KRFC U14s @ KRFC 7s Festival
By James O'Leary
KRFC U14s @ KRFC 7s Festival
After last weekend’s warmest and sunniest tour I have experienced the Kettering 7s squad attended Kettering’s festival with the weather being dry and cool. The wind whipped up from time to time but the rain stayed away, the cool weather was well received by the players. Playing 7s is tough enough, but in heat it can be very punishing.
The Blues U14s games centred around the roadside pitch. Two pools were made up from Kettering, ONs x 2, Oundle/Stoneygate, Uttoxeter, Oakham, St Neots and Peterborough. The format being top 2 teams play in semi-finals and then a final.
Kettering pooled with one of the two mixed ability ONs sides, Oakham and Peterborough. Kettering’s prep wasn’t great, having a total of zero 7s training sessions! We often take time to warm up in a festival environment, the first game usually being the wake-up call to trigger some kind of action. Surprisingly Kettering got off to a decent start and nicked the first game by a score.
Next game for Kettering was Peterborough, the Blues learning as they played and scoring some good tries. The last pool game was versus Oakham and by now the Kettering U14s were increasing in their confidence and using their pace men to good effect.
Kettering made it to the semi-final versus Oundle/Stoneygate. Kettering’s opponents had been playing some great rugby in their pool. Kettering got off to a flyer and kept the pressure on throughout the game. Kettering using the clever contact work in defence and attack to great effect. Turning over ball being a nuisance in the contact area and then using the speed merchants when the opportunities arose.
Whilst Kettering played in one semi-final, ONs were playing against each other in the other semi. ONs suffering from mass injuries across both of their teams during the festival.
The final being Kettering v ONs (ONs depleted owing to their lengthy injury list)
Kettering had been improving throughout the day, not really playing 7s rugby but using what they’ve learnt through the 15 aside game and applying it well. The final is probably where the blue boys peaked and used their pace to good effect running in some decent scores. On another day without the injuries and ONs splitting their resources I’m sure the match would have played out differently. Kettering took their chances well and will take great confidence into next week when we travel to Syston for another Sunday of 7s.
Well done Blue boys, great squad performance and beyond. There were some lads not in the squad but supported their team throughout what was a long day.
Recognition goes to the kitchen volunteers for opening up and getting the bacon butty sales going, all supporters/parents for getting behind the lads. To Freddie, George, Hal (post op!) and Mac (who was possibly the busiest person on the day!).
Nest week, its Syston 7s….