Leighton Buzzard Rugby U14’s win Match Day Tournament at Northampton Saints
Brimming with confidence and looking forward to the challenge, 20 boys made the trip to Northampton Saints for a long day in what turned out to be glorious mid-October weather.
There were twelve teams competing in the tournament, from as far afield as Ashby and Cambridge. The first stage split the teams split into four pools of three, with LB pitted against Old Scouts and Ashby. With each game only lasting ten minutes and bonus points on offer for scoring three tries, the boys were well aware that they needed to “switch on” from the whistle.
Great teamwork across the forwards and backs proved decisive in the first game, beating Old Scouts three tries to one. Rotating the squad for the second game showed their strength in depth, beating Ashby four tries to one. Topping the pool with two bonus point victories meant the boys would be going through to the second stage competing for the “Cup” against the winners of the other three pools.
The first game against a physically imposing Cambridge side was a close affair, but again resolute work from the forwards coupled with the defensive line-speed of the backs, meant that Cambridge could not get on the front foot. At the final whistle, LB were the victors by one try to nil.
The second game saw the boys go behind for the first time, as Towcester scored a fine try in the right corner. Rather than letting their heads drop, the boys rallied together to overturn the deficit, winning by two tries to one.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the boys’ intensity dropped during the third game, but again the interplay and teamwork across the squad allowed them to grind out the victory, two tries to nil.
Unbeaten after five games and topping both the first stage and second stage pools meant the boys were through to the “Cup” final, against the Cambridge side they had narrowly beaten earlier.
Nervous Coaches and Parents, hoping that the boys would get the result they so deserved, anxiously watched from the touchline as the referee blew the whistle to get the final underway. The boys however, were made of sterner stuff, giving another 100% effort for the last ten minutes. Injuries and fatigue meant “emptying the bench” over the course of the game, but the boys saved their best ‘til last, producing a dominant display and running out victorious, four tries to nil.
The reward for the boys was to parade around the pitch and be presented with the “Cup” and medals at half-time during the European Champions Cup game between Saints and Saracens. For the Coaches and Parents, feelings of overwhelming pride and joy had replaced the nerves and anxiety. “Come on you Buzzards!”