Biggleswade U13s found themselves in the unfamiliar position of outnumbering the opposition for their away fixture to Rushden and Higham at the weekend.
All 14 squad members turned out despite the wind and rain forecast for Sunday morning and so were able to help out the home team by lending them players for each quarter of the match. It is a credit to the players that they did this in good grace and put as much effort in for Rushden as they would for Biggleswade (there was no way Josh was going to let his mate Aaron through the defensive line!). It was Aaron, however, who did open the try scoring - inside-centre Jack took the ball forward into the opposition half and then gave a switch pass to outside-centre Aaron, who showed great determination to break through tackles and reach the try line. This score was quickly followed by another when Jack again made good ground before releasing Logan into space for his first try in his first game for the club.
Biggleswade maybe got a little complacent having scored the first two tries because poor tackling on the Biggy right allowed Rushden in for two preventable tries.
Front row forwards Henry B, Harry and Fin were having a great time in the scrum, so much so the referee had to stop them from driving their opponents too far back for safety reasons. It was from one such scrum that Spencer fired out a pass to Jack, who burst through the defence to put Biggy back into the lead. Biggy were soon back in the Rushden half when Ashton launched a kick into orbit, the full-back knocked-on and, from the resulting scrum, Spencer spun the ball out to Dylan who spotted a gap in the defence and scurried over untouched for another try to Biggy.
Rushden put pressure on the Biggy line in the second half only for some heroic defence from Josh, Dylan and Henry E to hold the ball and the player up over the try line. Daring play from the U13s saw them run the ball back at Rushden from their own line – the risk paid off when Ashton burst through the defence and ran the length of the field (the last 5 metres with players hanging off him) to score a great individual try.
The team are always encouraged to try something new and so, after impressive rucking from Duncan, quick ball for the backs allowed Dylan time to try a chip kick over the defence and into space - the kick was followed up by Donncha who leapt highest to claim the catch and continue moving forward. It was Donncha who scored the next try after a driving run and offload from Josh to put Alfie into space. He made good progress down the right with support from Fin and from the breakdown the ball was popped up to Donncha who skipped past three tacklers and swan-dived over the line.
The team were looking more confident by the minute, typified by a switch move between Dylan and Ashton who released the ball to Alfie to make great ground down the right. Rushden hit back with two tries of their own before Ashton scored his second try of the match, thanks to a strong run from Aaron. He then showed great determination to score again to complete his hat-trick.
At 8-4 down in the final quarter of the game Rushden didn’t give up and exploited a disorganised Biggy defence to create an overlap on the right, and some good passing saw the ball reach the winger to score. This exact same tactic was used twice more with Biggy failing to learn from their mistakes.
Biggleswade did hold on, however, to run out winners 8 tries to 7 in a hard-fought game which kept U13s physio Tamsin busy all morning.
Man of the match went to Logan for hard tackling, strong running and a try on his debut.
Training next week will concentrate on defensive and attacking positioning followed by a match in two weeks’ time.