1st Game D&W A (Aspirational Squad) v Somerset West (SW) (Bristol Academy)
The game kicked off on time at 13:45 and D&W fielded a team consisting entirely of those who were assessed and picked from the development day at Bryanston School in October. Bath Academy had sent 4 Staff Members to review the players who as a team had previously outclassed their Berkshire Opponents. They all knew this was going to be a stern test.
So, it proved D&W knocked the ball on from the kick off and for the first 10 minutes D&W repelled a series of SW attacks, but D&W proved to be aggressive in defence. Against the run of play and from our 22 our 10 Will FG produced a lovely flat pass for 13 Bradley L who had run a great line and sliced through the defence and ran into the SW 22 where the defenders were gaining on him he side stepped and then was tackled 2m short but managed to offload the ball to 12 Ben J who had supported very well and had a deserved unopposed score which wasn’t converted. What a try 5-0 to D&W!
This gave great confidence to D&W and sapped SWs the game was now an even contest except our lineout which struggled all day and will be a area of focus for training next week. Having said that the conditions didn’t help. D&W forwards were producing great ball from loose play and at scrum time. The 10,12,13 axis were finding their feet and produced nice ball for Connor C to come in from the right wing and dance through to score D&Ws try 2 which was converted by W FG 12-0 to D&W at half time.
The 2nd half saw many changes to give fair game time started brightly with SW struggling to cope with aggressive defence and the carrying of our back row who were outstanding all day. The team found itself in the opposition half playing great rugby and the ball was collected by the outstanding replacement Blind Side Flanker Lorcan Mc who appeared to carry most of the SW Pack with him to score a lovely forward try converted by W FG. 19-0.
SW fought back hard and attacked the D&W Line after some confusion amongst the players as the Referee Paul Gaskin who was having an excellent game awarded correctly a penalty as W FG cleared the ball from a D&W Scrum down field, but our eager centres were judged to be over the line and therefore offside. SW took the pen quickly and went over to score their first try 19-7 to D&W.
Again, this gave SW confidence and their physical pack were achieving some dominance; a ruck on D&Ws 10m line produced a blind side move to their excellent prop who showed great pace by racing through to score out wide to make it 19-12 was a fight-back on?!
The answer was No! A fine scrum on the SW 22 produced a stunning backs move allowing replacement 15 Harry M to make a good finish to make the score 24-12.
D&W then dominated the remaining 5 minutes and strong carrying by the dominant back row resulted in a 2nd try for Lorcan Mc. 29-12 to D&W was the final score for a deserved but hard-fought victory. Thank you to SW for a good game played hard but in a great spirit.
Well done to ALL the players involved for their committed and skilful display in tricky conditions and congratulations to the 3 D&W Aspirational Players who were invited to attend the Bath PDG Session the next day.
2nd Game D&W v Somerset East (SE) (Bath Academy)
The kick off saw D&W get close to the SE line but a knock on allowed a good clearance and then excellent line out defence by SE saw D&W conceding territory this was on top of very physical and dominant SE Forward play which the D&W Forwards struggled to deal with at the beginning.
A backs move broke down and allowed the very pacey SE 15 to score from the half way to make the score 0-5. This was after D&W lost Hooker Joe P to a cut on his head.
More cohesive and quick ruck ball resulted in another unconverted try to SE 0-10, but D&W kept their shape and were confident in trying things which at times showed promise. The forwards led by the very impressive 6 John S started to make ground and the team was getting into the pace of the game. But SE were playing well too but an excellent interception by Theo A-B led to a 7 point score making the score 7-10.
D&W won excellent line out ball from which the backs created a fantastic try for 15 Henry A to execute a well finished try who converted a very difficult kick from out wide to make the score 14-10.
More changes were made in the 2nd Half to allow for fair game time and D&W were beginning to dominate the game and a score by Rohan E after a powerful run following a quick pass from the base of a ruck 21-10 to D&W.
SE were not finished, they scored after a D&W move broke down the ever present SE 13 picked up a loose ball to score under the posts the kick was missed 21-15. Game On!
D&W started to click and were really throwing some great phases together they won penalty following a line out which was quickly taken by Frankie R who passed to the replacement Hooker Adam C who bundled over to score. 26-15 to D&W.
D&W finished strongly and ran out worthy winners, but SE had fought very hard and 4 trys to 3 shows a close game. A good game played in a great spirit again.
Richard Bourne- U16 D&W Team Manager