Devon U14s 7s Rugby Festival
By Katie James
7s rugby is a very different game to the 15 a-side format that we play throughout the season and the festival held at Plymstock Albion Oaks RFC, proved to be a really enjoyable occasion.
We arrived with the intention of playing with one squad of 16 players, but due to the late withdrawal of other teams, we agreed with the organisers that we would split our squad into two equal ability teams, which then enabled 6 pools of 3 teams. This meant both teams would get to play a minimum of 4 matches (2 pool matches and 2 second round matches) and with each match being 14 minutes long, this would be ample game time with very limited substitutions!
Topsham Hippos were drawn against the host side Plymstock Albion Oaks and Tavistock in Pool B and Topsham Tigers had Crediton and Paignton & Totnes, in Pool D.
7s rugby requires a high degree of fitness, skill and awareness. The primary aim is to create space by moving the ball and exploit weaknesses in the oppositions’ defensive line. 7s is also played at a faster pace than rugby fifteens and the boys adapted really well to this and improved in their game play tactics as the day progressed.
The pool games resulted in deserved wins over Tavistock, Crediton, Paignton & Totnes and a loss against Plymstock Albion Oaks RFC. All games were competitive with many tries scored and Topsham played intelligent rugby throughout. Knowing when to pass and when to attack the space, comes with experience and at times we made some wrong decisions in this area and this is something we need to work hard on ahead of next season.
The second round games, were against Torquay Titans, Stonehouse Sharks, OPM’s and Newton Abbott, with Topsham Tigers in the cup competition and Topsham Hippos in the plate. As expected these were tough encounters with wins over Newton Abbott and Stonehouse Sharks and losses to Torquay Titans and OPMs. Both teams played some excellent rugby and despite fatigue creeping in towards the end, standards and commitment remained high and some well worked tries resulted.
All teams played in the spirit of the game and the approach by coaches and players from all the clubs, was first rate. Thanks also to the organisers for a well administered and competitive festival.
This was an excellent end to a successful season both on and off the field and the boys should feel immensely proud of what has been achieved this year. Thanks also to parents for your continued support. Onwards and upwards!
https://www.devonrfu.com/news?nid=1066 There are some good photos on the video on this webpage.