Cheshire U16’s  Versus  Staffordshire U16’s

Played at Crewe & Nantwich RFC – 24th February 2019

Cheshire versus Staffordshire has for many years been our final fixture of the season.  It has always been extremely competitive and played in the finest spirit of the game.  Cheshire kick off and immediately Staffordshire went on the attack.  The play in the first 15 minutes was to and froe’d between the 22’s.  Then Staffordshire picked up a gear exerting pressure on the Cheshire defense before a misguided pass went to ground which Cheshire fly hacked down into the Staffordshire half of the field resulting in a frantic chase.  A ruck ensued before an offside against Staffordshire gave Cheshire the first opportunity to score their first points.  The penalty was converted by Morgan Bagshaw.  Cheshire 3pts Staffordshire nil.  In the 17th minute, Cheshire were in the ascendancy and an excellent scrum against the head, on the Staffordshire 10m line, saw Lynch feed the ball Bagshaw who passes to inside centre Wadsworth who ran 40m to score and convert Cheshire’s first try.  Cheshire 10pts Staffs nil.  However in the 28th minute, the game was stopped for about 5 minutes when Staffordshire full back Noah Hulme took an injury.  The restart in the 33rd minute gave Staffordshire scrum advantage after a knock-on, on the right hand side of the field in the Cheshire 22m, which resulted in a clinical passing movement by Staffordshire to score in the left hand corner of the pitch, the conversion was brilliantly executed, by Joseph Byrne.  Cheshire 10pts Staffordshire 7pts.   Cheshire came back immediately through a Staffordshire handling error, knock on, winger Joel Thomas picks up the ball and sprints from his own 22m line to inside the oppositions 10m line, a ruck occurred which Cheshire cleared to pass the ball out, again, to Sam Wadsworth for him to score his second try of the game, Wadsworth converted.  Cheshire 17pts Staffs 7pts.  The referee blew the whistle for half time.

With both teams replacing their bench to ensure all players were given at least half a game the second half commenced with Cheshire receiving the kick off.  10 minutes lapsed before Staffordshire took the initiative to score their second try.  Cheshire 17pts Staffordshire 14pts, game on.  In the 20th minutes of the 2nd half Cheshire were awarded a penalty on the Staffordshire 22m line Wadsworth converts, Cheshire 20pts Staffs 14pts.  Cheshire were gaining in confidence and were camped on the oppositions 22m line, the pressure was on the Staffordshire defense.  Tom Manaton whips the ball down the line to his backs but in the frenzy to get over the gain line, the ball passed backwards goes to ground, winger Lucas Jackson turns to retrieve the ball, weighs up the defense before handing off the first defender and shows a clean pair of heels to score a well-executed try.  This was converted by Sam Wadsworth.  Cheshire 27pt Staffordshire 14pts.  In the 30th minute Cheshire had a lapse in concentration and made some basic errors which Staffordshire took advantage of to score in the corner.  The final result, Cheshire 27pts Staffordshire 19pts.

Scorers for Staffordshire were Oliver Powell, Will Baugh, Woody Pugh, one try each and Samuel Clarke and Joseph Byrne one conversion each.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to Head Coach Dave Connolly for all his hard work and commitment over the years at County under 15’s and 16’s age groups.  Dave has decided to take a sabbatical from County Coaching rugby and from all the players, management and the other coaches involved we wish him all the very best for the future.

Brendan Bailey.

Cheshire U16’s

Video of the game – follow the instructions below:

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 Staffordshire RFU U16s (GRN) v Cheshire U16s (WHT) 1st Half

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Staffordshire RFU U16s (GRN) v Cheshire U16s (WHT) 2nd Half

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