On a glorious sunny day the Sandbach U13's headed to Shropshire for a competitive fixture against a traditionally well organised Whitchurch team. The first half was keenly contested with both sides striving to get the ball out to their backs, but one or two handling errors restricted the half time score to one unconverted try each. As in previous weeks, the Sandbach scrum was solid and the forwards open play was very competitive. The Sandbach backline showed better shape and this resulted in strong defence and a couple of missed opportunities for tries out wide. The one try that Sandbach did score was a well worked penalty move that definitely did come from the training ground - we'll have to learn another couple!!!
With the teams level at half time, the early score of a converted try by the Whitchurch powerhouse could have sent the Sandbach team into their shells, as coaches and parents have often seen in the past. The opposite was so pleasing to see. The boys raised their game and took the game to Whitchurch in both defence and attack. The scrum was an excellent platform and the improved organisation of the backs meant that there was limited opportunity for the opposition to leave their own half. A try scored by the Sandbach hooker was created by the quick thinking of the outside half and the two tries by the new marauding Sandbach lock were credit to the team performance. To their credit, Whitchurch battled through to the end and I am sure that both teams learned a lot from such a competitive and fair match.
Try scorers - Billy, Owen x 2, Jonno
A final 20 minute development game was played, so that all the Sandbach boys had an opportunity to play. The many changes to the Sandbach team, especially a completely new backline, did disrupt the team and led to them conceding five tries to one (Scorer - Ewan), but overall they gave everything and showed progress. There were a number of players, who put in some strong defence and showed great positional play and will be challenging to start fixtures in the coming weeks.
Thanks to Whitchurch for their hospitality and a great morning of rugby.