NLD U16s v Staffordshire U16s
Match report by Adrian Taylor
Sunday 20th January 2019
The U16’s first proper fixture saw them take on Staffordshire at Derby RFC on the new all-weather pitch. Luckily the drizzle in the air on arrival soon stopped and the match was played in still, dry, over-cast conditions.
NLD started brightly, recycling quick ball for the backs, but Staffs took control for most of the first half keeping NLD pinned in their own 22. Then, at about 25 minutes in, Roman Priestley-Nangle broke out of our half with a massy run taking him to within yards of the Staffs line. A great tackle prevented him scoring, but quick ball resulted in a George Park taking the ball in space to open the scoring. The conversion went over and against the run of play NLD led 7-0.
Soon after, the backs, with confidence growing put a flowing move together with Ethan Heath-Drury cutting back inside to score, not converted. Half-time saw NLD leading 12-0, which in no way reflected the amount of possession Staffs had.
Following a good team chat at half time the second half saw more direct running from NLD putting pressure on the Staffs defence and this resulted in a loose kick being taken by our winger who ran it straight back, and with quick ball being sent wide to the other wing, Daniel Stokes scored an unconverted try.
With heads up, NLD kept up the pressure, and with the penalty count rising for Staffs, a penalty kicked perfectly into the corner led to a clean lineout drive being set up but Staffs, to their credit, stopped the drive perfectly, but NLD rolled off and fed quick ball to our 10 who chipped through for Cormac Calnan to touch down almost under the posts, making an easy conversion.
Not to be out done, Staffs came back at NLD well and a great passing move saw them score their first converted try.
Growing in confidence, Staffs started to run the ball, but a missed pass saw Josh Clarke gather the loose ball and run through to score a converted try under the posts.
With time running out NLD keep up the pressure and scored the final try of the match in the corner with Jack Hinks picking up from the base of a 5 metre scrum and again quick ball saw Ben Hart dive over to score.
Final score NLD 36 Staffs 7
Big thank you to our hosts Derby RFC, and the Referee and his assistants from NLDRFURS.
Next fixture is on Sunday 3rd February at Derby RFC; 2pm KO against Eastern Counties, on the new all-weather pitch.