After only 4 weeks of training and getting used to contact, players, coaches and parents were somewhat apprehensive.
This was also the first tournament of a new set of rules which have been implemented to make the transition from Tag into contact easier, and ensure the players get as much opportunity to be involved in the game as possible. Not only that but the players were also wearing their new rugby kit looking fantastic in the black and white hoops, which only arrived at the club on Friday afternoon. The U9’s had 2 teams playing in 2 different festivals on Sunday. Farnham U9’ A squad, playing at Cobham and an U9 B Squad, playing at Chobham, always confusing for parents.
The A side team lost a close opening game to Cobham, before then winning their next two pool games against Reeds and Wimbledon, playing as a very skilful and cohesive team. A semi-final against Haywards Heath followed in what was a very close encounter, but Farnham ran out 15-5 winners. The final against Teddington, was never in doubt and Farnham won 10-0, mainly due to some unbelievable defence from Farnham the Teddington team never threatened to score. Notable mentions from the day would be for Ned Brooker (first game for the A’s) Archie Heath and Tom Dickin for some great work in defence and a strong tackling display. Stanley Platt and Oli Ryman for some great running lines. Tom Humphreys whose overall display in defence and attack was truly exceptional, making over 70 tackles and scoring 3 tries.
The A Squad players were as follows: Tom Dickin, Austin Bradshaw, Rudi Orthman, Theo Clifford, Luke McGinn, Archie Heath, Stanley Platt, Ned Brooker, Oli Ryman, and Tom Humphreys
The B Squad who played at Chobham, were playing in a round robin festival with 5 other teams. They played Chobham, Cobham, Bracknell, Battersea and Reeds, all of whom have been very difficult opponents in the past. They get off to a strong start with good wins against Chobham and Cobham, a scrappy game against Battersea followed again with a 3rd consecutive win. The hardest game of the day was against a difficult Battersea team, but some creative attacking play and brave tackling resulted in a 20-10 victory. The day ended with the team beating Reeds 30-0, and remaining unbeaten on the day to win the Festival. Every single member of the team contributed, but some bravery and good great tries from Reuben Anthony, Jamie Lloyd-Mostyn and John-Henry Hill, good tackling from Thomas Jolley and Angus Watson.
The B Squad players were as follows: Archie Buchanan, Reuben Anthony, Edward Richards, Thomas Jolley, Oliver Waghorn, John-Henry Hill, Oli Cunningham, Angus Watson, James Purnell and Jamie Lloyd-Mostyn
Well done to both teams, good luck this Sunday when the U9’s have an A squad going to Cranleigh for the Waverly Festival, a B Squad going to Guildfordians, and a C Squad attending a Festival at Guildford. A complicated weekend for all.