Chard 26 v Exmouth 14
A misty Sunday saw the Exmouth Under 12s travel away to take on Chard on their home ground.
With a squad of 13 there was no room for mishap, and each member played their part in what proved to be a fantastic match. After several weeks on the side-lines due to cancellations and soggy pitches, the Young Cockles played some of their best rugby to date and came away having thoroughly enjoyed themselves and provided some serious entertainment.
By match end they were kicking themselves that they allowed old habits to resurface in a lack of determination at the start that allowed an early Home try in the first couple of minutes; a setback from which they were never quite able to recuperate on the scoreboard despite their best efforts. Chard was quick to take advantage of the early lead by driving another home soon after and were definitely looking the better team at that early stage, aided along initially by some slippery ball work from the Exmouth boys who had apparently applied too much butter before leaving home.
But that soon changed! 10 minutes in and they were firmly into their stride. From then on in it looked to the last whistle that they were seriously in contention for a win with some of the best passing witnessed from them all season.
Both teams displayed some exceptional team work and neat set pieces. Time spent on ball handling skills in training really showed. Both defensive and offensive play was worthy of note. Some changes in position seemed to make a significant difference this week, most specifically the Cockles successfully contested more than their fair share of scrums, an area found wanting previously this season.
Tries were scored by Ieuan Brockway, as the result of a relentless driving mall, and Benji Horn, who launched himself onto the ball in a dramatic touch down in front of several back footed opponents. Both were converted neatly by scrum half Liam Daniels. Ryan Langstone took the honour of the Mars bar challenge as the player of the match. A challenge he rose to admirably!
An exciting match filled with tension demonstrating that junior rugby y really could tick all the boxes. A journey well worth making for all their supporters this weekend. I look forward to their next encounter.