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Under 10Js v Old Albanians - Away Friendly on 13 Mar 2011

Published on Wednesday, 23 March 2011

We had a great morning on Sunday as the Jaguars came back victorious from the festival at Old Albanians. This was a specific U10 festival for B/Development sides with teams from OA’s, Welwyn, Harpenden, Fullerians, Tring and Enfield taking part. We played five matches in total, and performed really well culminating with a win in the final against Enfield (see Jono’s match report below)


As part of the pre county festival warm up Andy had arranged for the Jags to play in a festival organised by OA’s.  The usual suspects were on hand Harpenden, Welwyn, 2 OA’s teams as well as a couple of teams that we had not played before. The format would be similar to the County Festival with a series of short matches being played followed by a semi-final and then a final. The Jags went with the thoughts that it would be a fun morning with some good rugby to be had. From Andy’s point of view it would be a good chance to see how the team played in festival conditions.

Hitchin Jaguars v Fullerians                             Lost 5-10

First game up was against Fullerians. We knew how strong Fullers were from playing them earlier in the season.  Whatever Fullers parents feed their team on Hitch could do with some of it. Quite a large team was a bit of an understatement. The Jags went out with their usual approach not quite getting up to speed from the off. Fullerians struck first which seemed to spur the Jags into some action. The first half was tough but everyone on the pitch defended well. Half time came and Andy and Jez had a quite word with the forwards. The second half started better as the forwards started to get to grips with the Fullers boys giving some better protection for Freddie at Scrum half. This enabled the ball to get out to midfield more quickly and meant Dan and Harry H could have a few runs. The pressure told and from the resultant penalty Sid smashed through the defence to score. The game started to get interesting but the Jags resisted well. Naomh put in a cracking cover tackle almost certainly preventing a try. Freddie and Sam H put in a good defensive shift in down the 9-10 channel and Henry and Stevie worked hard to keep the big fellas busy. Sid nearly scored a second time but for a cracking tackle from a Fullers player who felled him metres from the line. Fullers scored their second in the closing minutes of the game as Sam H was mugged by a handful of Fullers forwards as he was trying to run the ball out of defence. The game finished with a narrow loss by the Jags 5-10.

Hitchin Jaguars v Old Albanians ‘E’                 Won 35-0

Buoyed by a good performance form the first game the Jags started well with some good work in the forwards by Felix, Harry G and Sid. The forwards dominated in the opening exchanges with some excellent rucking by Harry G and good ball carrying by Sid supported by Felix. Freddie pushed his forwards on well and also had a few darts himself. The first 2 tries belonged to the forwards with first Sid scoring followed by a good drive by Felix to score the second. The ball started to move out into the centre and Dan scored his first of the morning following some quick ball form the set piece. Sid scored just before half time to make it 20- 0. Harry H scored following a strong drive and a great pass from Alfie. Alfie had a couple of other super offloads and linked well in the loose with the backs. Tom scored a brace of tries and tackled very well on the outside. Again the defence was sound with Lawrence putting in some great defensive work as did Chris which would set the standard for all the wide players for the rest of the morning. Harry G cleared out well giving an excellent platform from which to launch the attacks. Naomh was unlucky not to be awarded a try at the death however the Jags came away victorious 35- 0

Hitchin Jaguars v Welwyn                                Won 15-0

The last game of the pool stages with 1 win and 1 loss. This would be the game to put us into the semis and it was against one of old friends. The game started with some excellent exchanges form both teams. Welwyn came out strongly and some heroic defence by Daniel, Freddie and Sid and a fantastic cover tackle by Sam H preventing a score saw the Jags repel the initial onslaught. Henry worked hard in the loose and Stevie time and time again tidied up loose ball. It was from a forward drive that the initial breakthrough was made. Sid breaking from a maul to romp in to score. The second half started brightly with a mazy run form Lawrence. The Jags seemed to gain the upper hand and yet another Alfie pass to Harry H saw Harry score the second. Welwyn came back strongly but some good protection from the forwards and some tireless work at scrum half by Freddie kept the Jags on the front foot and the Welwyn surge in check. The final try came from a great individual try by Daniel who weaved his way through the defence to score from a penalty. Final score 15-0 to the Jags.


Hitchin Jaguars v Old Albanians ‘D’                 Won 5-0

The hard work paid off and the Jags found themselves in the semi-finals. The Jags were drawn against the winners of the other pool OA’s D, a hard game in prospect. Not the largest of teams but we knew from previous experience they would be quick and well organised. Sure enough they came at us attacking out wide. Naomh and Tom defended well on the flanks and when they did not get to much joy they tried down the middle. Harry H put in a couple of crackers and Sam H and Freddie’s tackle count was high. Sid made the break through from a penalty following some excellent work in the tight exchanges by Henry, forcing the opposition into a mistake. From 10m out Sid is a bit of a handful to stop and he smashed his way through to score. He continued this all game and virtually ran himself to a standstill by the end. Harry G and Felix came on and continued to mix it up front and despite some tense moments the Jags held on to win what was a very well matched game.


Hitchin Jaguars v Enfield                                 Won 15-5

The final was against a team we had not played before so we were all up for the last game.  Like the other games each team went at it hammer and tongs from the off. The forwards kept their work rate up and Stevie and Henry continuing with some excellent rucking and ball gathering. Alfie had a few charges but Enfield defended well. The first try came from a good forward drive. Freddie picked up and made some good ground before getting a pass away to Harry H who danced through the defence to score. Enfield came back strongly and some cracking tackles by Tom, Sam H, Freddie seemed to stem the tide. Enfield continued to press and eventually broke thorough but a last ditch tackle by Daniel halted them metres from the line preventing a certain score. Enfield continued pressure eventually told and they did break through to score. The Jags rallied and the ball was moved well into midfield for Harry, Dan and Tom to have a run. Lawrence also got his hand on the ball and ran some good lines. The forwards continued to work hard and Henry nearly broke through from a pick and drive. The half ended all square at 5 each. Final changes were made with Sid and Harry G coming on as well as Chris and Naomh. The forwards worked hard with some good pressure from Harry G disrupting any steady Enfield ball. Sid added his power to the rucks and it was not long before he broke from the back of a ruck to score. Enfield then camped on the Jags line for which seemed ages with heroic defence by Tom, Alfie, Sid and Chris to hold out. Freddie then saw his opportunity to run the ball out of defence which he did. This seemed to give the Jags a lift and it was not long before Dan found some space. A great move saw Dan offload to Sid and then Sid to Naomh who finished an excellent passage of play to score in the dying seconds of the match. The final finished with a victory to the Jags 15-5 and the overall festival victors.

Tries: Sid (6), Felix, Naomh, Daniel (2), Tom (2) & Harry H (3)

Having reflected on the entire mornings performance Jez and Andy could not single out any individual for the award so they decided that as the team had showed so much enthusiasm, commitment and determination that both awards should go to the entire team. Well done The Jaguars. Now on to the County Festival!!!!!!!!!

The Jaguars put in a really good performance on Sunday, against a mixture of sides and thoroughly deserved their success. A typical slow start was followed by four excellent performances as the team got better as the morning went on. I was particularly pleased with our forward play and the way we contested the contact areas. In the first game we were a bit hesitant but after that we were far more aggressive, making tackles, rucking and mauling physically and this set the platform for our backs to play some good running rugby. On small pitches we were very direct and when we picked up the pace we played some really good rugby. The one thing that stood out for me was the commitment shown in defence, all players were putting their “bodies on the line” to stop the opposition in particular in the semi final and final when at times we were on the back foot, but to only concede three tries all morning was a great effort. It will be a lot harder at the County Festival in a few weeks, but this result just shows what this group of players can achieve if they all put in the effort and commitment. It was a real squad performance with all 14 players contributing to the success – well done to all the players. 

Team Alfie Cannon, Sid Davies, Felix Elliot, Harry Gray, Stephen Shaw, Henry Tucker, Freddy Hindson, Samuel Humphrey, Naomh Taylor, Daniel Hill, Harry Hughes, Laurence Hidle, Chris Holes

Subs Ben Lowes, Tom McClymont, Oskar Bhowmick

Scores T: Sid Davies (6), Harry Hughes (3), Tom McClymont (2), Daniel Hill (2), Naomh Taylor (1), Felix Elliot (1)

 League Tables



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