End of Season Round up
By Stewart Holford
What a Season!
Just ahead of presentation day I thought i would reflect on our season as U13's. What a season it has been. I will start with a few stats.
We started the season with 27 players & ended with 33
Teams played home & away : 31
Number of KRFC U13 try scorers: 26 ( thats 26 different players scoring)
Number of players on tour: 26 ( a record for us & probably the club)
Pony winners: Lots
The boys have won many more games than they've lost.
After reading some early match reports we started pretty strong & built from that strength. As per the norm we needed to work on defence, rucking & tackling. Improvements from the boys came pretty quick & they got stronger & stronger as the season went on. We gained our pretty much full time ref Tristan who has enabled the coaches to concentrate on being coaches. We saw Karen retire from management after being with us since U6's taking our lucky mascot Phil with her. We gained Mr Bowman ( Trump to the coaches) as our new manager & we said goodbye to Paul Harrison & Rob Jackson as coaches. We also saw a lot more of Bill Drake Lee in the coaching roll.
It's been one of, if not my favourite season to be involved with the squad. We welcomed the new lads in & they have slotted in well within the group & added more strength and depth. The boys who have been with us since U6's have grown as players & leaders within the group. We've had great support & commitment from the parents whether that is travelling to away matches, standing in the rain on Wednesday evenings or helping on kitchen duty. We've had a lot of laughs & a few tears ( but not many). As coaches we've gone from wiping noses & tying shoe laces at U6's to picking up soiled underwear in the changing rooms at U13's. Nasty!
We've seen boys playing for their schools & the schools playing each other. Out of the 33 players 7 were picked to represent East Northants at DPP. The boys helped their team to win the cup. A great achievement.
The rugby has been of a superb quality this year. The boys have started to find their own rolls within the group as forwards or backs or even mixing between at times. Their rolls & positions will continue to change as they change in maturity & body shape. We saw the forwards introduce a set play via Phil Rootham & their commitment to the breakdown & tackle has been superb with great progression through the season. Mauling & holding up of players has also been a decisive factor in matches. The scrum halve roll is a particularly sort after position but the extra competition seems to be pushing the boys to get better every week. The backs have been superb with their running lines, cross field kicks, chips through, grubbers & their freedom to play. The boys play an exciting brand of rugby that we rarely see in our opposition.
As coaches we continue to evolve & shape what we do to help the boys. We can coach the basics & the skills required but it is up to the boys to use them out on the field. To pass a ball or make a tackle in training is nothing like having to do it under pressure out their on the field with someone running at you. We are looking to help them problem solve, make quick decisions, play as a team, have respect & be good sportsmen if they win or loose. We will continue to work with them to progress & become the best rugby players they can be. We have a fantastic group of people in this squad, players, fellow coaches, ref's, first aiders, parents, burger flippers, taxi drivers, management & of course The Pony. Long may it continue. Enjoy your presentation day, you've earnt it.