I think it is fair to say that all the boys on tour grew at least 10cms on the weekend as once again, the TRC U10s reigned supreme!
All the boys on tour & all of the squad who missed out on the tour should feel a sense of pride that we have pushed ourselves to prepare 2 excellent teams that played at a level exceeding our wildest imagination.
The Stormers, led by Ben & Liam…. WOW! You guys led by example and played out of your skins & this lifted every boy to play like never before. Early on you guys showed what was possible, and after a slight lapse, bounced back to play one of the best games of the weekend to beat the Centaurs B team. The fact you were able to continue that same intensity 12 hours later on Sunday morning just goes to prove you guys have the strength, courage and will to be great rugby players. Special mentions to Nick W, Shiv & Ted who also had outstanding weekends.
- walkover against Royal Selangor,
- a narrow loss to Bintang 5-0,
- followed by a healthy victory against SK Jalan Gurney,
- a loss to HKFC A and then
- The memorable 5-0 victory against Centaurs A.
- 15-0 loss to Centaurs A in the cup qtr
- before beating HKFC B 17-0 in the bowl semi and
- 10-0 loss to Bintang in the bowl final.
The Force, led by Loic the ‘Warrior’ up front & Alastair, the ‘Little General’ in the backs, equally lifted to heights never before seen. Undefeated all weekend, and of the 96 minutes of rugby played, only a total of 30secs was played in our own half! We clearly dominated territory & possession.
As the scores show, the Force were improving game after game until they came up against the stoic defence of Centaurs A team, who clearly had been waiting for this game since the Polo Club Tournament last year. To their credit Centaurs managed to steal a 0-0 draw when the Force was unable to find a way through their defence despite being camped on Centaurs line for the duration of the game. Centaurs A faded Sunday and lost to HK in the semi.
Nevertheless, some overnight contemplation & brainstorming by the coaching brains trust resulted in the introduction of a couple of new moves all designed to drag in the opposition & to give our backs room to move.
The weekend definitely peaked in the final against Hong Kong FC with the field surrounded by supporters. Including many of the Centaurs players cheering for our boys after they decided amongst themselves to call a truce!
Again, camped deep in the HK half throughout the match, the Force looked dangerous at every touch of the ball & while there was a sense of inevitability, Hong Kong put up an extremely brave front. As time passed the fear of a breakout try floated in the back of our minds like an annoying blowie on the butt of the bull!! At one point our worst fear showed it’s ugly head when the appearance of a breakout erupted & after their extremely quick pink-shoe-wearing centre broke a tackle and passed to their winger, a try seemed almost possible…although, Jamie had other ideas as he flew across from his wing on the other side of the field to drive the boy unceremoniously into touch. (Word has it the mine shaft that has been dug to extricate the boy from deep under the sideline has been successful and the boy is fine!)….
Soon we were again threatening their line with our new moves effectively sucking in the opposition forwards. Max R played the game of his life rolling off maul after maul & ruck after torturous ruck to link either with his supporting pack or to connect seamlessly with our flying backs who never ceased to penetrate deep into opposition territory only to be stopped short or held up over the line by desperate defence.
With about 3 minutes to play, another lineout brought about by a mistake by HK saw Loic preparing to throw in. Only the slightest nod between he and Tommaso, the colossal force behind the Force, could prepare the fanatical crowd for what was about to unfold. As they have practised time and time again & with the cunning of a hunting pair of wolves prowling together eyeing their prey ….they pounced. A short lineout throw hit Tommaso’s outstretched fingertips with speed and precision as he leaped like a salmon negotiating rapids….Tommaso took off, with the speed of a gazelle out-sprinting their half-back & their desperate, chasing forward pack, flattening their hooker & winger in Jonah Lomu style leaving only carnage and destruction to crash over in the corner for the decisive score.
Celebrations erupted across the park as the boys congratulated each other as they ran back to halfway to prepare to finish the job. However, the beast was now wounded and the game concluded with the opposition defence sturdy but floundering, only to be saved by the sound of the final whistle! Each and every boy in the 15 player squad contributed this weekend with Dom & Jack also playing some of their best rugby ever. Oscar, showing exactly how a reserve player is supposed to impact on a game when he enters the battle with one of the tackles of the weekend while Alex, playing in his last tour with TRC, threw himself into each ruck without fear or compromise.
And one final mention to Max R who played on in the final at an ever increasing level of quality & intensity despite carrying a condition that was severely aggravated by the oppressive heat, but because of his devotion to his mates refused to give up, and with every request I made of him to accept a rest on the bench, promoted his game to another level. You are a champion!
15-0 vs Royal Selangor
27-0 vs HKFC B
39-0 vs ACS(P)
41-0 vs HKFC C
0-0 vs Centaurs A
Qtr final: 29-0 vs Centaurs B
Semi Final: 17-0 vs Royal Selangor
Final: 5-0 vs HKFC A
Thanks coaches, thanks mums and dads….you made it another unforgettable experience!