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U8 rugy vs SMA, Sat 8 Oct 2016


Well here‚Äôs a novelty¬†for a Saturday afternoon: my first ‚Äėcoaching‚Äô job for an U8 tag rugby match. This entertaining sporting morsel took place at Ampleforth under a cloud flecked sky and warm October sunshine. There was a strong Terringtonian presence on the sidelines to cheer on the initially tentative squad¬†of 6 boys and a girl. They would presently be treated to a display of wonderfully exuberant endeavour by their offspring that¬†culminated¬†in¬†a joyful spring-heeled trek back up the hill for a well-deserved match tea.


‚ÄėThe girl‚Äô on the pitch proved to be a bit of a star, buzzing around like a turbo charged dune buggy, evading the¬†Ampleforth sandcastles imperiously as she forged her way to the try line on 4 occasions. Her name is Olivia Breese ‚Äď not Emily (big sis) as your correspondent called¬†her¬†more than once! Her stupendous display was¬† matched by young Sam Scarff¬†who¬†rattled up a tally of¬†5 tries, frequently showing a clean pair of heels to his pursuers as he zipped up and down the wings with the zest of a¬†determined autumnal wasp.


My hollered ‚Äėinstructions‚Äô from the touchline mostly went unheeded as the team set about their business in an almost frenzied fashion, darting hither and thither in desperate pursuit of the dangling tags of their opponents. The excitement of the chase,¬†in¬†defence or¬†attack,¬†overwhelmed their ability to present any sort of organised formation that yours truly was¬†hoarsely¬†imploring them to adopt. This, however, certainly¬†did not spoil the thrill or enjoyment of watching¬†our enthusiastic set of youngsters charging¬†around with such great¬†tenacity and desire to win.¬†


Numerous rotations of the squad were employed to ensure everyone spent equal time on the pitch as part of the 6 man (and woman) team.¬†Christopher¬† 'Are we winning? Have we won?¬†Have we won?‚Äô Rangeley made some terrific runs and tag snatches, as did Ted Hall, who also bagged a try. Oliver Tate bravely gritted his teeth and overcame¬†‚Äėaching legs‚Äô to contribute an energetic and effective performance, as did Henry ¬†‚Äď another valiant try scorer. Freddie Christian, at first a little unsure of the shenanigans taking place around him, made a splendid effort and played his part too, completing our line up of miniature heroes.


Everyone, players, referee, coaches and spectators alike, left the pitch with a smile on their faces, having witnessed or taken part in a most agreeable sporting escapade on this beautiful autumn day. The score, by the way, was 55-45 to Terrington (11 tries to 9). Yes Christopher, we DID win!


Phil  Magson


U9 rugby vs SMA, Sat 8 Oct 2016


Meanwhile the U9s were acquitting themselves extremely well over on the other pitch.  The boys had worked extremely hard during the week.  Passing and tackling had both improved and it was time to put practice into play.  Organisation in defence was markedly improved and it was fantastic to see the boys assuming great positions along a good, straight line.  The most pleasing aspect of the game was the teamwork, it seemed every individual played a part in every try, whether it was a good run and an offload to a supporting player, or a great tackle that made SMA spill the ball so we could counter attack.


Joe and David are the two most improved players so far this season - Joe's enjoyment and understanding hugely better, and David's straight running and spatial awareness just superb.  Isaac is a magnificent tackler and is beginning to show increasing confidence during game situations.  That said, Henry produced one of the best tackles I have ever witnessed on an U99 pitch - the SMA lad had the try line in his sights before being chopped down like a tree - low and accurate - fantastic!  Jacob's lines of running are brilliant, dodging, weaving and often producing a lovely little pass for someone else to score.  On this occasion that 'someone else' was birthday boy and captain for the day Archie, not only scoring four fine individual tries, but also arriving at the right time to finish two for someone else.  The last try was sheer rugby poetry - a fine individual run from Joe who looked round at the right time to pop the ball to Archie.  A fine all round performance from Rollo whose tackling was excellent, as well as his two cracking tries.  Finally a word for Theo who once again showed his all-round exuberant commitment, and whose burning desire to win leads the team through example. He chipped in with three super tries too. 


Eleven tries to five, a happy coach, a well-deserved match tea and hopefully a well-deserved Sunday rest.


Pete Woolley


Photos from our ninth man - Rhys Sellers