We entered 2 teams for the festival with each team playing 4 games each. The other teams attending were the usual suspects of Canterbury, Deal, Ashford, Sittingbourne, Whitstable and I believe Dover.

With this being the first season that the age group are allowed to tackle this was our first big test and rather nerve wracking for us coaches hoping that we had prepared the squad well enough for this challenge. We needn’t have worried as the teams came out all guns blazing and although some found tackling a little bit of a challenge they were well supported by those who seemed to have taken to it like ducks to water.

All of the games were very close and decided by a single try either way. One game in particular summed up the squads fighting spirit as Canterbury led 4-0 at half time.

But the team dug deep and after having scored directly from the restart had Canterbury on the back foot for the entire half only missing out on drawing the match when a knock on in the act of scoring left us one score down at the final whistle.

As always Canterbury put on a very accomplished festival, well organised and with the focus squarely on the enjoyment of the players.

The high point of the day involved Gethin Jones (3rd in from the left on the front row of photo) who joined us only a few weeks ago. Due to his inexperience we were a little concerned about throwing him in at the deep end but decided to get him on against one of the smaller teams.

Within moments one of their players knocked on, the ball ran free, Gethin picked it up and run half the length of the pitch and scored his first ever try with his first ever touch in competitive rugby. His mum told me today that the grin never left his face for the rest of Sunday and that he proudly wore his medal into school this morning.

Because of the good grip on these new balls from the sponsor the boys always insist that we use them as match balls so please pass on our thanks to them and let them know that we will try and keep them up to date on how the team do during the season.

Report written by Andy Bull, Head Coach Under 9s TWRUFC