Junior Games Report: 18 September 2022

Derby U16s vs Spartans

In our Sunday fixture Derby welcomed Spartans to the AGP. It was their first game of the season and our second, so both teams were fresh and eager.

In an even first half the teams went toe to toe but Derby’s pack struck first with some good close range yards giving a well deserved try. Spartans hit back with a good break down the outside. Derby again went over quickly in the corner as a reply but Spartans reacted with another quick counter out wide; putting them in the lead. Derby regrouped and hit back through the forwards again, making it 15-12 at the break.

The ref put his stamp on the game early after some borderline high tackles and gave a clear warning to both teams at half time. However Derby kept the discipline spotless in the second half whilst Spartans suffered an early second half sin bin. After that it was all Derby as we took advantage of an extra man to put away 2 good tries. A good driving maul set up an excellent break from our substitute winger Finn to canter in. Derby then almost went coast to coast in the final stages: the ball going from the forwards on our own line to just being knocked on close the opposition 5m line. The Baa Baa would of been proud of the lads champagne rugby in the second half, ending the game 34-12.

Of particular note our 10 Wild had an excellent game, he managed the team well, as well as hitting some tricky conversions and also going over for a try of his own. Our 6 Arik put in a heroic performance, making some barnstorming runs whilst also jackalling at crucial moments when we were under the cosh to prevent a number of opposition tries. In his second game as captain Matt lead the team magnificently, warning plaudits from the opposition for his barnstorming runs as well as his well taken try.

A great game played in good spirits between teams and can’t wait until the return fixture with Spartans. Derby make it back to back wins to start the season.

Derby U14s vs Ashbourne

Derby welcomed Ashbourne to DRFC for our first game since last season. The boys looked really smart in their new match shirts courtesy of our new sponsors Provantage Corporate Finance.

Following a minutes silence the game kicked off with ferocious pace and strong pressure from Derby that enabled us to go over for our first try after several phases of play. The momentum swung throughout the next 2 quarters with Derby showing strong defence and held Ashbourne back from our try line for several minutes before they deservedly scored their first try. Both teams pushed hard and Derby probably made best use of the width overall with some fantastic passing out to the wingers. The forwards carried the ball particularly well with strong recycling, however, Ashbourne proved equally up to the pressure Derby placed on them, ending the first half 12-12.

The second half was a similar story with both teams defending really strongly, with some huge tackles going in from both sides. The deadlock was finally broken when we turned the ball over in their 22, and after 2 quick phases, a great supporting run enabled us to go over for our 3rd try which was successfully converted. This really pushed Ashbourne to go again and we were shortly camped on our own try line with great defence, but following a strong clearance kick Ashbourne secured a fantastic run to score and then convert their 3rd Try. The match ending 19-19.

A huge performance from all our players and first game as Captain from Ben Saunders. A special mention and really well done to 5 players making their debut having recently joined the club, George Brough, Reuben Foki, Mason Hardy, Richard Slater and Adam Thornton (scoring 2 tries!)

A big thank you to Ashbourne for such a good game and for agreeing to turn their shirts inside out for the game to allow us to showcase our new sponsors.

Thank you to Provantage Corporate Finance for their sponsorship and to Mark Dunn for some great photos of the match.

Derby U13s vs Ashfield

The first home game of the season saw the Under 13s facing new opponents Ashfield.

After a short delay to the start time, both teams came in strong.
Derby took an early lead and kept Ashfield at bay for the first quarter, ending the first 12 minutes with a 10, nil lead.
The second quarter so Ashfield draw just in time for the halftime whistle.

After refreshments for both teams, the game picked up again. The speed of play from Derby improved with each play and big tackles saw Derby pulling forward with another two tries.

Throughout the game, the level of skill shown in the scrum is worth special mention. As the first season of six-man aside scrums, the lads have had a lot to learn in a short time. Derby’s side consistently delivered solid scrum skill, which is a pleasure to see.

The third quarter of the match had Ashfield level the score briefly, bringing it to a 20 all round score. However, Derby pulled ahead in the last couple of minutes.

By the final quarter of the match, both teams were flagging somewhat given the intensity of play. Derby scored another try taking the score to 25-20 for a brief time, before Ashfield levelled the score once more.

At full time the score was 25 all round. The ref allowed an additional two minutes of play and Ashfield pulled out all the stops to score a well-deserved final try of the match. Derby fought hard to the end, with a run of hard-hitting tackles right up to the line.

Special mentions for this match for the Team Manager go to Leon Colliar for his incredible rate of try-scoring abilities, and to Alexander Eaton for his enthusiastic skill improvement.
The coaching squad would like to thank the guest referee Charles Binns for his time, even if he did allow those additional couple of minutes that cost us, and also Alisdair Craig- the parent helper who ran the touchline with a speed nobody knew he had!