Wexford Wanderers Under 10s - Match Report
Aviva Mini-Rugby Festival 16th October
Carlow RFC played host to 24 clubs from across the country in a wonderfully organised and superbly supported Mini’s Blitz sponsored by Aviva at the weekend. Even the unruly weather temporarily fell into line and played its part to ensure that players and spectators enjoyed a fabulous day of rugby and camaraderie.
With clockwork precision, the group matches were limited to just 7 minutes each way but weren’t short on drama, skill nor intensity. As a coach it provided a great opportunity to see where we are in comparison to teams that we wouldn’t ordinarily meet as we faced up to Ratoath, Athy, Clondalkin and Kilkenny.
The match rules dictated that the coaches weren’t allowed to join their teams on the pitch and it was amazing to see how our players stepped up and ‘managed’ themselves on the field for the very first time. With that umbilical cord cut, they produced some of the most thrilling and committed play we’ve seen from them yet repeatedly drawing great passion and noise from the touchline!!
There were far too many great moments to describe in detail or performances to single out in any way but my own personal highlights are as follows:
- The first half against Ratoath - defending an onslaught for six and a half minutes and refusing to take a backward step against an exceptionally well drilled and larger team. Every single Wexford player tackled and competed for the ball at a level above anything I’ve seen at Mini’s Rugby to date. (Even dealing with flying wedges which we’ve never encountered before!!)
- The first clean break up field against Ratoath after those six and half minutes of defending. To hear the ‘ROAR’ from our parents and substitutes alike was actually quite emotional!!
- The tackling, handling and link up play across all four matches
- Recycling and sealing of the ball throughout the day
- The 2nd half of the final match which really had everything - from a much needed first try that was the epitome of neat footwork and determination, a diving catch at ankle level followed by an immediate pop-up that directly resulted in a score to a sensational brace of tries in the corner that flirted with the right-hand touchline and multiple tacklers at the feet of the Wexford parents and supporters for that little extra added drama!!
- And finally the behaviour and conduct of the players on and off the field. There was a lot of waiting around and player rotation but they were all a credit to the club throughout.
From a personal point of view I learned that I really need to set the scene with future opponents before our matches around the refereeing of the off-side laws, tacklers not rolling away and playing the ball off their feet. We were the victim of some very slack adjudication in that area againwhile respecting the rules ourselves.
So in summary we saw some strong opponents and areas where we can improve which we’ll take into training and work on. Again the coaches were exceptionally proud to be associated with the performance and endeavour shown by the players this weekend and look forward to our next matches with real relish.