Cinderford U-14’s survive Caerleon fight back Having had two relatively easy games in their first two matches, Cinderford were hoping for more of a challenge from the visitors Caerleon, they were not to be disappointed.
Cinderford welcomed back Ollie to the front row to replace the unavailable Tom. However with only three subs the Cinderford players knew they would have to put in a long shift.
From the start the Cinderford forwards put the bigger Caerleon forwards under pressure, strong running from Brandon took the ball into Caerleon’s half, with scrum-half Josh marshalling the forwards. After a number of drives George M eventually crossed the line. Toby added the extras.
From the re-start Caerleon tried to run the ball up through the middle with their big centres, however these drives were snuffed out by centres Harry and James. With flankers Cobi and Will working overtime, Cinderford gained possession and took the ball into the Caerleon 22. Quick possession and swift hands from the Cinderford backs saw Toby score out wide, a try which he converted from a difficult angle.
Cinderford suffered a blow when Wilf left the field with an arm injury, Cinderford shuffled the pack with George K coming into the second row. The good work from the Cinderford forwards continued, eventually leading to Cinderford camping on the Caerleon line, hooker Billy was held up just short of the line but Cinderford managed to re-cycle the ball and Will crashed over from 2 yards. Again Toby added the extras.
Towards the end of the half Caerleon came more into the game and only a try saving tackle out wide from Russ, who was looking back to his best , saved a certain try.
Cinderford led at half time 21-0
The second half started with the Cinderford forwards competing well, with George K making some good torn-overs. Cinderford made the most of this possession with Toby scoring a good solo try which he also converted.
The pace of the game and lack of substitutes began to take its toll on the Cinderford team. Caerleon began to come more and more into the game, with the Cinderford back three of Ethan, Lewis and Ben being stretched by the Caerleon kicks over the top.
Cinderford began to drop off the tackles and Caerleon eventually crossed out wide. From the re-start Cinderford made the mistake of kicking long and inviting Caerleon to run at them. Cinderford were soon under-pressure again and after more missed tackles Caerleon scored under the posts.
Not having learnt the lesson from the previous re-start Cinderford again picked long, and with Caerleon growing in confidence it wasn’t long before they crossed the line again despite some desperate cover work from Adam.
The Caerleon side sensed that the game was there for the taking, however Cinderford dug deep and got a second wind, the forwards began to gain good ball and drove up deep into the Caerleon 22, from the ensuing ruck Ed N secured possession and used his strength to crash over under the posts, Toby kicked the conversion.
Cinderford were not yet done and with the game almost over, the forwards drove deep into the Caerleon half, with George M crashing over for a sixth try. Toby added the extras again to add to his impressive tally.
Final Score: Cinderford 42 Caerleon 19
Cinderford wanted a stern test, and Caerleon did not disappoint. Individual players will need to take a long hard look at their missed tackles, however the coaches can be both pleased and proud of the effort that the team put in.
Try scorers: Toby x 2, George M x 2, Ed N and Will
Conversions: Toby x 6
Coach’s Man of the match: Josh
Ref’s Man of the match: Ed N