Boroughmuir P7 Mini Rugby: Tynedale Mini Tour
So this was it, we were off, and what a weekend! After a brilliant and exciting Saturday afternoon, flinging ourselves off trees from great heights at 'Go Ape', where the guys seemed to handle the occasion better than the adults! Following this we all arrived en-mass at our shelter for the night, where we endured a somewhat stressful night at the bunkhouse - small issue with accommodation, food, heat and excitement = no sleep.
Nevertheless, we set off early on Sunday morning to head to the Tynedale 'Seven' Tournament. With 16 teams, in four pools, all playing RFU and not SRU rules, we knew this was never going to be easy, and to stack the odds against us even more was the fact that we had only three substitutes between the two teams - never great when you're playing 'sevens'! We had arranged for two teams, the Odds and Evens, to take part - so lots of game time for both teams and the players were all up for it. The weather also played its part as most of the day had some sunshine with just a little flurry of rain later on.
'Muir Even's' were placed in group A alongside Tynedale, WB Rockcliffe and Northern. Game 1; Tynedale 1 - a good start to the event with Muir passing the ball well and using the pace of Josh Howard (1 try) and Cammy Scott (2 tries). Callum Mac gained another try to make the score 4-2 and a 1st win for Muir. This game taught us we could run with the ball in one hand and literally 'rip it' out of the arms of the opposition - game on. Game 2; WB Rockcliffe - a closer game here but Muir came out winners 3 - 2. Scores Josh 1 and Cammy 2. Our big guys were getting physical and winning some good ball by prising it off the opposition. Game 3; Northern 2. By this game Muir were firing in all cylinder's and Northern just could not handle either Josh or Cammy who scored 5 and 4 tries respectively. A comfortable 9 - 1 win for Muir Evens.
As Pool winners the Muir Evens came up against Carlisle for their Quarter Final and having effectively only 1 sub the hard work in the morning took its effect and although a gritty performance Carlisle came out on top by 4 - 1, with a consolation try scored by Cammy. The players did very well to get to the quarter finals, but just ran out of steam' - a great experience and great fun for all the 'Evens' players!
'Muir Odd's' were in Pool D with alongside Novo 2, Ponteland 1 and Ryton. Game 1: Novo 2 - what a start, from the kick-off Muir were straight into the Novo's faces, Stuart chasing up the long kicks from Rory. The tactics working a treat with Rory running in 4 tries and Adam 1. Worryingly was the amount of effort put in by all in rucking and contesting the scrum against a much bigger team. The tiredness let 3 tries against but we held out well in the end and the referee paid us compliments. 5 - 3 win. Game 2; Ponteland - was straight up and a tighter game against a bigger team, but Muir again were controlled, rucked well and put in tackles. A great solo run by Brad almost gained another try but the legs gave out and all the team were hanging on by a thread near the end. However, no tries against and so a deserved win 2 - 0. Game 3; Ryton - was the final pool game up against the biggest team. Finlay, Lewis and Sonny going into the scrum against 3 players easily a foot taller was a sight to be seen! Akira and Olivia put in some big tackles but this team was too strong and although a great bit of offloading resulted in a try by Stuart, Ryton won comfortably 4 - 1 in the end. A very gutsy performance against a good team, but a great experience!
As pool runners up the Muir Odd's came up against Percy Park Centurions in the Quarter Final. Each team seem to be getting bigger and the lack of available substitutions took its toll. This team used their height and weight difference to good effect. Having only 2 substitues was taking a lot out of the team, which were finding it tough going now. IPP Centurions eventually won 6 - 2 with two excellent consolation tries from Akira and Stuart.
It is fair to say that all of the coaches and parents watching saw some great rugby from both the Muir teams, but more importantly saw great effort, skill and determination from all our players, especially in the face of what were bigger, stronger and older teams. Also 'note to self' about taking two full squads would have helped. However, that did not detract from the brave effort made by all the players and I know everybody enjoyed it!. I'm sure, now we know about the RFU rule idiosyncrasies , the guys would love another crack at this event.......
A big big thank you to all the parents who made such an effort to come along and support the players - it really does make a big difference. A special mention to Finlay Morgan and Calum Ricketts who couldn't play but came along to cheer on their mates. Finlay did a great job recording the Evens and Calum even called his mum to ask if he could help out seeing the injuries to his team mates but was reminded that the Dentist had ordered no rugby!! A great first tour and hope this will be one of many!
A big thank you too to Tynedale for allowing us to participate in their tournament, which we all enjoyed immensely! All at Tynedale were very complimentary towards Boroughmuir and are even looking for us next season to have our U10's, U11's and U12's attend.....