2016/2017 Gloucestershire County Cup
Stroud u14- 0
Cheltenham Saracens u14- 57
Remember Remember the 6th of November!
This was the day that the Sarries Pups put on a display!
We travelled to Dudbridge Hill to face an unknown entity in Stroud so the plan was simple, stop them scoring and we’d only need 1 score to win the tie. The boys certainly did that!
The early stages were evenly contested up until Kian picked the ball up and went on one of his great runs beating the Stroud boys with quick feet and pace, eventually halted in their 22 where he popped the ball to our own rocket Joe who went over for the opening score on 2 minutes, Keane added the extras. 0-7.
5 minutes later and Joe was over again in the corner, this time unconverted. 0-12.
Some resolute defence and tackling in midfield by the back row trio of Adam, Alex and Noah made sure the Stroud half backs weren’t able to get too far with their sniping from breakdowns, combined with big hits from Charlie and a last ditch tackle by Harry kept out the boys in blue and white. With our defensive shape looking a little lost we needed to get hold of the ball and that’s exactly what Kian did on 17 minutes, he lit up the game and got the crowd gasping with another fantastic run from inside his own half, taking on and beating defender after defender, turning them inside out. He was eventually caught about 10 metres from the posts, once more the Sarries support was on hand to retain possession and with Fred supplying Keane onto Joel to allow Joe to go over in the corner for an unconverted try. 0-17.
Our forwards were doing a great job against a bigger pack with Ryan and Leo fronting up with Sam and Charlie assisting from the engine room, this helped Thomas to take a couple against the head, which was a brilliant effort especially as his opposite number was already hooking before the ball was anywhere near the tunnel.
A period of loose play and handling errors by both sides interrupted a day of running rugby, when our own George North stopped a Stroud player in his tracks and virtually picked him up and ran him back towards his own line, Charlie and the back row turned the ball over, presented it to Fred who let it go into the hands of the backs, straight down the line to Taylor who was over next to the flag in the left hand corner but was to be denied by an earlier infringement that nobody knew about due to the referee’s whistle being a damp squib.
Fast forward a couple of minutes and with a slight bit of indecision from a set piece near the 5 metre line nearly stopped a score but the ball again found its way to Joe who ran round under the sticks for a converted try to end the half.
The second half saw the return of Mr.T who had been out for a few weeks with a hand injury, he replaced Leo and slotted into the front row as if he hadn’t been away, also the smiling Jaden came on for Taylor who picked up a slight knock.
10 minutes into play and our very own human wrecking ball (Charlie Maker) went on a trade mark marauding run, leaving Stroud defenders trailing in his wake, after about 40 metres past the gain line he was eventually stopped and let the backs have a run, with more great handling and territory gained the ball was picked by Thomas and with a defender or 2 to beat he touched down right next to the left hand upright to make it an easy kick for Keane. 0-31.
Just 3 minutes later and a jinking run by full back Harry, piercing the defence to allow Joel to cross in the corner for an unconverted try. 0-36.
Now the gaps were appearing and getting bigger for the dominant Sarries attack so this was the perfect time to introduce Harvey back from his 2 month absence with a rib injury, he took over from the very impressive Fred at scrum half who took his place at full back with Harry going into the centre.
The final 5 minutes saw 3 more Sarries tries from Joe, Joel and Fred. All were successfully converted to give the boys from KGV a 0-57 win!
I would like to say that even though the Sarries notched up a large score, Stroud never gave up and should be commended for their attitude up to the final whistle!
That said, our boys were very good today with another shut out that pleased the coaches above all.
Every single Cheltenham Saracen u14 deserves a pat on the back for their performance which made the decision for MOM too difficult to give to just 1 player so the accolade this week goes to Fred and Charlie who have set themselves high standards and really raised their game this season.
A big mention goes to Jason Robinson sorry, Kian and obviously Joe with his 5 tries!