and also giving away the ball in the maul. Royston crash up middle and Cambridge’s defence is all bunched up. Cambridge win and then lose possession in the tackle and concede a soft try 0-1. Royston attack strongly and George makes a fantastic try saving tackle. Strong running by Cambridge, good ball carrying by Michael and keen scrum half work by Alex set Johnnie up for a crash ball close to the line, scores 1-1. At the restart Cambridge counter maul and win the ball but immediately lose it in another maul and are far too bunched. Royston recycle and score, 2-1. Another strong Royston attack is stopped with try saving tackles by Johnnie and George. Cambridge lose composure and form and throw silly passes in their own half but retain possession. After a series of off loads from George and Lachlan, Oliver runs through the Royston defence to score. Try scorers Johnnie and Oliver.
Royston 2 - Cambridge 2
From the start Johnnie scores an early break try. Cambridge hold up the maul which leads to Lachlan scoring in the corner 0-2. Alex crashes up the centre but loses the ball to Royston in the tackle. There then followed about 5 phases of Cambridge and Royston exchanging the ball due to poor mauling and not rucking. Eventually Cambridge re-establish their form and after a series of rucks, Johnnie scores a try through the middle with strong direct running 0-3. Cambridge lose concentration at the restart and Royston score a rapid try after quick start 1-3. Cambridge stop rucking, keep losing mauls and knocking on the ball. Strong tackles from Nikolai turn over a Royston attack and a scrum leads to George scoring. Cambridge immediately concede then score another with Oliver stepping three Royston players, 2-5. George nips in to score another 2-6. In the final play strong Cambridge defence on their line turn over Royston’s maul. Try scorers: Johnnie 2, George 2, Oliver and Lachlan.
Royston 2 - Cambridge 6
Squad: Charles, Elias, Jacob, Jonty, Kyle, Louis, Will, Zach,
Our first game started well with some good tackling (if a bit high - a theme for the morning), reasonably good rucking and strong running. The first try came after Jonty stripped the ball from a maul, passed to Jacob who ran and offloaded to Louis to score. A good run by Charles then set up a try for Jonty and then a run by Will put Louis in for his second try. Will was our best tackler, always going in low and tackling around the legs, either making the tackle by himself, or slowing the opponent down for a supporting player to finish the tackle, or try to strip the ball. By this time our strong defence was wearing Royston down and their tackling fell apart allowing a number of solo tries in quick succession by Louis, then I missed the scorer whilst I was managing the rolling subs, a strong run by Jacob to score and two more tries for Louis straight from scrums. Amongst all this Kyle had a great run and unfortunately was tackled into touch a few metres short of the line. Our final try come from a good tackle, during which Jonty ripped the ball and went through to score. Great support work by Elias and Zach, who both ran straight with the ball in hand. Try scorers: Louis 6?, Jonty 2, Jacob
Royston 0 - Cambridge 9
Our second game went very much like the first where we dominated Royston. However our rucking was not quite so quick and we let Royston pick up the ball whilst our players watched on a few occasions. Our tackling was generally good with all the boys making tackles (Jonty, Zach, Jacob, Will, Charles, Kyle, Elias and Louis). Our attack defaulted to a bit too much individual running, which we got away with as the Royston tackling was poor: a number of times our boys ran sideways, sometimes even behind our line, which meant support players were taken out of the game. Louis scored a try from a scrum, then Will picked up a spilled ball from a good tackle to score. Jonty intercepted a Royston back pass after some ferocious tackling drove them back and a strong run by Jacob allowed Jonty to score. Our fifth try was the best try of the game as a good run by Louis put Will over to score with Jonty in support, much more what the team needs to do to beat strong opposition (as we found out later!). Will scored a try straight from a scrum, then Jacob had a strong run from a turnover to score, he just kept going and didn't need any help in the end. Finally Will pounced on a loose ball after a Royston scrum to score our eighth try. After this game Simon gave the boys a pep talk to raise their game as he had spotted the next two teams looked to be stronger / bigger. He exhorted them to keep a clean sheet, which didn't quite turn out... Try scorers: Will 4, Louis, Jonty, Jacob,
Royston 0 - Cambridge 8
Our third game was like watching England play Australia - the intensity had risen from Cambridge as the opposition had a number of big strong and fast runners. The Royston tackling was harder and their rucking more aggressive and our approach of running as individuals, across and/or behind our own attacking line got found out. For the first time Royston had significant time in our half. That said our first try was a great solo run by Will from a restart. This came shortly after Jonty lost control of the ball in a tackle when crossing the Royston line. Our earlier success was quickly snuffed out by some strong running by Royston and good interplay, leading to the first try we had conceded. After some good defence by the boys Elias went on one of his great, straight runs, crossing the try line only to celebrate as if he had scored at American football by throwing the ball down, so no try, which was a pity after such a great run. So having only managed to convert one of three tries we then were a bit slack in our defence and Royston scored a second try. The game was getting really physical and a number of boys took strong hits, yet got up and back into play, including Zach, Louis, Jacob and Jonty. There was some more good running from Kyle and Charles, Will was tackling well. Finally Jonty found a gap, and danced down the touchline to score and tie the game. But the drama just increased. A huge Royston boy powered through our defence, but the boys, hanging off him slowed him just before the line. Jonty joined in and ripped the ball out and weaved through the Royston defence, trying to get down the left touchline. However a great cover tackle got him; fortunately Louis was supporting and Jonty got the pass away. Louis scored the winner (it was great to see the boys share a five as they jogged back). A great way to win a real humdinger of a match! Try scorers: Jonty, Will, Louis
Royston 2 - Cambridge 3
Our final game was as physical as the third, with another strong Royston team. You could see our boys were getting tired as several didn't seem to have the energy to get stuck into rucks. Understandable after the previous games. Both sides tackled well in phases and the ball moved up and down the pitch as both sides attacked. The deadlock was broken by Jonty stripping a ball again and then breaking their line to score, with support on hand. Royston then put huge pressure on us and got to our try line, only to lose the ball. Unfortunately, another sideways run led to one of our players being isolated, and when stripped of the ball Royston scored an easy try. So the game was tied. The Royston team was tired too and Louis scored a great try, running through to score and give us the lead back. We then missed a number of tackles and a fast Royston runner was speeding down their right wing to score, however Louis put in an amazing cover tackle, injuring himself in the process (his last, important contribution to the morning). The move didn't finish there as Royston spun the ball left and our players (Elias, Jacob, Zach, Kyle and Charles) all threw themselves into tackles. Will made a last ditch tackle on the line, and then Jonty came in and they held the Royston player up over the line. Amazing commitment by all the boys! We held on to win the match - it was awesome! Try scorers: Jonty, Louis
Royston 1 - Cambridge 2