Youth League Fixture
CHSOB Diamond Ground
Saturday 3rd November 2007
T The Youth travelled down to the Diamond Ground to play our local rivals CHSOB Youth in a local derby that both sides desperately wanted to win. Team Manager Martin Evans and Coach Tony Bartlett had to contend with the fact that four of our key players were unavailable and this would impact on the whole look of the team with boys being asked to play out of position and only a bare few substitutes.
The game started lively enough with a well drilled and much larger CHSOB team putting us under immense pressure from an excellent set piece driving lineout and only superb last ditch tackles prevented them from crossing the line. They also missed an early penalty.
Our pack and especially our back row were scrabbling first to every breakdown and Dan Geare was superb on kick outs and restarts. Dyer looked sharp on the wing with a superb turn of speed.The whole team put in some big tackles to halt the Old Boys.
The Squirrels soon got back into the game but also squandered an early penalty but then began to run at the High School team from all over the pitch. This loose open game suited Rhiwbina and from such a period of play Slogger caused mayhem in the back line with his elusive running before putting fullback Josh in for the opening try almost under the posts. Birdy duly converted.
The High School duly hit back with 3 points from a penalty before the half time whistle came with the match finely balanced at 3-7.
The opening second half was all Rhiwbina's. Some substitutions and positional changes including putting Birdy back at outside half from center gave us a few more options. Our pack began to dominate the scrum forcing the old Boys to concede umpteen free kicks for feeding at the scrum. Massive pressure from props Smithy and Alex contributed to this supported by the 'boiler room' of Rosey and Jonesy. Indeed Smithy had a 'Man of the Match' performance with his ability to rip the ball from his opponents grasp even when they were sure they had control of it and often popped up with it and led us off on a charge catching his opponents totally by suprise.
A series of powerful scrums and mauls had us camped on the High School's tryline in the opening 15 minutes and all this pressure led to a well worked try in the corner for 'Slogger' Slocombe following some slick passing from the Squirrels forwards and backs-the try went unconverted. The Squirrels now led 3-12 and were putting some breathing space in between us and the Old Boys.
Tom Lowe coped admirably at the unfamiliar position of scrum half as did Joey Casella playing as a flanker. We then had a mini crisis as we had used up all our subs after a hamstring tweak put Spud out of the game and had no reserves left to bring on. Down to fourteen men the Squirrels seemed to lift their game and sniffed a great win over their local rivals.
To give our opponents credit they kept up the fight and in the last few minutes they put enormous pressure on us to get a consolation try but again immense last gasp cover tackles from the young Squirrels brought them down just short of the line. When the final whistle went the lads knew they had been in a hard game and given the problems they had faced with player unavailability and boys playing out of position and a player short they were deserved winners.
This win keeps up the Squirrels unbeaten run and keeps us top of the League!
CHSOB Youth 3-12 Rhiwbina Youth
COME ON THE SQUIRRELS!!!!