Topsham RFC U14s (7) v Ivybridge RFC U14s (19)
By Katie James
Topsham struggle against a powerful Ivybridge performance
The strong wind blowing the length of the pitch was always going to make the game challenging. It was a significant advantage when playing with the wind – within a moment the game could shift 70 metres down the pitch. Alternatively, when playing into the wind, possession was key and territorial gains would be slow.
Ivybridge chose to play with the wind in the first half and started the game in determined and physical fashion. Their strong forwards tested our defence and their back line ran with determination. This very physical approach from all Ivybridge players was difficult for Topsham to contain. In both the set-pieces and open play Ivybridge overwhelmed Topsham and deservedly scored two tries in the first half. Both tries were converted taking Ivybridge into the interval with a lead of 14:0.
The second half was more even. Topsham started well and within a few minutes of the re-start Hamish F ran well through a gap and broke a tackle to score near the posts. Ben converted. However, Ivybridge’s determination was undented and they continued to prove a physical challenge from Topsham. This, coupled with handling errors amongst the Topsham team and some poor tactical decisions, allowed Ivybridge to retain long spells of possession. Ivybridge’s forwards played through several phases of play close to the Topsham try line. This drew in the Topsham defence and eventually opened space for Ivybridge to score their third try three minutes before the end of the game. Kicking into the wind the try was unconverted.
During the game Ivybridge came close to the Topsham try line on two other occasions and it was thanks to a determined and courageous defence that Topsham denied Ivybridge scoring again and widening the score line. Topsham’s defence was possibly the only positive to take from their performance. Topsham players will have to consider their own performance and look to make and individually and collective improvements if they are to perform to their potential.
Next week (Sunday 17 March) is the London Irish festival. For those squad members not travelling this means a week off. The following Sunday (Sunday 24 March) is training at Topsham, and the following week (Sunday 31 March) is a trip away to Taunton.
Tries: Hamish F x1
Conversions: Ben x1