Saffron Walden RUFC U16 7 v Bury St Edmunds RUFC U16 7
By Kirk Bonas
On a seasonally wet and windy Sunday the team travelled to newly crowned Cambridgeshire champions Saffron Walden, two previous encounters had led to a win apiece, therefore a good game was expected. From the kick off it was clear that conditions would favour Saffron Walden in the first half, with the strong wind assisting territorial kicking and making it difficult for the team to exit. Yet, excellent defence and positive running in attack restricted scoring opportunities for the initial part of the half and even though Saffron Walden did eventually score, to lead 7-0 at the break, chances had been created by the team including once placing the ball past the try line, only for it to be ruled out for a double movement.
With the game still very much in the balance the team kicked off the second half with the wind on their backs. Resolute defending by both teams cancelled out attacks, strong running was met with equally strong tackling, however eventually accurate kicking began to force Saffron Walden back. From a set piece in their own 22m, excellent line speed and a strong tackle on the opposition 10 provided the team with turn over ball and this time they were not to be denied, securing a converted try. For the remainder of the encounter the game ebbed and flowed, with neither team being able to secure the all important next points. Final score, 7-7.
Therefore, following three excellent encounters, it was fittingly honours even between Saffron Walden and the team. Today was testament to the hard work put in on the practice field, our best defensive performance of the season restricting the powerful and elusive Saffron Walden attack to only one score. Everyone played with the intensity and purpose desired by the coaching team, yes, there is still room for improvement with decision making and use of voices (at the correct time!), however it is evident how much everyone wants to progress and play for each other, you should be exceptionally proud of your efforts.
Thanks to Saffron Walden for being fantastic hosts, providing a memorable series of games where no quarter was given by either side. Special thanks to all the supporters who travelled and braved the inclement weather, hopefully you were rewarded sufficiently by the excellent performance? Next week will see the team travelling into Norfolk to face West Norfolk.