Unbeaten - and tired out
Mid-March 2009 and a crack bunch of rugby players entered Cornwall to play four games in two days.
Mid-March 2009 and a crack bunch of rugby players entered Cornwall to play four games in two days. If you require a team to do this, and remain undefeated, then you can call the 'A' team - Sidmouth RFC under-14s.Right from the start, a packed and meticulous plan was laid by the U14s co-ordinator and tour organiser, Janet Male, who, in another life, could have been an army commandant. The intended plan was to ensure the boys had no energy left to run riot in the hotel overnight.Saturday started off with not so much of tri-nations but tri-counties. Hosted by Newquay, Sidmouth should have been playing two Cornish teams, Newquay and Penzance, but Penzance pulled out at short notice. However, our none-to-distant friends at Bridport, who were also touring, took up the challenge to make it a Cornwall, Devon and Dorset tri-counties.The A team not only came through with flying colours but their defence took in their stride any attack, while their blitzkrieg attack totally overwhelmed the opposition. Winning their first game against the hosts, Newquay, 19-0.With only a ten minute break, the same momentum was carried on in the second game where the Dorset touring team were also put to the sword with another A team win 17-0.After the normal formalities and the thanking of the host team, which was well appreciated, the boys were then route-marched into the gym for two hours of five-aside football and wall climbing, which was great fun and enjoyed by the boys. This allowed the Mums to visit the town while the Dads stayed at the Newquay RFC club house to show their appreciation by adding finance across the bar.Not content with two games, five-aside football and wall climbing, Janet then marched everyone back to the hotel, before taking the boys down to the beach for a spot of fresh air and exercise!They were then allowed a full hour off before the evening meal followed by Ten-pin bowling.Sunday morning, after breakfast and departing the hotel, a short 40 minute drive brought the side to new hosts, St Austell, where rivals were two Cornish teams, St Austell and Truro. The A team had a look of battle-hardened troops in need of a lie in. However, pulling on the club shirts and punching their chests they set to their task of giving no quarter. The first match of the day saw Sidmouth take on hosts St Austell. Things were much as the day before and the A team were again victorious, 19-0.The second match was a much-needed rest, which saw Truro take apart a demoralised St Austell, setting up the hardest task of the weekend with Truro feeling confident.Sidmouth pulled hard on their boot laces and their inherited stamina, shown by their parents over the last two nights in the hotel bar, for the bragging rights over cream teas or pasties.Again the Sid forwards' attack on the opposition was monumental; releasing their backs to probe again and again at what was a very good Truro defence. Frantic Truro defence somehow managed to deny Sidmouth just desserts, until a speedy and well-executed move from the backs put them in for a 5-0 half-time lead.Energy levels at critical show just how much it means to these boys. They went out in the second half and took it to Truro. With 70 per cent of the second half being played in the Truro 22. Normally the scores would have come, but exhaustion played its part in Sidmouth being able to finish off, and allowed a speedy Truro player to run the length of the field to tie the game 5-5.All in all, a great tour, well-organised by Janet Male, well-supported by all the players' parents.