Match Report
Bilton Grange Boys-U12A vs  Oundle School
On: Wednesday, 06 Nov 2019
Venue: Away

Arriving late from a long journey was not the best preparation. Lukas Armstrong brilliantly fielded the kick-off but was isolated. As a result, he was quickly dispossessed and Oundle opened the scoring following a couple of slick passes. BG’s tackling was poor and there appeared to be little passion form our boys. It was looking like it was going to be as frustrating as England’s efforts at the weekend. However, BG began to wake up and some brilliant rucking from the forwards saw Icess Ng power over. This seemed to inspire the boys and Peter Ni was on hand to receive a stylish offload from Toby Lucas and we took the lead. Oundle still looked like the better side and were constantly making threatening forays into our half only to be thwarted be some desperate tackles from players such as Nithin Moodley and Jacobo Fernandez Vigil. Most of the pressure was coming from Oundle but some brilliant stealing of the ball by Willoughby Steel on the halfway line allowed the ball to be quickly spun to Henry Miller who hit the pass at speed and ran the thirty metres to score. Unfortunately, our hosts picked themselves up and scored another three tries. BG were trailing 20 – 15 at half time.

BG were first to score after the turnaround with Henry Miller really beginning to use (and believe in) his power and strength. There was lots of toing and froing with possession being swapped all the time between the sides. Zak Neves made some runs forwards, Danny Robinson Zhang worked well in both attack and defence in his new role at fly half and Marc Solans was always on hand to support, ruck and make some very important tackles. Icess Ng, Toby Lucas and Jacobo Fernandez Vigil worked tirelessly as they continued to effectively ruck – protecting and picking to help keep the ball. They were very ably supported by our very Faf de Coates (Calvin) who had his best passing and tackling performance of the season. Peter Ni showed his strength in counter rucking and this helped us regain possession. Unfortunately, Oundle had a couple of key players who exploited our defensive ‘bunch’. Their hand-off was too strong for many of our boys who went too high into the tackle. Oundle took the score to 30 – 20. Once again, though, the BG U12 A were not going to give up. Martin Kosmo really shone as he made valuable metres with his elusive running. In addition, he stepped up his defensive game in this match. One of the highlights was Martin chasing back forty metres to catch a certain try scorer. Greater pressure on the opponents meant they kicked more and Nithin Moodley demonstrated why he is an excellent full back – catching with confidence and taking the ball back to the oppositon. It was great to witness the sense of pride from the BG boys and it was Henry Miller who secured his hatrick to edge us back in with a shout. Unfortunately, the scrap went on without further score and Oundle took the game 30 – 25.

Everyone in the team really stepped up their performances today and player of the match could have gone to any one of the boys. However, it was Jacobo Fernandez Vigil who really put the effort in and was the most consistent. Despite being a novice to the sport, he was unrelenting with and without the ball and contributed massively to the team’s success this afternoon. Furthermore, the big hits (not singular!) of the match went to the incredible tackles of Icess Ng. He was like an exocet missile as he smashed their players to the ground on a number of occasions. The Oundle coaching staff commented on how this was the best tackling he had ever seen at this level – well done, Icess! Their teachers also remarked about how we were first to the ball at breakdowns and this meant that we controlled the game well in this area.

For me, the potential of this team is great and today’s fixture, despite the hesitant start, saw each boy play their best match so far. However, at present, our gameplay is far too individual. Although there have been snippets of excellent teamwork, our downfalls have been through lack of cohesion – real teamwork! This needs to come from the boys listening better – to me and to each other! Parents, please have a word in their ears…

Next match – Winchester House