Junior Games Report: 3rd April 2022

U16s – Derby vs Notts Corsairs

Derby under 16’s welcomed a mixed Nottingham Corsairs and Colts team to Derby.
The first half was full of aggression from both sides with Corsairs opening the score for 7. Derby fought back with three tries before halftime to make the halftime score 19-7.

Derby had some great offloads and were dominant in the line out and outpowered Corsairs in the scrum. There were a further 4 tries for Derby in the second half and two for Corsairs. A great game of rugby and the lads and parents on both sides were fantastic. The match was just unfortunately marred for a few minutes by some unnecessary comments and interactions from some of the Corsairs coaches.

Final score 45-19 to Derby

U14s – Derby vs Long Eaton

Earlier in the season a mixed Under 14/15 Long Eaton side managed to strong-arm  Derby u14s  to a 16-26 victory @ DRFC. The Derby squad clearly wanted to level set. However, due to freezing conditions overnight, the morning started with a worry of cancellation, the pitches @ long Eaton fortunately were in fine fettle, posts padded, pitch flags up, ready for action.

After the obligatory early fun with parents / players, remoulding misplaced gum shields, and shopping for forgotten boots and kit, where we’re all set and ready for the 11 am start.

With Thomas Bull captain for the day, it was decided a Derby kick-off, our number 8, Ethan Harrison (Forward lead) took the well-placed kick, and 3 minutes later Derby’s forwards and backs had retained possession rucked really well, allowing Kaiden Webb (12) to draw the Long Eaton pack before a lovely offload to the wing where Billy Brewin (11) turned on the pace with a powerful sprint down the line giving the first points on the board to Derby. Not long later Derby found themselves at a line out down the left side well within the Long Eaton half. A simple, controlled line out organized by Tom Jenkins (2) and Ben Howell (4) quickly found the 9 which turned into a powerful run by Derbys 8 down the blindside putting another well-earned try into the corner making it 0-10 for the visitors. Neither Derby’s Forwards nor backs were going to make the conversions easy today it seemed. With this momentum, Long Eaton started to lose shape and errors were creeping in, forwarding Kaiden Webb to capitalize on a quick rip off the floor running in another 0-15.

Long Eaton were eager in the breakdown, often getting there first, Jackling the ball well which awarded them several penalties in the first half, Derby not releasing the ball after the tackle due to lack of support in the breakdown.

During the team huddle at halftime, reminders from the forward and back leads re rucking, and set plays and with Thomas Bull I suspect reminding the team where the posts where and how conversions worked. they were into the second half.

Derby looked very controlled, energized, and played as a team. This squad spirit quickly rewarded them with more points. Likely one of the most exciting parts of Derby’s game that day, after controlling several phases, a full team effort with the forwards finally winning possession in the breakdown, 9 and no 10 controlling the attacking plays, mixing forward and back plays ending in the backs (Evan) to put the ball over the line just to the left of the post. Webb gliding the ball through the sticks, our first conversion of the day. 0-22 to Derby.

Long Eaton not giving upturned on the pressure and with strong forward work and rucking managed to push themselves through the Derby defence going over the line, with a great conversion made it 7-22. Whilst Derby fought well and was now winning most of the rucks, some miner handling errors cost them, long Eaton didn’t need a second chance and quickly put the ball over the line once more increasing the pressure with another good conversion 14-22.

It was clear Long Eaton were not going to roll over. Derby had to work hard. Derby in the end were too much for long Eaton, giving Derby 2 more tries and conversions. Ending 14-36.

It was noted the Rugby by both teams was of an exceptional level giving both the spectators and players huge enjoyment. The team thanks Barney Brown, Alfie Bull, Tom Craig, Jolyon Finlay, and Robbie Howe who not only put a shift in for their own team but equally did the same for long Eaton on the day making it great fun!

Wonderful to See Thomas Bull back with the team from following the RFU Return to play program and likewise seeing Rory Watt who at the start of the season suffered injuries (not rugby-related!) keeping him out of contact sport for some time, now putting in a strong performance at loosehead.

In reflection, Derby’s forwards made a huge impact on the outcome today, relentless tackling and rucking, consistently accurate line outs, and powerful scrums with their sense of urgency were all key differentiators. In addition, Derby’s backs also looked very dangerous with the improved movement of the ball, and good breakdown work, impacting the outcome.

Special thanks to Long Eaton for allowing some Derby lads the chance to play with them and for being wonderful hosts on the day. Another great referee kept the game fair and safe. If we don’t get a chance to train or meet again over the summer, we look forward to next season’s fixture.

U13s – Derby vs Long Eaton

The boys were away to Long Eaton this weekend. Derby were almost off to a perfect start with an early try just disallowed for running slightly into touch. Long Eaton then responded well and got off to a great start using some of their strong runners so get some early tries. Long Eaton had clearly been working hard on their defence since our match against them earlier in the season, and this would turn out to be a key differentiator to the outcome of the game.

Derby worked hard to use space and spread the ball wide but strong cover tackling from Long Eaton denied Derby a few times. At the ruck, Derby were particularly strong at times but again strong defence from Long Eaton cancelled out any turnover advantage we made. The boys never gave up and kept pushing hard, putting in some great tackles after halftime but struggled to turn possession into scores, and we went into the final quarter 9-1 down.

Hugely proud of the boys in the final quarter with real spirit and energy to push Long Eaton hard with 3 Derby players going over for tries after several phases of strong recycling and use of the full width.

The match finished 9-4 to Long Eaton. Our boys did themselves proud again today with strong performances all over the pitch and from our newer players and well done to Niall on a great performance in his first match.