Kettering U14s v Towcester
By James O'Leary
Kettering U14s v Towcester
This Sunday Kettering U14s made their way to Towcester, the site of some great rugby over the years. Towcester are a strong side and have had large squad numbers for a long time. As U14s, Towcester still had a large squad, both in number and size….there was some big players on the pitch!
The Towcester club house is a fantastic venue, a whopping big open space and as we played on the 1st team pitch it also gave somewhere warm and dry for spectators to watch the game from. Not that they did, travelling supporters braved the chilly weather and supported from the touch line.
Kettering have a couple players still away with injury but looking back to a decent strength and had the luxury of a couple of substitutes. Last week Kettering forwards didn’t show what they are usually capable of. Pre-game, the Kettering players were briefed with a basic game plan that would give the forwards chance to get involved in the game and set the tone. Kettering took a simplified approach that would give the players chance to play wherever the space appears….that was the plan anyway.
Kick off arrived, some of our newer players a little apprehensive at the prospect of facing a large and daunting side. After a few words of encouragement the team were set and readied themselves.
The first half was all about defence, similar to our game against Hinckley Kettering were happy to tackle, tackle and tackle. And tackle they did, players were challenged on tackle numbers prior to the game and they didn’t let themselves down. Defending in Kettering’s half, dealing with wave after wave of attack from Towcester. Again, just like at Hinckley, Kettering took their own chances with precision when the opportunity arose, going ahead a couple of scores ahead at the break.
The second half was a bit more of an open affair, Kettering using the pick and go through the forwards, Towcester reacting well and defending well close to the contact area.
Kettering’s defence was strong in the centre of the pitch which left some space out wide, Towcester playing wide straight from first and second phase caused us some problems but the hard work of the midfield and our pace out wide nullified the wide attacks well.
During the second half Towcester bagged a couple of scores and Kettering responded with tries out wide with pace and another made up from offloading by a mix of forwards and backs.
Overall a great game, two sides probing and testing each other. Kettering were set some challenges off the back of some below par performances in recent weeks, the Blues reacted well performed to a standard they are more familiar with. A great confidence booster and a marker to progress from in weeks to come. There will always be coaching points, but the players should enjoy getting back to playing more positively and a great, solid performance.
Next week, we have a cup game at home versus Long Buckby.