The Vectis under 11's travelled with 13 boys to the Farnborough Festival on Sunday and were greeted by a soft pitch and beautiful sunshine and unbelievably, no wind.
The new tournament rules were in force so it was a pool of 6, meaning 5 fixtures with an emphasis on fair play and sportsmanship, determined by the referee of each game scoring out of 10.
Our first match was against a huge Slough team who fielded probably the biggest, strongest player we have come across! The initial nerves were settled as the boys realised you need more than size for rugby, as demonstrated all day by the terrier Connor, with George stepping up to put in some big tackles. We drew this entertaining game 3-3 with Edward scoring a hat-trick of tries :-)
Sutton and Epsom were up next and we played our best rugby in this game with some superb team play, which shows with the tries being scored by a dynamic Reuban, a sidestepping Hugh and the gas of Edward as they ran out 3-1 winners.
Farnborough we beat 4-2, once again the tries shared around by the very powerful Thomas, Hugh, Reuban and Edward.
This is where tiredness creeps in and it is vital to have a large squad, the strongest team of the day were next, Haywards Heath and they ran out worthy winners 4-1 with Edward crossing the white wash.
The final game was against Worthing, and we managed to win this 3-2 with a lovely try by Reuban and 2 more for Edward.
The coaches and parents were extremely proud of the way the boys conducted themselves and it must be remembered that the boys are up earlier than any of the other teams on the day.
We fielded 13 boys as follows.
Jenson, his first taste of tournament rugby, and what a start, he is picking the game up really well and look forward to seeing his wheels in the weeks to come.
Rhys D, his first taste of tournament rugby, and he did not disappoint. My memory from the day is his try saving tackle in the game we won 3-2 just as the lad was going over the line.
Finn, also his first taste of tournament rugby, and by far the best placer of a rugby ball once tackled. He will demonstrate this on Sunday!
George, wow now he can put some monster hits in, great to see.
Andrew, has it all, pace on the outside with great awareness on the pitch, mr consistent.
Sam, now he is using his strength to great effect and stopped the big fella in his tracks!
Rhys M, a great link up player with deceptive speed and great hands, also really consistent.
Tommy, has good unbelievably fast feet as he is demonstrating and is putting our flyers into great space.
Connor, shows size is not a barrier, spilt blood for Vectis and is the heartbeat of the side.
Reuban, the warrior and is a real handful for any team to handle, wait for hand offs next year.
Hugh, mr rugby, knows where to be, shows great pace and puts in superb tackles time after time.
Edward, fastest player on the day with a lazy running style, now putting in quality tackles.
Thomas, our player of the day, with countless turnovers, and unbelievable strength for an under 11. Will be leading the way when we look at rucking on Sunday.
What is really pleasing is the way the boys are playing as mates, as a team and enjoying each other's company, if they continue like this the leagues they will play in will be great viewing.
Thank you to all the parents for the great support and help with setting up and to Elaine and Glennis for all their endeavours in organising us all. We are lucky to such a great set up of players and parents, it is noted throughout the club.