Start as you mean to go on is definitely a phrase I like to adhere by in my work, and that’s exactly the attitude our under-16s side, the Odin’s Warriors, took into their first match of the season last Sunday.
Our first junior fixture of the season was by no means an easy start, with visitors Pocklington reaching the Yorkshire Bowl final last year, knocking our under-16s out in the process.
However, a very intensive pre-season led well by Colin Davies and Ian Evans, meant our side were fast out of the blocks and didn’t look back.
I was fortunate enough to watch parts of the game in which I saw some of the best attacking rugby I’ve seen since I moved to Scarborough.
I’m a big believer in the saying ‘the best form of defence is attack’ and it was nice to see such a youthful side not taking their foot off the pedal when they went ahead, instead scoring try after try after try, eventually coming out 58-10 winners.
All over the pitch were very strong performances.
On the rare occasion Pocklington had possession, Ben Minghella, Jonty Holloway and Reece Corney continuously threw themselves into tackles which more often than not, halted the attack in its path.
Kevin Williams looked very strong in the centres, scoring a hat-trick, and the flying Tom Anderson (as always!) found it easy to get on the score-sheet too.
Other notable performances came from Tom Evans who controlled the tempo of the game well, Lewis Ward who kicked well throughout, and Euan Govier – who proved to be a real presence on the pitch.
This side will face Darlington Mowden Park at home next weekend which will be another tough test, but as things stand I’m confident this side will go far in the Yorkshire Cup this season.
This coming Saturday will see the Active Youth mascot of the week programme return to Silver Royd.
For each first team home fixture, one lucky player from our minis set up will be selected to lead our first team onto the pitch – as well a receiving a few little gifts on the day.
The scheme was a huge hit last year, creating a link between the younger and older teams in the club.
It was also a really nice way to reward the younger ones that work hard and are a pleasure to coach.
This week the mascot will be James Rodgers, who has started really well for our under-sevens.
Moving onto an exciting development at the club.
Junior girls rugby was started last year following the success of our senior ladies side, the Valkyries.
Girls have always been welcome to play at the club from the age of four up to under-12, as at these ages, rugby is a mixed sport.
However, in the past we have been unable to offer junior girls (under-13s to under-17s) the chance to continue their development in the sport.
Fortunately, we were in a position to halt this trend last year and formed an under-13s side.
For this season, the club has again made another positive step forward and now offers junior age groups at under-13s and under-15s, which means all girls from the age of 11 to 15 can play in one of these two sides.
I’m also delighted to announce that Rob Hazledine, will be helping me to coach the junior girls during the season.
Rob has been a key part of the club for a number of years, coaching the senior men’s second team as well as being an active part of our coaching team in the younger age groups.
He also runs an after school rugby club at St Martin’s School, so his help this year will be a huge boost.
Finally, it gives me great pleasure to tell you that I’ll be hosting junior girls inter school rugby tournaments for the first time either side of Christmas.
All secondary schools will be invited to these and they will be relatively flexible in their structure.
As I know contact can put off girls from trying the sport, these tournaments will be a choice of tag, transitional contact, and full contact to the teams that arrive on the day.
Hopefully this means that those that want to play full contact rugby can, and those that don’t feel no pressure to.
Thanks for reading