Trojans U16's Chiefs v Farnborough, Plate 3/4th play off 15th April 2018
By Paul Datson
Convincing win for the U16's Chiefs in Plate Competition
Trojans 40 Farnborough 12
The Chiefs faced Farnborough in the 3rd place play-off, a team they hadn't played for a few years. Farnborough were runaway winners of League 2 so the boys were told not to be complacent. The thought of being ranked as low as 8 in the county was motivation enough. It was also their final competitive match as junior players and under myself as their coach.
Trojans started well and their aggressive defence pushed Farnborough backwards from half-way to their 22. The pressure told allowing Holden to intercept a pass and run unopposed to finish under the posts. Josh converted. To their credit Farnborough attacked with more intensity next time around and were soon close to the Chief's try line. A big tackle from Thomas kept out their main ball carrier, but the Farnborough forwards kept going and eventually earned a try. They converted to draw level at 7-7. Trojans knew they were in a game and found it difficult to contain a couple of the opposition backs. Phil made some good tackles and there was always cover. The Chiefs launched some attacks of their own, including one where the Fritz brothers, Waldo and Wian, exchanged passes out wide. Josh was applying himself well as an extra forward, getting involved in the breakdowns and making tackles. It was his turnover at a ruck that set up a stunning try. First Ash charged forward into the opposition's half, then passed to Christian who made a powerful run into their 22 before committing the last defender and putting winger Wian in for a try. Man of the Match Josh finished what he had started by converting.
Trojans were in the mood for more tries. Josh sent Thomas on a charge up the middle of the pitch. From the ensuing ruck the ball was passed out to Oscar who powered through the Farnborough back line to score the third try. Josh converted again to make the score 21-7. The forwards started to control possession with flankers Linton and Holden working tirelessly with Linton once again top of the tackle count. Even Sam was making a nuisance of himself by closing down their 9. As always, captain Euan tackled well and was awesome at clearing out the rucks. Ash was displaying his fitness and skills by getting around the pitch and joining almost every attack. He made a good offload to Oscar, but no try this time as Oscar was brought down. He suffered a shoulder injury and was replaced by Michael. Ash attacked the Farnborough midfield again and passed out to Wian, but a high tackle took him into touch. By contrast the Trojans centres Phil and Christian were enjoying themselves, combining well and making good breaks. From an attacking scrum close to their line Phil put Christain through a gap in Farnborough's back line for the fourth try. Josh again converted to make the half-time score a more comfortable 28-7.
Farnborough responded well after the break and were soon on the attack. Fortunately Linton was on hand to touch down their kick into the goal area. Sam was taken off as he was feeling sick, and in order to keep the scrums contested, Thomas replaced him at prop and Daniel came on at 8. It wasn't long before the Chiefs scored again. This time it was the front of the line-out move between Euan and Ash that led to Euan scoring in the corner. Changes were made with Phil and Dylan coming off. Fin W. went to centre and Rodrigo the wing. Christian made another good run, this time from inside centre, as did Waldo and Fin W. Farnborough had not given up and put an intelligent kick up for full-back Waldo to field. Unfortunately he let the ball slip and the opposition backs followed up and scored in the corner. The score was now 33-12. As the score suggests the second half was a lot closer and Farnborough competed well. However Trojans finished the game stronger. Unfortunately a shoulder injury got the better of Matt. He was replaced at 10 by Phil who made an immediate impact by putting Michael through the defensive line for a good run upfield. Josh showed his growing ability with the boot by putting in a huge box kick from one 22 to the other. Michael wrestled the ball from a Farnborough player and slipped it inside for Phil to run onto and score the sixth and final Trojans try. Josh converted to make the final score 40-12.
The boys played some excellent running rugby and made very few errors. Some excellent tries were mixed in with great defensive work. More importantly they played coherently as a team and executed their individual skills well. No trophy but a good performance against determined opposition. What was even more pleasing was their excellent attitude and the fact that they were smiling throughout. One happy squad, one happy coach!