Alton Rugby Football Club

U11 Hampshire Champions

U11s storm to glory without conceding a try!

Hampshire Cup winning team
U11 Hampshire Cup Winners 2015


Back in November we took a team to the Landover Cup Festival at Reading Abbey. On that day, as coaches, we could not have been prouder to find our team recognised for the excellent sprit in which we play our rugby. Move the clock forward three and a half months to Sunday evening and again we find ourselves bursting with pride, and just a tiny bit of relief, as the team storm through the final match to become 2015 Under 11s Hampshire Champions.


Right from the off we knew there was something special about the day. The team had that feeling of quiet confidence, not showy or loud, but confident in their own ability, and the ability of their team mates. We went through our warm ups, a few passing drills, with not a ball dropped, then into some sharp work on the tackle bags. I think it was then that I knew we would have a great tournament; the boys were hitting the bags so hard, with such intensity, coaches from other teams came to watch. 
The intensity the boys showed in the warm up was carried straight on to the pitch for the pool games, from the first whistle to the last, they were first to everything, even when the other teams did get the ball we had them going backwards. We beat Tottonians 5 - 0,  Ellingham & Ringwood 4 - 0, Farnborough 3 - 0 and Fareham Heathens 2 - 0.
Having waited around for over two hours, our hard work and determination was rewarded with a semi-final against Petersfield. Playing on their own pitch, Petersfield must have felt they were in with a good chance of progressing to the final, but it wasn’t to be, they were completely out played by our boys.
Throughout the last few weeks we have talked at length to all the boys about playing as a team, each player concentrating on their own performance, doing their job whilst allowing others to do theirs, on Sunday we put this into practice like never before. We were first to everything, flying into rucks, ripping the ball in the mauls, turning the ball over again and again, before demonstrating to everyone, how running rugby should be played, time and again we got the ball out wide with such pace, Petersfield simply couldn’t hold us and we came out 5 - 0 winners.
And so on to the final. Despite being in ‘the group of death’ New Milton had come through their pool with some excellent wins, putting 6 past two of their opponents. Having finished their semi before us they came to watch ours, we wondered if it would help them to work us out, but not a bit of it. From the whistle we went right at them, their flare players hardly had the ball, when they did get it they had no time to do anything with it.  Strong direct running together with a bit of opportunism put us two up, ferocious defensive tackling kept us there. When the referee’s whistle finally blew all present recognised the best team won.
The boys really played as a team. Throughout the day we talked about the work they’d put in to get there, about the fact they were representing the whole squad, not just the boys there on the day, about the support they had received from their team mates and the fact they were representing Alton RFC. Within the team there was passion and a huge belief, they were confident and committed in everything they did and it really showed.
Winning the tournament, is impressive enough, but the way we won it, well that’s the real story, we played 6 matches, scored 21 tries, our defence was…  impenetrable.
In November we showed the rugby community, Alton U11s have great spirt, in March we showed them, we have the skills and commitment to match. Well done to the whole squad.

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