Alton Rugby Football Club

U11's Show Great Spirit at Land Rover Cup

U11 Land Rover Cup Squad 2014
U11 Land Rover Cup Squad 2014


On Saturday, we put out a team to compete for the honour of representing London Irish in the Land Rover Cup.
The team played four matches with, to be honest, mixed results. First match up we played Fawley in what turned out to be a very one sided game, strong running with ball in hand, combined with determined tackling, rucking and mauling set up a convincing 6-0 victory.
We then literally walked from one pitch to the other to face Maidenhead Blacks. I think it’s fair to say that we were given a bit of a lesson. They were quicker to the ball, tackled, rucked and mauled harder and better than any team I have seen us play. All in all it was a bit of a shock to the system and we went down 5-0. We played two further games losing out on both occasions to teams who, although played well, by no means out classed us. I’m not going to spend any time analysing what went well or badly or single out any player’s performances. We play this game as a team and on the whole we played really well, we showed commitment and determination which we should all be very proud of and which, on a different day, would have seen results that could, and probably would have been very different, as coaches we know what we need to work/build on and we’ll do that over the coming season.
One area I am going to spend a little time on is the spirt in which we, as a team, both on and off the field, play and watch the game. As Greg explained in his excellent letter to the team last week, The Spirit of Rugby is a set of values which is central to our game, these values set our game apart from other sports, as a famous referee once said ‘this is not soccer’.
Both our club and we, as a coaching team, feel very strongly about promoting and encouraging these values in you and we must have done a reasonable job, because, on Saturday, Sam and I were immensely proud to discover that Alton U11’s had been awarded both the team and individual Land Rover Cup Spirit of Rugby Awards.  This award goes far beyond the trophy and tackle bags we were given, although they will be put to good use, this award lets everyone else at the tournament know what sort of people we are and how we play and watch the game.  I was enormously pleased for Luke, who was awarded the individual trophy. We all know that he lives and breathes rugby; I’m pretty sure if you cut him in half it would say RUGBY all the way through him. He’s a big guy who sometimes gets unfairly penalised by referees who misinterpret his strong determined running as foul play, so it’s fantastic to see him recognised for his commitment.
All in all despite the results, we had a great day, we showed commitment, determination and skill on the pitch, playing U11’s rugby as it’s meant to be played, we watched and supported with passion and enthusiasm, we treated the other players, coaches and officials with respect, we should all be very proud… I know I am.

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