The NLD U18 squad to face Leicestershire in Super Sunday at Broadstreet RFC this Sunday 3rd December, has been announced.
All players should arrive at 11am for a 12.30pm kick off, a shirt & tie will be required for after the game.
There will be a minutes silence before each of the games on the day in memory of Max Hubbard who sadly passed away this week and any support for the squad will be much appreciated.
NLD U18’s v WARWICKSHIRE U18’s00
SUPER SUNDAY – HINCKLEY RFC
SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER 2017
In glorious Autumn conditions, the NLD Squad assembled for their first outing in the Midlands 2017 campaign at Hinckley RFC.
Playing in the last game of the day, NLD kicked off with the wind in their favour and made immediate yardage into Warwickshire territory. From a loose defensive clearance, NLD were able to work the ball to the left wing and then, following good work by the pack to drive into the Warwicks 22, Will Harding-Terry made a strong break on the right almost to the try line. With quick ball from the ruck by Harry Jenkins at Scrum Half, Alex Henderson scooped the ball off his toes and, with players still to beat, crashed over for the first score. Less than two minutes in, and NLD were 5-0 up.
The conversion was missed.
From the restart, good line speed from the NLD defence pushed Warwickshire back only for poor numbering up and tackling to allow the Warwicks Fly Half to step through the gap and feed his Centre partner for what looked like a walk in try.
Fortunately, the Referee had spotted a forward pass and NLD were momentarily reprieved. From the resulting scrum, the NLD pack showed strength and stability to produce quality ball for the Scrum Half and Oscar Malik at Fly Half was able to clear his lines with a good kick to touch.
NLD dominance in the scrum was a feature throughout the game with the Forwards giving notice that this dominance would continue in the set piece. Phase ball off the lineout saw NLD make forward progress until they were penalised for going off feet in a ruck.
Will Peakman demonstrated that he was to be a thorn in Warwicks side all afternoon when he executed the first of many steals at the set piece giving NLD the opportunity to clear their lines once more.
Failing to look after the ball, led to possession being gifted back by a poor kick through which was followed by a strong run from the big Warwicks Full Back. The NLD defence were slow to spot the numerical advantage on the Warwicks right and, despite their best efforts to spoil the opportunity, the opposition did find a way through to level the score at 5-5.
The try went unconverted.
Following a good catch from Will Peakman from the restart and a penalty, NLD kicked to the corner for another lineout. From the ensuing maul, the pack showed good strength and technique but were held up over the line.
Unfortunately, the Referee then penalised the NLD forwards for an early push and they were fortunate to get possession back when the kick failed to find touch. From the catch, Alex Henderson opened play up to bring Josh Beavis in from Full Back and his rangy running made good yardage into the Warwicks half. From spilled ball in the ruck, Warwicks were able to spin the ball wide and make ground into NLD territory following a couple of missed tackles and only a strong intervention by Josh Beavis halted the progress.
NLD were penalised again, following more missed tackles, for not moving away and were only saved from a further Warwicks score by poor handling and a knock-on.
Following more midfield melees, NLD allowed Warwicks to score against the run of play. A lack of accuracy at the breakdown led to a pass not going to hand. From the interception, NLD were unable to reorganise quickly enough defensively and Warwicks ran through the empty spaces on their right to score.
The missed conversion meant the score was 5-10 after 20 minutes.
There followed a further period of midfield tussling with some strong carries by Jordan Butcher at Prop without much progress being made. Eventually, NLD again found a good touch from a penalty and from the commanding lineout, the Forwards made good ground with play stretching across the pitch to the far side. With the pack working hard round the corner to keep the phases going, the Warwicks side became stretched defensively. Once the ball was spun wider, Will Harding-Terry proved too strong in the midfield and a determined run brushed aside the defenders for a score under the posts.
Oscar Malik converted to make it 12-10.
As Half Time approached, NLD showed a lack of composure when, following a quickly taken penalty, possession was kicked away. From the turnover ball, Warwicks showed good handling skills and, again, taking advantage of a disorganised defence, they were able to run in another try.
The missed conversion brought the score to 12-15.
Disjointed play from the restart saw NLD recover possession following a kick which Josh Beavis returned well into the Warwicks 22. From the breakdown, a looped pass left Alex Henderson still with three men to beat. With deft footwork, Alex stepped inside the lateral rush defence to score in the corner.
The conversion was missed and the Half Time score was 17-15.
From the restart, Warwicks showed an increased tempo to their play and, again, punched holes in the defensive gaps. Play moved wide following a breakdown and the winger was able to score in the corner.
A great touchline conversion brought the score to 17-22.
From a scrum, Warwicks were penalised and NLD then kicked away good possession which eventually resulted in a lineout. Strong running from Will Harding-Terry took play into the opposition half only for a knock-on followed by a penalty to gift possession back to Warwicks. Despite a great tackle from Ed Cox in midfield, NLD were penalised for not being 10 metres and the team seemed to have a disorganised look to it.
Great turnover work from Aidan Butler was spoiled with a further knock-on followed by a penalty for off-side. From the penalty and lineout good work from the pack resulted in a scrum to NLD from a held up maul and then a scrambled kick to touch.
The Warwicks side had clearly upped the intensity of their game in the Second Half and through continued pressure, despite some tenacious tackling from Ed Cox, George Ilincuta and Findlay Tweedie, they eventually forced the ball over the line in the corner for another try which was unconverted.
The kick-off was returned into the NLD half and another strong run by Josh Beavis took play back into the Warwicks half. Good continuity from the Forwards and a strong run from Lewis Booth at Hooker led to a penalty for off-side.
NLD opted for the scrum from which Warwick Waudby at No. 8 made a powerful surge, supported by his other back row players. Warwicks infringed again with a high tackle and from the advantage play, skipper Will Ellison extended an octopus –like arm to dot down from the back of the ruck.
With the conversion missed, the score stood at 22-27 with about 17 minutes to play.
From the restart a phase of scrappy play resulted in a knock-on and scrum down with an NLD put in.
Patient phase play by the pack eventually created some space out wide and a good line break by Logan Watt and George Ilincuta saw Ed Cox float a pass to Adam Hopkins. The Winger used good footwork to make ground and he was able to get a pass away to his fellow Winger , Alex Henderson, on the outside.
Subsequent rucks produced quick ball only for NLD to knock-on from good position about 10 metres out. From the advantage play, Warwicks kicked deep into the NLD half and, despite Adam Hopkins running the ball back, the ensuing breakdown provided the Warwicks forwards with an opportunity to turn the ball over. The NLD pack was a little slow in regrouping allowing Warwicks to win the ball.
Only strong tackling from Findlay Tweedie followed by a great turnover by Ed Cox, winning a penalty, prevented Warwicks making further inroads into the NLD 22.
From the lineout, again won by Will Ellison, the ball was played wide giving Will Helliwell a rare opportunity to step outside the defender and take play into the Warwicks half. From the ruck, Warwick Waudby and then Will Harding-Terry again carried strongly before Warwicks were penalised for a late tackle.
Will Heliwell found a good touch and from the lineout a good catch from Ben Henson allowed George Ilincuta to peel off the back towards the Warwicks line, although he was stopped short. Strong rucking provided Findlay Tweedie at Scrum Half with quality ball and his long missed pass opened up the spaces in the midfield.
Strong tackling from the Warwicks defence forced NLD to play laterally and then Warwick Waudby made another strong blindside break carrying almost to the 5 metre line. NLD were applying huge pressure by now and dominating play as defenders tired towards the end of the game.
Following a strong burst by Ed Cox followed by a pick and go by the same player, NLD were able to again threaten the Warwicks try line. Only determined defence by the Red and White players prevented a score when they held up Will Harding-Terry over the line.
From the ensuing scrum, the pack once more demonstrated its dominance in the set piece to produce good ball only for the final pass to get knocked-on just short.
Warwicks chose to kick from the breakdown and Josh Beavis once more identified the space and ran the ball back at the defence. From the ruck, Will Helliwell took a great short pass inside to break through beyond the gainline well into the Warwicks 22.
With continued pressure going forward at the rucks, NLD were rewarded as the Warwicks defence again conceded a penalty in their own 22. No advantage accrued and NLD opted to scrum only to receive another penalty as the Warwicks scrum transgressed again. Opting to kick to touch this time, NLD won the lineout yet again through Ed Cox and after a succession of rucks, Findlay Tweedie sniped around the edges only to be stopped short about 2 metres out.
Inevitably, the unrelenting pressure told on the defence and it was skipper Will Ellison who burst over the line from one final ruck to score and take NLD into the lead. As the conversion was added, the score read 29-27 to NLD with about 3 minutes to play.
Eager to recover the two point deficit, Warwicks found themselves in front of the kicker at the restart resulting in a scrum to NLD on halfway which relieved the immediate pressure. With a couple of minutes remaining, sensible play by the Blues and Whites would surely see them home with a victory.
Patient exit from their own half should have run the clock down. Unfortunately, in an effort to force another score, NLD knocked-on in the Warwicks 22 giving precious possession back to the opposition in the final minute. Choosing to play with the advantage, Warwicks, to their credit put the balls through hands close to their own try line and were rewarded with a great break from the Blindside Flanker evading numerous tackles to run the ball well into NLD territory.
Playing patiently through the phases taking play into midfield, Warwicks were awarded a penalty over on the right as the NLD defender failed to move away. From the tap, NLD failed to retreat 10 metres which gifted the opposition a penalty less than 8 metres out and no more than 2 metres to the right of the posts.
Despite the domination shown throughout the game by the NLD in many areas including the scrum and lineout, a lapse of concentration and discipline seemed destined to cost them victory as the Warwicks Fly Half teed up the ball. This would be the final play of the game and surely NLD would come up short by a single point.
However, such is the pressure on these young players at representative level that the young Warwicks player pulled his kicked and NLD ran out victors with the final score at 29-27.
The players were rightly proud of the win and their performance, however, no-one is in any doubt that the squad has plenty of work to do if players are to make progress to Midlands selection. Nevertheless, a winning start and some stand out performances which will stand players in good stead when the selectors make their call towards the end of December.
Lee Slack – NLD U18 Manager
Following last night’s final training session prior to the commencement of the Midlands campaign, the NLD U18’s Squad for the first Super Sunday event has been announced.
The NLD team will be matched against Warwickshire U18’s at Hinckley RFC with the Kick-Off at 14:30 and supporters and family are encouraged to attend and cheer the players on.
Sunday saw the first outing for the NLD U18’s Squad before the start of the Midlands campaign. The traditional warm-up fixture was played in perfect conditions at Newark RUFC’s ground against Eastern Counties with a sizeable crowd in attendance hoping to see some attractive rugby from the NLD players.
In a match comprising 3 sessions; NLD started brightly, however, there were too many basic errors in the opening minutes and the Eastern Counties side capitalised on spilled ball to pressurise the NLD 22.
It was testament to the scramble defence within the NLD’s own Red Zone that Eastern Counties were not able to take advantage of the possession gifted to them and the match remained pointless in the opening phases.
Max Hubbard, playing on the Wing for NLD, was the unfortunate victim of a stray boot as he was tackled while making a strong run forward. The collision resulted in a cheekbone injury and concussion, and a premature end to Max’s match.
Thankfully, there was no serious damage done and Max will follow the RFU’s Graduated Return To Play Protocols and should be available for the last two Super Sunday games.
Following the restart, NLD made several strong line breaks taking play into Eastern Counties territory only for basic errors to provide scraps of possession for the opposition which ultimately resulted in a try against the run of play. The conversion made the score 7-0.
At the end of the first session, the NLD Coaches challenged the players to identify what was causing the high error count. Any possession enjoyed by Eastern Counties had often come as a result of handling errors and poor execution combined with a lack of defensive cohesion.
From the outset in the second session, the NLD players demonstrated their ability to identify where errors were occurring and an understanding of how to remedy those issues. With greater accuracy and more direct running lines, the home side were soon level thanks to a score created from a great line cutting back through the Eastern Counties defence.
Solid scrummaging and competent lineout strategy provided a platform for much better quality possession. Through strong gain line breaking runs from the Forwards, combined with some quality handling and passing, the Backs were able to exploit the holes in the Eastern Counties defence and, to the delight of the home crowd; NLD crossed the line with two strong finishes on the wing under pressure to put the result beyond doubt.
The third session brought further changes in the line up and NLD scored further tries which extended their lead to a healthy 36-7. Although due credit should be given to the Eastern Counties squad who continued to pressurise the home defence and they were rewarded with two late tries as the NLD players began to tire towards the end of the fixture.
Final score 36-19. However, as the Coaches pointed out, it was the performances of a number of individuals that pleased most and which would provide most headaches for selection as the Squad approaches the first Super Sunday on 29 October.
Several notable absences on Sunday provided opportunities for other players to step up and challenge for inclusion and their performance on the day informs the Coaching team that there is genuine competition for places in almost every position.
All in all, the match provided a useful opportunity for the NLD Coaches and the new Midlands Coach who was present to see the Squad perform as a group. The forthcoming training sessions will target the areas of weakness and should help to enhance the accuracy and execution of the players in preparation for the Midlands games coming up.
Match Report: Lee Slack
England Counties Midlands U18 Group are currently looking to fill two Coaching positions within the set up.
For more information please see the below job descriptions.
The closing date for both applications is 7th July 2017.
East Mids U17’s 5 v 21 NLD U17’s
The NLD U17’s squad travelled to Stewarts & Lloyds RFC last week in Corby to play the final warm-up game of the campaign.
Having won a very close game in the previous encounter at Newark, the NLD players were keen to finish the season on a high by making it two victories in succession.
A torrid rain storm prior to the match meant that the conditions underfoot would be slippery as would the ball, making handling more of a challenge. Faced by a strong and powerfully built East Mids squad determined to level the score, the evening was always going to present a hard physical challenge and the NLD players demonstrated they were more than up to the task.
Kicking downhill, NLD showed much improvement in their defensive organisation and denied East Midlands territory. Having experienced the effective breakdown work performed by the East Midlands team during the encounter at Newark, the forwards showed much greater awareness in this crucial area of contact.
Supporting the ball carrier much more effectively produced quicker ball which provided Harry Jenkins and Charlie Johnson the opportunity to stretch the home side’s defence. Playing on a wide pitch against much larger opposition in many cases, the NLD players were aware that shipping the ball into the wider channels was likely to bring greater reward than getting involved in an arm-wrestling contest in midfield and so it proved.
Following good defensive work and attacking pressure, NLD won a lineout and, after strong ball carrying from the pack, notably Ed Cox at 6, several phases resulted in quick ball from the ruck. Will Helliwell at 12 delayed the pass and, while Max Hubbard on the wing fixed the defender by staying in the wide channel, Josh Beavis was able to hit the gap at pace to finish near the posts.
The try was converted by Will Helliwell.
The following few minutes saw East Mids enjoy good possession only for the well organised NLD defence to force handling errors with good line speed and strong tackling. Pressure on the East Mids ball carrier in the home 22 led to the ball being spilled and Will Leech at 10 made a sniping run towards the line.
A fine tackle brought the NLD player up short, however, Matt Mallinson following up was able to hack the ball through and dot down for the second try.
Will Leech converted.
Despite numerous changes during the second and third period, NLD maintained their continuity and concentration making it increasingly difficult for the East Mids ball carriers to make significant inroads into NLD territory. Strong tackling and great work in the breakdown imposed pressure on the East Mids possession and was rewarded with a number of knock-ons.
Distribution from the base of the scrum and ruck continued to provide quality ball in midfield and both Harry Jenkins and Findlay Tweedie showed a range of skills instructing the pack and organising defence.
Into the third period, East Mids enjoyed their longest period of possession and only organised and tight defensive work by NLD prevented them making territorial inroads. Following multiple phases from the East Mids pack, the ball went wide and a strong tackle from Jasper Nilsson resulted in turnover ball and, ultimately, a knock-on by East Mids.
From the ensuing scrum, Will Leech made to pass into midfield before stepping inside and accelerating through the defensive dogleg. Intelligent support from Nilsson gave Leech an easy offload for the centre to score under the posts.
Will Leech converted.
East Mids showed great character and resilience despite being on the wrong end of the scoreline and were rewarded for their unstinting efforts with a try following a spilt ball in the final minutes.
All in all a compelling game of rugby which was a pleasure for the large crowd of supporters to witness.
Will Ellison and Joe Fitzsimons in the Second Row were willing ball carriers all evening along with the hard working Will Peakman playing at Open Side. Ed Cox and Warwick Waudby provided plenty of ‘go forward’ and that momentum continued with the introduction of Ben Henson and Ben Jackson.
Special mention should go to the Front Row players who worked tirelessly despite having little in the way of replacements. Hookers Conor White and Lewis Booth impressed with their lineout throwing in difficult conditions while Logan Watt and Josh Peters continually defended the breakdown and spoiled East Mids possession.
Changes in the midfield saw Richard Norfolk and Jasper Nilsson replace the strong running and effective partnership of Will Helliwell and Will Harding-Terry. The line breaking ability of Richard Norfolk enabled the NLD to get beyond the gain line on multiple occasions and this inevitably caused problems for the East Mids defence.
Not an easy night for wingers but all NLD wide players showed a willingness to offer options in attack and were resolute in defence.
All in all, a satisfying conclusion to the U17’s programme and this performance demonstrated the potential within the squad to challenge competitively in the Midlands campaign later this year.
Following the Summer break, the Squad will reconvene, probably in September, and the U18’s programme will begin in earnest.
With the NLD U17’s programme almost complete, the Coaching and Management team have decided to reduce the number of players in the existing squad and a final training session has been arranged prior to the final warm-up game against East Midlands U17’s.
This training session and the additional game were not part of the original programme. It was requested by East Midlands following the cancellation of their fixture against Leicestershire. The NLD Coaching team were eager to accept the fixture as it will provide a further opportunity for players to stake a claim for a place in the final U18’s Squad.
It is acknowledged that the extra match falls within the Easter holidays and certain players may not be available to play. The Coaching and Management team understand the possibility of players being away over this period and can reassure those individuals affected that non-availability will not impact on potential selection for the final squad.
The final training session will take place on MONDAY 10 April 2017 at NEWARK RUFC.
Players are requested to arrive from 18:00 with a view to being ready to train at 18:30.
The match against East Midlands U17’s will take place on:
WEDNESDAY 12 APRIL 2017
STEWARTS & LLOYDS RFC
Players should be at the ground between 17:30-18:00 with kick-off scheduled for 19:30.
Food will be provided after the match.
ALL PLAYERS INCLUDED IN THE REVISED SQUAD BELOW ARE SELECTED FOR THE EAST MIDLANDS GAME.
AS USUAL, ANYONE WHO IS INJURED OR UNAVAILABLE SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CONTACT THE SQUAD MANAGER (LEE SLACK) AT: [email protected]
NLD U17’s Squad
After the training session at Southwell last night, the following players have been selected for the NLD U17’s Squad to play East Midlands U17’s on Sunday 02 April.
THE MATCH WILL BE PLAYED AT NEWARK RUFC WITH KICK-OFF AT 14:15. PLAYERS ARE REQUESTED TO BE AT THE GROUND FOR 12:45.
PLAYING SHIRTS WILL BE PROVIDED, HOWEVER, PLAYERS ARE REMINDED TO BRING THEIR OWN CLUB/SCHOOL SOCKS AND SHORTS.
A meal will be provided for players after the match.
This match completes the U17’s programme and, following the game, the Coaching team will examine the performances of players across the enlarged squad over recent weeks with a view to rationalising numbers down to a final squad of around 35 players.
These players will form the NLD U18’s Squad which will reconvene around the end of August prior to challenging in the Midlands competition.
As usual, in the event of injury or unavailability, players are reminded that it is their responsibility to contact the Squad Manager (Lee Slack) at:
The following players have been selected to play in the U17’s warm-up game against Leicestershire U17’s tomorrow night (Wednesday 22 March 2017) at NEWARK RFC.
Kick-off will be 19:30 and players are asked to arrive at the ground for 18:15.
The match will probably consist of 3 x 20 minute games in order to provide as many players as possible with an opportunity to press for inclusion in the final squad.
PLAYERS WILL BE PROVIDED WITH NLD SHIRTS, HOWEVER, THEY SHOULD BRING SCHOOL/CLUB SHORTS AND SOCKS AS THIS IS NOT A REPRESENTATIVE GAME.
Food will be provided after the game but players are reminded to make sure they have enough fluids to keep hydrated.
If anyone has problems with injury or unavailability, they should contact the Squad Manager (Lee Slack) urgently at:
NLD U17’s SQUAD
Due to the heavy rainfall yesterday, the pitches at NEWARK RFC have been declared unplayable.
Consequently, the session planned for this evening (Monday 06 March) has been CANCELLED.
The next session will be on MONDAY 13 MARCH at SOUTHWELL RFC. Players are asked to register from 18:00 and be ready to train by 18:30.
As usual, if anyone has any questions regarding the above, please contact Squad Manager, Lee Slack, at: