It was hinted that part of the problem with England’s lack of success in rugby on the international stage over the last 10 years is partly due to our age grade structure. That is, players are grouped by age, not by size or weight like systems seen in New Zealand. The idea behind this grouping is so that bigger and stronger players can’t solely rely on this advantage and that it would stop certain players being put off if they aren’t as heavy or strong as those they’re playing with. At Scarborough RUFC all coaches are determined to help all players reach their full potential, regardless of their age or weight, after all rugby is famed for its ability to offer something to anyone, no matter their shape or size. I certainly feel that both systems have their valid points, but the final call doesn’t lie with rugby clubs like our own, but more so with the RFU (rugby’s governing body in England). It will be interesting to see how this debate develops over time and if there are any changes in future years. On Saturday, Marley Pickard (pictured with captain Tom Ratcliffe) from our under-sixes was asked to be the mascot for the first team home game against Bradford & Bingley. Marley has done really well in recent weeks and fully deserved the accolade from his coaches. They had this to say: “Marley is always fair and polite when playing games. “If it’s a 50/50 call, he will always tell the truth even when it means he might not have scored a try, something that can be very rare in sport these days. “Marley is a good prospect, worth keeping an eye on. “He deserves praise for his commitment every week, not only does he put in a lot of effort, he listens well to the coaches and is supportive and encouraging to his team mates - all good attributes of a team player. “We have seen a gradual improvement in Marley’s ability and he always comes with a smile on his face and a positive attitude, well done Marley.”On Sunday our under-13s suffered a narrow loss to Doncaster, but put in a much improved performance from earlier on in the year, scoring three tries in the second half. The team is making phenomenal strides forward in the scrum, with it looking stronger every single week. Both Mark Hopper and Paul Mathers are doing a fantastic job nurturing the talent these players have and one player in particular seems to have found a new lease of life. Elliot Briggs has been one of the standout players in recent weeks. He plays with a lot of passion and bravery, often making crunching tackles and carrying the ball into contact strongly. He’s certainly come to life since the turn of the year and we’re all hopeful that he continues to develop in this way. Like Elliot, the side is certainly starting to gather momentum and will be looking to pick up a win against Pocklington this coming Sunday. Sunday saw a win for our under-14s & under-15s against a resilient side from Guisborough. Notable performances came from Zak Kirk and Sam Scott, but the man of the match accolade had to fall to Joe Fishburn, who managed to score a hat-trick in the first half alone. Joe has only just returned from a long-term injury but slotted back into the side with ease. He’s well liked amongst his peers and his leadership qualities and talent make this so understandable when he’s playing. Joe certainly has a big future at the club should he want it as there is certainly not anything holding him back. This Sunday coming the under-14s and under-15s will be looking to record back to back wins when they face Tamworth at home.While our junior girls sides (under-13s and under-15s) were taking on sides from East Yorkshire in a tournament at Malton, our under-16s fixture at Stockton was postponed and our under-17s lost out in a tough match against league leaders Moortown in the Yorkshire Cup. Both sides will be playing this weekend though, with our under-16s away at Guisborough and our under-17s playing Wetherby at home. Our junior girls teams will be taking a well earned rest and will return to training again on Monday evening.Last but not least, most of our minis section (under-sevens to under-12s) will be travelling to Bridlington this weekend for another set of matrix fixtures. Each age group has been training intensively for the last couple of weeks and we’re sure all the players will be excited to put their new skills into practice.
Thanks for reading,