Under-13s Blues West District Side

Head Coach – Matthew Sweeney mob 07817262862

Assistant Coach – Richard Harris mob 07730897017

Blues Development Officer – Gary Knowles 07866370464

The District season has now come to a close – unfortunately a game against the East proved too difficult to arrange – and I would just like to thank all the boys who have taken part for their effort and commitment. I will be in touch with you all about the dates for the trials for next year which will take place in July before the end of the school year.

13S West Fixtures/Training Sessions

Sept 24(Friday) – Swansea(A) Drew 17 – 17 (Tries Tom Trotman, Aled Ward(2), Con Callum Bricknell)

Oct 22nd(Friday) – Afan Nedd(A) Lost 31 – 12(Tries Jarrelle James, Tom Lucas, Con Callum Bricknell)

Jan 26th (Wed) – Gwent North(H) Won 55 – 3(Tries Tom Trotman 4, Tom Lucas, Cameron Gibbon, Henry Davies, Aled Ward and Morgan Louch, Con Callum Bricknell 5)

Feb 16th (Wed) – Blues East(A) Lost 34 – 24(Tries Tom Trotman 3, Callum Michelson, Cons Callum Bricknell 2)

Mar 2nd (Wed) – Heart of Wales(H) Won 22 – 17(Tries Nathan Robson, Callum Michelson, Tom Lucas and Cameron Gibbon, Con Rhys Lynch)

Apr 9th(Sat) – Stafford(A) Won 26 – 0(Tries Aled Ward(2), Sion Jones and Morgan Louch)

Match Reports

Blues West 26 – 0 Stafford at Stafford RFC Sat Apr 9th

The Blues ran out winners by 26 – 0 against a determined Stafford outfit in blazing hot conditions. In the early stages the forwards won lots of ball which was frittered away by the backs and resulted in a slender 5 – 0 lead at half-time. However, the teamwork improved in the second-half and superior fitness began to tell as three more tries were scored. The backrow of Iwan Baker, Aled Ward and Sion Jones worked extremely hard and gelled together very well. Baker at openside had a superb game and was responsible for a number of turnovers. Jones gave his usual powerful performance putting in some big hits and emerging on a regular basis from mauls with the ball to go on strong surges. However, these two were outshone by captain Ward who was unstoppable on the charge and must have covered every blade of grass on the pitch. The rest of the pack played well but special mention must be made of the frontrow of Jake Thomas, Jacob Parker and Ben Harrison-Jones who srummaged well and put themselves about in the loose. Morgan Louch provided a feisty presence at scrumhalf and had a very good game throughout, backed up well by the strong running centre Nathan Robson and the skilful Henry Davies at fullback. Tries were scored by Ward(2), Jones and Louch with Callum Bricknell adding 3 conversions.

Blues West 22 – 17 Heart of Wales at Penarth RFC Wed 2/3/11

The Heart of Wales proved a very difficult side to overcome in this ding dong battle at Penarth. Initially the West started superbly with strong running from Aled Ward, Callum Michelson and Nathan Robson causing all sorts of problems for the visitors. Within minutes Robson had crossed for a good try on his debut for the district and was settling into his new role well as outside centre. Another relative new comer to the side is Michelson on the wing and he soon showed his devastating pace by running 75 metres for a fantastic solo effort. Scum-half Tom Lucas then forced his way over from close range and a conversion from Rhys Lynch made it 17 -0 to the home side. However, back came the Heart of Wales through their huge N08 who manage to force his way over from an impressive driving lineout to make the score 17 -5 at the break. This momentum was then continued immediately after half-time when a loose kick ended with another score to the visitors which was converted to bring the score back to 17 – 12. The visitors began gaining confidence and when their N08 scored again to draw level at 17 a piece there looked like only one winner. However, the boys showed great character by refusing to buckle in the onslaught of some big runners and managed to score the winner with almost the last play of the game. Tom Lucas broke blind down the left and fed Captain Cameron Gibbon 40 metres out, just as a score looked inevitable the Heart of Wales N08 appeared as the last cover tackler but Gibbon stayed cool and stepped inside to score a marvellous winning try near the posts. All the forwards were magnificent, with special mentions to the commitment of Conor Mcgrath and Aled Ward in the tackle area, while the pick of the backs were Lucas and Gibbon who both show great composer under pressure.

Blues West 24 – 34 Blues East at Rumney RFC Wed 16/2/11

In a very competitive contest the West just ran out of steam in the last 10 minutes and conceded a couple of late tries to eventually be defeated by a strong East outfit. The game started with the East scoring out wide to go into a 5 – 0 lead and after a slow start the boys really started firing on all cylinders to score three long range tries by strong running wing Tom Trotman, two of which were converted by Callum Bricknell, to lead 19 – 5 after 20 minutes play. Tom Lucas at scrum-half and Henry Davies at full-back were both playing very well and Joe Davies was prominent at flanker. At this stage the West were totally on top and if another score could have been achieved the game may have been put beyond doubt. Unfortunately, some handling errors in the East 22 gifted the ball to the opposition when the West were poised to add to their lead and then weak defence allowed the East to score two quick tries from their speedy backs which brought them right back in the game at 19 – 15 at the break. After half-time the East managed to score again to move back into the lead at 20 – 19 but the West hit back immediately with an excellent try from winger Callum Michelson, who was causing all sorts of problems with his power and pace. To be fair the East then managed to up the tempo again and scored a couple of converted tries(although the ref missed the ball being clearly dropped on the second one!) to run out deserving winners 34 – 24 in what was an excellent advert for Blues rugby at this age-group. The whole pack played superbly and Cameron Gibbon at centre tackled strongly all game, while Jarrelle James ran hard on the wing when he received the ball. I think everyone will be looking forward the re-match in a few weeks.

Blues West 55 – 3 Gwent North at Penarth RFC Wed 26th Jan.

This was a superb performance by all the squad and a thoroughly deserved win that delighted the coaches. The West began the game playing into a strong wind and attacked Gwent from the off. A strong forward platform provided the backs with plenty of ball to test out the visitors. However, Gwent took the lead with a penalty and then pressurised the home line for a long period. The home defence stood firm and then two long range tries for wing Tom Trotman just before half-time broke the visitors resistance. Turning around 12 – 3 ahead with a strong wind at their backs there was only going to be one winner. After the break Trotman added two more excellent touchdowns with Tom Lucas, Morgan Louch, Aled Ward, Cameron Gibbon and Henry Davies also crossing the line. Bricknell also added five conversions in difficult kicking conditions. The backrow of Ward, Sion Jones and Joe Davies were outstanding in attack and defence, whilst Trotman and Davies were always dangerous on the wings. Bricknell had an excellent performance at inside centre as did Tom Lucas at scrumhalf. Captain Cameron Gibbon was rock solid in defence putting in some excellent hits. Well done everyone involved!

Afan Nedd 31 – 12 Blues West at Banwen RFC Fri 22nd Oct.

This was a disappointing performance from the u13s West who failed to build on their strong second-half showing against Swansea. In many ways the game followed a familiar format with the West starting slowly and conceding two early tries before staging a brief recovery only this time losing to a few more tries late on. Plenty of work needs to be done in training on clearing out rucks effectively, defensive formats, one-on-one tackling and decision-making. Also the addition of five players to the squad will hopefully create more competition for places in the side. Boys who played well were Jake Thomas, Elliot Jones, Sion Jones and Cameron Gibbon, while Aled Ward and Joe Davies were outstanding. Tom Lucas scored a superb individual try darting from the side of a ruck and showing exceptional pace to the line. Jarrelle James scored the other try with Callum Bricknell adding the conversion.

Swansea 17 – 17 Blues West at Dunvant RFC Fri 24th Sept.

After a couple of good training sessions the Blues u13s West travelled to Swansea with confidence that they could put up a good performance to start the season. However, Swansea began the game with greater urgency and moved the ball well to their dangerous winger on numerous occasions. This resulted in an early try for the home side and for the rest of the half the Blues hung on with some brave defence from Wil Rees at fullback and Joe Davies in the backrow. The forwards competed well throughout the first half but the backs had been put under pressure and mistakes were numerous. Tom Trotman at centre almost got away but was caught by the cover defence. After the break the pressure continued from Swansea and resulted in a second try for their pacy winger and a third from one of the other backs leaving the boys facing a 17 – 0 deficit and the possibility of a heavy defeat. However, from this point onwards their was only one side in it as first Trotman, showing extreme pace to round the defence and score, and then secondrow Aled Ward, with two excellent tries down the blindside, levelled the score at 17 - 17. Unfortunately time ran out but all the boys left the field buoyant after this remarkable turnaround. All the forwards played very well, especially Ben Jones, Jake Thomas, Sion Jones and Aled Ward, whilst Tom Lucas and Morgan Louch performed well at scrumhalf in either half. Callum Bricknell captained the side well and looked good at outside-half, with Tom Trotman always looking dangerous in space. The coaches were pleased with this performance because it showed tremendous character and gives us something to build on for the next game in a couple of weeks. Well done everyone!