TWRUFC U14s match report vs Folkestone Sunday 10th March 2019

Thanet Wanderers u14s faced local rivals Folkestone at home on Sunday in very blowy conditions with gusts up to 50 mph making for an interesting morning of rugby. The decision was made to try and keep the ball in hand as much of possible and not to use the kick and chase game which had worked well for Thanet in previous weeks,

Thanet started well kicking off uphill and into the wind. Aware that Folkestone had a quick set of backs the Thanet backs pressed well in defence causing Folkestone to drop the ball several times. Three minutes into the game and it was a bit of Déjà vu from last week as Folkestone suffered an injury to one of their props. Immediately Ollie J volunteered again to play for the opposition for the second week running. Thanet however dominated the early stages of play with the forwards aggression winning several good balls from the rucks.

Four minutes in and Josh OD took a good ball from just inside his own half and after some good strong and determined running beating several Folkestone defenders, he raced through to score the opening try out wide. The wind made the conversation very difficult for fly half Harrison Q and he was unsuccessful. Thanet attacked again from the kick off with a great take from Sam M who made good ground before being tackled inside the Folkestone half. Folkestone then worked the ball well from their own half scoring on eight minutes and again the wind caused the Folkestone kicker some problems and the conversion was missed. Moments later the message came from the clubhouse that trees were coming down in the car park, but the parents and coaches were so enthralled with the game, the cars were left and fingers were crossed,

During the next ten minutes both sides attacked with flourish with often the final pass just going astray due to the conditions. Then inside centre and team captain James P carried on where he left off last week and broke several Folkestone tackles before crossing the line for Thanet’s second try. . The kick was missed so Thanet turned around at half time 10-5 up.

The half time team talk was positive after Thanet had won the first half playing against the worst of the conditions. Changes were made to the side at half time to bring on some fresh legs with the finishers hoping to make the most of having the better second half conditions. Folkestone had suffered a couple more injuries during the game and so Luke D and Flynn S volunteered to start the second half for the opposition to keep the numbers even thus relieving Thanet’s Ollie J and Joe S both of whom had played their part for Folkestone during the first half. Playing with the wind behind them now Thanet continued to attack with some strong running from forwards Dennis D, Josh J and Sam M, before “player of the week” Beau T, made a powerful run through the middle from the No 8 position breaking several tackles to score the first try of the second half out wide on the left hand side. Fly half Harrison Q enjoying kicking with the wind converted well from the touch line to the jubilation of the team and coaches.

Next up Max R took advantage of a quick penalty from inside Thanet’s 22 metre line to pass to Owen J who released Oskar W for another mazy run with Max R in close support. A nice off load from Oskar saw Max beat the last three defenders to score under the posts and the try was converted by Harrison Q. Thanet eased off the pressure for a few minutes allowing the Folkestone number 12 to break a few tackles and score under the post. It was now 24 to 12 to Thanet with 13 minutes left to play. Thanet woke up again and started putting the pressure back on Folkestone and a good box kick by scrum half Owen J was punished by the strong winds which resulted in a scrum back in the Thanet half. However, a good turn over from the ensuing ruck led to a great break from Owen J who fed the ball back inside to Beau T, who was in support, who passed to Owen J who piled over in the corner for Thanet’s final try. Folkestone then suffered another injury, so POW Beau T offered to play the last few minutes for the opposition. 

Beau T, proving his POW status, then made a great break against Thanet before offloading to a supporting Folkestone player who scored under the posts. The final score was 29 to 19 to Thanet. The parents and coaches were very proud of how the boys stuck to their guns in the conditions and continued their current winning streak which bodes well for the Kent Bowl Final in three weeks time.

Special mention must go to the Thanet players since without their sportsmanship it would have meant the game being reduced to a 10 or 11 aside game and not so much fun: Ollie J, Joe S, Flynn S, Luke D, Josh J, Farzaam Y and finally POW Beau T all deserve thanks.

Team: – Ralph H, Rhys T, Dennis D, Josh J, Sam M, Flynn S, Oz W, Beau T, Owen J, Harrison Q, James P (Capt.) Patrick S, Luke D, Josh O’D and Farzaam Y – Finishers Max R, Charlie W, Josh L, Jack G, Zach W & Ollie J

J.Deacon Head Coach