Words from Steve Taplin
Royston were first up. With energy levels high on both sides for the opening game, the match was marked out by a super-charged Charlie who navigated the opponent’s packed defensive line, popping out of the crowd regularly to run the ball home. The result always seemed to be in Watford’s hands.
After a break in the schedule for the lads, there were early scares in the Round 3 Harpenden game as some quick tries by the opposition put the result under pressure for our boys. This was a game for the tanks in the team. With James an irresistible force with the ball and Liam an immovable object, the lads battered their way back into the game. Running in tries and drawing in the opposition, the space was there for the team’s speed demons to capitalise with Junior starting what would be a rich vein of scores for the U8’s.
With their competitive spirit triggered in the previous match, it was poor Codicote that were next for the Watford treatment. With Dylan, James and Liam marshalling the defensive moments skillfully, the tries started to flow through Junior, Charlie and Alex; Dylan taking the occasionally break from his defensive duties to run home himself. It was in this game that we started to see a blur between tag and tackle. Alex battled in his defensive duties, jinked his way through the field to score, and discussed the finer points of tag rugby rules with the referee. The U8’s were up for this.
Next up, Chess Valley Harriers came with a reputation as a strong side and this was witnessed early on with some slick passing down the line. Watford had to defend well and some improved positioning without the ball, along with some heroic diving tags taken by Dylan, made life difficult for the Harriers despite all their good play. Watford, on the other hand, were clinical in attack. Following well-timed interceptions by Alex and speedy reactions from Charlie to turnover the ball for Watford, it was Alex and Junior who took the lion’s share of the spoils.
Another competitive game followed with OA Sharks. Starting to tire from the day’s exertions, Watford’s game was marked out by improved organisation. The defensive line was better set and Watford were starting to spread out more on their restart. James and Liam gave a masterclass in supporting the runner as they profited from second balls in backing up the forward surges from Alex, Dylan, Junior and Charlie.
Last up was Hitchin. With fatigue clearly setting in, Liam (the youngest in the group) showed great spirit to tap into his energy reserves and support the boys for one last hurrah. The tireless Junior, now running in at will, led the boys to a dominant display to finish the group.
Hot dogs were well earned. Well done Watford U8’s!!!