Dorset and Wiltshire RFU U16s Matches v Devon RFU 18th February 2018

1st Game D&W A (Aspirational Squad) v Devon B

D&W started strongly winning a penalty and then after the subsequent line out continued by some excellent carrying from the forwards the ball went out to Joe M our new 10 who took an excellent option to go from open to blind and set the ball up, Jack H popped a pass to Zach S his Dorchester Club mate who ran great lines all day to crash over out wide for D&W’s first try. Wimborne’s Connor C added the conversion 7-0 to D&W.

Devon fought back and started to spend time on the attack and their very good 6 broke through to score their first try which wasn’t converted 7-5 to D&W.

On 25 minutes Adam C of Bryanston whose carrying and support play at hoU16 Aoker was excellent scored his 2nd try of the campaign by dancing through the Devon Defence. Connor C added the extras 14-5 to D&W. Running the ball all day proved D&W undoing just before half time with a move off the back of the scrum ending in a turnover after some stoic defence by D&W the line was breached out wide 14-10 to D&W at half time.

An injury to RWB’s Harrison P early on meant we had to raid a prop from the 2nd Gamers. A lot of changes were made at half time, but the dynamic game carried at high intensity. Devon initiated a great back move and a chip ahead meant they had got behind our defence and scored a lovely try which was converted 15-17 to Devon. But we quickly responded with lovely inter linking play with a try from Dauntseys Hamish G the extras were added 21-19 to D&W.

At this point after some home side errors Devon scored again 24-21 the see saw of a game continued. Whoever scored next was going to win the game. D&W got close and then some more great play saw Devon score a converted try 21-31. D&W were determined to have the last say in proceedings and some great play saw the ball moved left and right Harry M at 15 was a threat all day out paced the defence and was brought down 1m before our line but Devon infringed and off the penalty the very good Bill Roberts of Wimborne crashed over for the last points and play of the game Connor C added the 2 so it ended 28-31 to Devon.

Well done to Devon who had some great players. Its remarkable that this D&W team lived with them so well especially as 5 players had been promoted from the Somerset game to the 2nd Game. It was a very impressive 3 games played by this team whose team spirit was 2nd to none.


2nd Game D&W v Devon A

Both teams were unbeaten in their campaigns with Devon winning v Somerset by the same margin as us.

We had a good team out which included 5 promoted players from the Aspirational/County team. You would never know they hadn’t played together it was a seamless transition which says a lot for the players and the strength of the programme that had been put together.U16 PDG

Having said that it was D&W who went behind after a devastating back row move saw their 6 go over 0-7 to Devon.

The team then galvanised itself to play the best half we had seen them play. Canford’s Tom S scored a useful penalty to settle the team 3-7. After a great back’s move and a lovely overhead pass Sam R to the ever present Lorcan Mc (Sherborne School Team mates) who ran down the wing and passed to Gabriel G who stood up the Devon 15 and ran in unopposed after an excellent 2 points by Tom S it was 10-7 to D&W.

A great line following a D&W lineout in the Devon 22 saw Lorcan Mc go over for a lovely try 17-7 to D&W after another 2 points from Tom S. A lovely break by Sherborne School’s Tom C-S broke through the Devon defence and after a deft chip over the Devon full back Tom was upended illegally. The resulting scrum penalty saw the indomitable Dorchester Back rower John S score off a pick up from the base of the scrum under the posts, after another 2 points by Tom S the score was 24-7 to D&W and a lead was building. But Devon grabbed another 5 points then John S bulldozed his way over the line after a 5m penalty 31-12 at half time.

Either Devon got their act together or D&W tailed off but a very competitive 2nd half ensued both sides were running the ball from every where and Devon got a try 31-17 to D&W.

The ball was flying around with the forwards winning lots of ball a penalty following a line out mistake saw Tom C-S dummy and leave his opponents leaden footed 38-17.

Dorchester Prop Sam O’Connor scored from a culmination of a great team effort where the ball moved sublimely through backs and forwards 45-17 the 2 points were added by Will Fitz-Gerald of Bournemouth RFC.

Devon got a well worked converted try to make it 45-24 at the finish. What a performance by D&W which was lovely to see. Devon played their part in a high-quality game.

Tom S had 100% Kicking success to have a personal tally of 13 points.

The team was led very ably by Ethan Staddon of Dorchester RFC.

Thanks to Trowbridge for hosting us so well.

Both teams should be congratulated on their commitment, enthusiasm and sense of enjoyment for County Rugby during the games and at training where the turnout was amazing. The results came after lots of players were rotated and given good quality game time despite the loss of the Cornwall game. There was no selfishness or a win at all costs culture which led to a great atmosphere throughout the programme. Huge thanks go to the Coaches (we were supported at times by D&W coaches from the U20s and U18s showing the dedication to the whole youth County programme), Physios and the Schools and Parents for their support in getting the boys there, single thanks go to Chris Smith and the Ground staff of Sherborne School for allowing us to use their facilities during some horrendous weather! Thanks also goes to Andy Rock and George Tavner of Bath Rugby for helping to make this a successful programme it bodes well for the Academy & D&W Rugby going forward.

I wish all the players the best of luck for their GCSEs (that’s the important bit!!) and in their future Rugby Development. You have been a pleasure to work with Thank you.

Richard Bourne

U16 D&W Team Manager

About the Author

By JonesChris / Subscriber, bbp_participant, author on Feb 20, 2018