Newport v Sharks Game 1 (7-21)
We travelled to Salop this Sunday and played two games against the Newport Under 11's who have a large squad of players.
The first game we settled quickly and got into our rhythm and scored early on. The players seem to take their foot off the gas in the second half, as Newport also came out with guns blazing and made us work hard. Newport defended well and held Sandbach in the middle of the pitch.
A good competitive game.
Newport v Sharks Game 2 (5-42)
With this second game Newport introduced some more players and the teams played well. With Newport coming out of the blocks early knowing what Sharks could play like. Sharks got into their rhythm early on and some phases of play were truly excellent with comments being made by the referee and other coaches.
Sharks movement, passing, determination all came together for what was the best they have played all season.
All tries were converted with Giles trying to balance the ball on the crossbar, pity there was no prize !
Giles won man of the match due to his excellent passing and movement.
Burnley and Halifax v Saxons
We went on our tour to Lancashire this weekend. First game against combined team of under 10's and under 11's 15-45 (we scored 9 tries but had no goal posts to use for conversions)
Our first match was against combined Burnley side, so we fielded a reduced side, with only one line of scrum and no full back. Sandbach started enthusiastically, showing good pressure and holding the Burnley side in their own half. Will scored the first try by powering to the try line, and no one was going to stop him!
Sandbach showed good discipline, and shape at this time, but did hold on to the ball a little too long on occasions, running in to traffic, when the ball could have been released to waiting support. We then had good passing down the line, which then led to our second try, this time scored by Tomas.
After the start of play again, our line speed was a bit slow, which meant that Burnley had more time and less pressure with the ball, they then ran through a few tackles on the wing to score their first try. At half time, Sandbach was leading 2 trys to one, but apart from our costly mistakes, could have been much more. The coaches then did an effective half time talk, as at the start of the second half, Sandbach came out of the gates running!
It seemed as if Sandbach could score at will, with George R, scoring next, followed by james H, Alex, and after a fantastic ball ripping performance by Nathan Williams, this led to Tomas scoring again. This seemed to energise the team, and gave them a real appetite for more, which led to Tomas scoring another try, getting his hat trick.
Then it seemed as though Sandbach rested on their laurels for a period of play, as Burnley came back and scored another 2 trys, as Sandbach lost their shape, and these trys were scored through holes in our defense. At the end of the game, we recovered some composure, and George R scored again, then Nathan Williams scored our final try.
The second game was Halifax Crocs 30 - Sandbach 10 (again no conversions)
Halifax were a team who were very strong in the centre of the pitch as quite a few of their players were well built and strong. This found us out, as Halifax were very quick and strong on to the ball, if we did not move the ball fast enough. When the ball moved slowly out of scrums and rucks, Halifax intercepted, and scored with ease in the first half, leading to 5 trys being scored in the first half alone.
Sandbach lost their shape, and so missed vital tackes to try and stop Halifax at this time. The backs in the centre were often left to try and ruck over against the largest Halifax players, so left holes in our defence. At the start of the second half, the forwards started to be more involved in the rucking and clearing out to gain the ball. This left the backs free to keep the shape better, which started to lead to some good runs with the ball in hand.
Daniel, James H and Matty all enjoyed good runs, and with improved line speed led to Matty being able to get over the try line and score our first try. Sandbach enjoyed some good possession, but in making plays were not always aware of the positions of the Halifax players on the field, and if they had been, there could easily have been more tries.
Sandbach's next try was scored by Daniel, who really relished the contact in todays match, being ready to both tackle and run with the ball when able. At the next restart, Halifax's forwards took their chance and forged down the wing to score their final try.
The coaches were much happier with the second half of this match. Sandbach were much better organised, but the forwards needed to keep the intensity up for the whole match to keep rucking and working hard to enable the backs to keep their shape to score trys. Once in possession we needed to be aware of the support around us, so that we could pass down the line to create the space to score trys.
There were a few players today who showed good commitment, organisation and determination, but it was Matty who just edged in gaining the player of the week. Well done Matty!