With the Stute being hit by the weather our super Under 6’s along with some of our other junior teams with no matches were unable to train this but will be back with force next week no doubt!
The rest of our mini green and blue army descended on Newark and here’s how they all got on.
U7’s were met with a warm welcome and a strong U7s team greeted us. It was a double header with Market Rasen, but unfortunately we were placed on different pitches, and so four matches against the Newark contingent saw us through the morning. The cold fingers caused havoc with the handling - gloves on to warm the hands, but off to increase the grip.....
Special mention must go to the whole team: Ben, a 'tour de force' in both attack and defence, never once taking a step back; Cara 'Miss Consistent' yet again proving what a great rugby player she is, and Dexter summing up the team spirit, picking his team mates up off the floor at the breaks. Admirably backed up by the speed and finishing of Fraser and Sam, with super-sub young Logan adding some direct running. Overall the Elks showed what rugby is about, and we look forward to taking this strong group of players into the festival season and beyond.
U8’s with their away fixture at Newark with Market Rasen proved to be a great fixture with three evenly matched teams playing some brilliant rugby. The core values were apparent throughout from all the team with sportsmanship and teamwork at the helm. An excellent defensive performance from Zac, with the usual fast paced attacks from Harrison and Adam and the usual strong all round performance from Theo contributed to some excellent fast paced games. Growing in confidence every week, Harry, had another great game with some strong runs and quick passing. Kieron, Finn and Archie demonstrated great teamwork and offered to play with members from the opposition teams to form a barbarians team and impressed the opposition coaches with both their attacking and defensive skills. Harry was a worthy winner of the players player trophy this week, his enjoyment of the game epitomised by the delight in his face after scoring a fabulous try! Our player of the day today was Archie who gave one of his strongest and most confident performances to date with some brilliant passing, great attacking runs and hard work in defence!
U9’s boys got off to a great start scoring 4 tries in the first few minutes with only one from Newark. I think they were hypnotised by the weaving runs of Henry who actually managed to score a try after running through their whole team at least twice which I witnessed. Awesome side stepping skills. Newark came back into the game late in the first half and showed some excellent commitment in the tackle and good running and support play. They had some good players and looked well coached (especially in the way they presented the ball in contact and followed it in). Positives to take out the fixture are numerous; off-loading skill and timing, remaining on feet in the tackle, line speed, wing play and support and, like always, commitment and enjoyment. Well done boys.
But there is a saying: " sometimes you win, sometimes you learn". Whilst we don't count score to establish winners and losers at this stage, one of the pointers I took out of the day (which we implemented in part) is that we need to emphasise the "inclusive" aspects of the game more.
Coaches Players of the Week: Henry and Frankie Gallagher - It is a joy to watch the opponents team, coaches and parents stare open mouthed at the talent of these 2 lads.
Players Player: Caleb Farrow for tackling and support play.
As usual, the whole team did brilliantly again. Jamie, still very new to the game, is improving massively week on week and his confidence is growing with his tackling
Josh Walker is a fantastic tackler - not the biggest but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for in heart and courage. He put the best tackles of the day in
Louis, Cole, Toby, Liam, Tom and Max all played brilliantly as well. Their running with the ball straight into contact is great to see and there re-positioning in defence was excellent - credit to the players for making the awards so difficult to decide each week....
U10’s Had another tough Sunday for the u10s. we'd meet Market Rasen at the prima at the Mellish festival & all though we hadn't played Newark in our pools, they had got to the final of the prima cup.
we played 3 games in a round robin format.
1st game we played very well both of our teams edging it. 2nd game was far tougher, over whelmed in the 1st half but we pulled it back 2nd half & finished strongly. Game 3 as we tired was a much tighter affair which we just edged.
well done to William a rucking machine
Ostynn who didn't let anyone passed & Daniel who really upped his game today.
well done to all the lads who played in 2 teams with no subs.
U11’s Newark, Market Rasen and Ilkeston – performed admirably in challenging conditions, conversations between the coaches during the week laid the foundations for a well organised and healthy environment that facilitated three competent and well coached groups of young players showcasing their talents before several well insulated parents and supporters on the touchline.
During game 1 the first ten minute period very much belonged to Newark, who used a combination of direct running, effective rucking, and attacking width to get over the white wash on several occasions. As has been seen many times this season however, the young Ilkeston side hung in there. Buoyed by a couple of scores of their own which gave them a foot hold in the game towards the end of the first period, the second ten minutes saw the Derbyshire side apply pressure to the hosts through some tenacious defence, smart thinking to get the ball back, and support around the ball which led to a number of tries primarily through offloads and tackle busting runs.
The Elks then played the second of the two Newark sides which was a very different game. After a promising start that saw both teams exchange a couple of tries each, the home team took control.
The third and game was against the other away side, Market Rasen, in a game curtailed by artic weather conditions. Although only ten minutes in length, the encounter was much more encouraging for the Elks as they were able to demonstrate improved awareness and positioning which meant their ability to attack and defend the whole of the pitch was the best that it had been all morning.
Under 14’s had a disappointing day at Newark. Having beaten them earlier in the season the lads put in an under par performance against a very good team on the day. Playing into a strong wind Newark dominated the first half and scored 6 unanswered tries. Play improved in the second half in which Jake Saker scored our only try which was converted by Harry Cook to leave us with a heavy defeat and a-lot to work on at training this week.
Another great week of rugby and what a great location Newark have with fantastic facilities, which were mentioned throughout the day by many of us. Thanks go to Newark for hosting us this weekend and we look forward to returning in the future.
Till next week folks……..