Topsham U14s take the sting out of Newquay Hornet’s tail!
By Katie James
How lucky were we with the weather (again), with our mini tour to Newquay in Cornwall this year!
Our initial plan of karting on Saturday afternoon had been cancelled due to very low temperatures and forecast of further ice and snow on the track. Instead we drove to Cornwall arriving at the Travelodge hotel on Newquay seafront, in bright and dry conditions, albeit with a strong wind blowing. The heavy snow that had fallen in the days leading up to the tour had melted away and the forecast was for sunshine and light winds on match day.
The focus of the afternoon instead turned to the Ireland v England 6 nations game and what a game this turned out to be! With Topsham RFC U10s, U13s and U14s squads taking over the pub and with a giant screen showing one of the best 6 nations games for several seasons, this was a perfect start to our tour. The rugby passing challenge on the large stage, saw Henry, the U14s captain, beat Mike our head coach convincingly (!), and further excellent passing displays from Alex and Harrison added to the fun of the day. The evening was at leisure spent in and around Newquay.
After breakfast on Sunday morning, we travelled all of 10 minutes to Newquay Hornets RFC, on a glorious sunny day. The Newquay 10k run created a buzzing atmosphere at the sports ground and the boys were very much looking forward to the match ahead - albeit somewhat jaded!
With a 26 player squad on tour, this presented challenges with substitutes rolling on and off and coaches trying to ensure all had the same game time. After a warm up period, the whistle blew for the start of the game.
Topsham started slowly and it was clear that the late night, was taking its toll on the players reaction time! Several lapses of concentration meant opportunities were squandered early on and for large periods of the game, although spent mostly in the opposition half, Topsham found it difficult to find the try line! Newquay’s defence was however excellent throughout the first half and prevented Topsham scoring on several occasions.
Towards the end of the first half and for the rest of the game, Topsham did get into their stride and put together some excellent passages of play. Quick hands, fast recycling and dogged determination in defence, led to several well worked tries. The pick of the tries (narrowly pipping Toby’s fantastic length of the field effort) had to go to Hamish B, who for a tall second row player, showed incredible ‘gazelle’ like pace, down the left wing, to blitz the opposition defence and score under the posts. A special mention here, has to also go to Josh for his first rate, draw and pass assist, that created space for Hamish to score. Other notable performances from William, a rock at no8, Bertie and Hamish F tireless work at the breakdown and Austin, who was simply a human dynamo throughout the game! Good to also see Ben firing out some fantastic text book passes from the no10 position, creating space for the backline and kicking with precision. Tom, Ollie and Harry on the wings, performed well under constant defensive pressure and Sam D got stuck in to close quarter contact situations.
Topsham eventually won the match 34-0.
A brilliant weekend and thanks to Ian and Charlie F for organising - much appreciated by all of the parents and players alike and a big thank you also to Newquay RFC for hosting everyone!
Finally, with the serious matter of the cup semi-final ahead, on Sunday 17th February, please can we ensure we have a good turnout this Friday for training, before this weekend’s pre-cup game against Kingsbridge RFC. Coaches will also need all those selected in the cup squad to be present on Friday 15th February training session (all wider squad members welcome as always).