Mini/junior weekly roundup

Mini/junior weekly roundup

By Caroline Burke
5th March
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Smiling through the rain!


Another wonderful Sunday at the stute for our mini and junior sections. This week we were not so blessed with the weather, however with our enthusiastic teams, coaches and parents it was still a sea of smiling faces and a morning of great rugby so here's how they all got on.

U6s this once again came flying out of the blocks to scare and intimidate parents of every side on the field, and given how loud and enthusiastic they were I’d expect the were heard a long way off. Training was brilliant with everyone getting involved and helping each other out. They continue to support, help, and encourage fair play amongst themselves that it makes you proud.
TREDS values were shown and supported all the way through. Some passing skills were learned and practised, running skills and pitch awareness was, as always, the focus of our session. Then of course the traditional ninjas vs aliens game at the end with great parental involvement throughout.

U7’s. The Elks put out two teams, with Burton able to match this and run a training section. To keep everybody warm, we increased the teams to 6 a-side which gave the players fresh challenges with the lack of space to work with.
Players and parents remained enthusiastic despite the conditions, with a mixture of support and friendly abuse for the referees. Not a forward pass was thrown by the Elks, but using the space against a well-organised team will be worked on in training next week.
Credit must go to both sets of parents, and players because the morning was played out in great spirit and some great moments of honesty / sportsmanship. Lets hope the sunny weather returns for training next week......

U8’s Ilkeston Under 8's host a large Burton squad who were an organised and disciplined side and proved some of our toughest opposition yet! Burton's strong passing skills, particularly at passing and finding the spaces, and excellent running onto the pass meant Ilkeston had to work hard in defence but that they did to great affect.
Some strong performances from many yet again but a special mention to Jude for a very confident performance today which saw him supporting his teammates admirably, making some quick, well thought out passes and creating and scoring numerous tries. Despite Burtons strengths in defence what Ilkeston showed in abundance today was a determination to get forward and resilience in getting to the try line. Archie had the responsibility of selecting players player today based on the core value of teamwork, a core value that Archie consistently demonstrates himself! Archie selected Zac for this award today, for his constant support for his teammates and always being there to encourage others. Today's player of the day went to today's Green team captain Harry. Not only did Harry give a strong performance today with some quick and accurate passing skills that helped teammates run through to score, but as usual, he led by example with his demonstration of the core values of rugby. Harry shows teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline, respect and enjoyment in abundance, a well deserved player of the week this week, well done Harry!

U9’s Hosted Burton, we played them earlier on in the season and the squad that turned up on another tropical day at the Stute was unrecognisable. They really came and played this time and it was a joy to watch both teams going at it with full commitment. They scored a number of good tries and a few where we missed our first tackles. However, our boys were magnificent again. Our line speed was phenomenal (despite one or two off-sides which we need to focus on next time we train) and lead to a number of interceptions as Burton tried to pass the ball out wide from the contact area. We were excellent at gaining back territory when the ball went backwards in the Burton half. In keeping with what the club are trying to promote in the CARDS method of coaching I allowed the boys on the top pitch to have their own half team talk which went surprisingly well considering i dropped it on them with minimal explanation. All the boys had something constructive to say which was brilliant and it was consistent. Player of the Day awards went to Liam for his general excellence and Caleb for much improved tackling, often being last man on the wing against bigger lads. Special note for Toby who played magnificently despite his poorly knee. I think we could all agree we have a fabulous group of players and an excellent support network of coaches and parents. Exciting times as U9’s work their way towards being U10’s and the introduction of more elements of the game.

U10’s Saw a tough test against Burton, we had 2 teams playing today everyone having lots of game time.
a slow start with Burton playing well as the game went on we grew into the match.
Players of note William with a magnificent try saving tackle & Euan rucking strongly.
Plenty to work on in training in the week to come, but a great effort by all players today.

U11’s Came up against Burton this week. With both organisations proud to be accredited as Quilter Kids First clubs due to their player-centred approach to the game, and the close relationship that the coaches of both sides have formed, the scene was set for an encounter that promised to challenge the players both physically and cognitively.
Team captains Johnny from Ilkeston and Ryan from Burton had a quick game of rock, paper, scissors, leading to the home team kicking off. The Staffordshire side used their first piece of possession to good effect, mixing strong running from their powerful ball carriers, decisive ruck clearances and precise handling to create a number of attacking opportunities. The Elks were quick to respond with some bludgeoning defence and crafty methods of getting the ball back to put the pressure right back on the visitors. By the end of the first period, both sides knew they were in for a fiercely contested encounter.
After a brief reminder of the Core Values at the half time break, both teams continued to impress with their ability to go forward with the ball, and their bravery and work rate on defence. The breakdown became more and more hotly contested with Burton continually putting two abrasive players into the ruck on both sides of the ball to great effect, allowing them to both retain and regain possession. The Elks showed their ever growing ability to creatively solve problems by looking to keep the ball alive where possible and move it wide to players supporting space. An almost identical try for each team showed what effective work off the ball in attack can do, with supporting players coming from depth, at pace, running intelligent angles leading to tries directly from set pieces.
The weekly awards handed out to the Ilkeston players this week went to:
Matti Hinds – hard work hero
Ethan Scully – defensive warrior
Warren Gant – attacking weapon
Thank you to our friends down the A38 for making the journey to play us this morning. A close relationship is forming between the coaches and we look forward to playing you again next season. All the best for your upcoming tour.

U13’s This week headed to Moderns.
After a double booking by southwell with us and Moderns we ended up playing a three way at Moderns.
We had 13 under 13s who got stuck in and competed well today. Playing each team for 20 mins.
"Scores: Moderns 4, Ilkeston 2 (HT 2-1) Tries: Luke, Joe B.
Great first half v Moderns unlucky to go in behind after several good passages of play. Second half not as fluent but overall 1 Moderns player won them the game.
We got off to a flyer against Southwell with Rowynns brilliant try,never say die attitude. Great first half by all 3-1 down we were more than in the game. Second period fatigue set in we lost the ball in key areas and were well beaton 5-0. Overall some great Rugby played by all. All would have learnt something from today.
Southwell 8, Ilkeston. 1 (HT 3-1) Try: Rowynn." A good days rugby. The Ref complemented the attitude of the players after the game. With positive comments from parents on the touch line the U13’s are working hard on team work and positive attitudes and this week it was clear to see this work put into action.

U14’s were training this week, so plenty of skills set training and ending with a kicking game.

U15’s hosted Pavior's yesterday morning in a game in which the rivalry was evident, even before the kick off. First half ilkeston were dominant in both attack and defence. Unfortunately due to a damp pitch and strong winds, there were a large amount of mistakes from both sides. Even with that, Ilkeston went into the half 12-0 up. The second half, Pavior's came back fighting down the hill. Though they had probably 3/4 of the possession, Ilkeston’s defence held strong, shutting them out for the full half and because of their quality defence, they even forced a knock on, pounced on the ball and scored the only try of the half, seconds before the final meaning the game finished 19-0.
Biggest positive was the defence, which was the best it had been all season.

U16’s had a mixed U16/17 fixture with Belper this week, with Ilkeston having 15 and Belper 24 we knew it was going to be hard, especially in the 2nd half, but they started brightly and the ball moved through the hands like it had been bathed in unicorn milk. Ilkeston scrummaging was awesome, winning them against the head. Line out was also top draw. Notable plays from just about every man on the pitch took Ilkeston to a score line of 21-7 against a much improved Belper side.

I am sure these round ups get longer and longer each week, and this can only be due to our great coaches having so many wonderful things to say about the teams they steer and guide each Sunday.
Massive thanks as always to our visiting teams we do hope you had as good a time as us this week and look forward to meeting you all again.

Till next Sunday Folks!

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