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Home > News > Malvern U16 march into semi finals
Your News Malvern U16 march into semi finals

Malvern 27, Veseyans 10

The Under 16s progressed to the semi-finals of the North Midlands Plate after overcoming Veseyans 27-10 in a bruising encounter in front of a good crowd at Spring Lane.

The whole Malvern team put in an excellent performance, showing great tenacity in the tackle: one effort in the second half by flanker Ieuan Richards (the smallest forward on the pitch) which stopped a charging Veseyans forward in his tracks produced an audible gasp from the home supporters.

The home team also displayed good tactical awareness. They knew what their game plan was to keep the ball tight and in hand as much as possible into the wind in the first half, and then to play for territory after the break, and make it hard for their opponents to attack.

Facing a much bigger pack, the Malvern forwards were disciplined in their set piece. Club President Dave Robins was impressed that, despite giving away a significant weight advantage, the home scrum was consistently solid: good straight backs said Robins. And Malvern also had the edge in the lineout where Pasty Edmunds soared high to catch a steady stream of ball testament to solid lifting and, particularly on a windy day, accurate throwing from hooker Jacob Hewer. In contrast, the visitors tended to tap back ball on their own throw, giving scavenger in chief Ben Jones the chance to get through the line and disrupt possession.

But, after an early Malvern missed penalty, it was Veseyans who took the lead with a try following good driving play from their forwards. The conversion was missed and a Jack Travis penalty then reduced the lead to two points. Malvern were fortunate not to concede another try just before the interval when an effort similar to the first by the visitors was ruled out for the final pass being forward.

So 3-5 at half time and early in the second half Travis launched some excellent kicks from hand to take play deep into the 22 and it was prop Tom Crooks who showed excellent strength to twist out of tackles for a try. A second score followed ten minutes later, this time from centre Max Hill who revelled all game in the opportunities to carry the ball like a ninth forward, always making ground over the gain-line to set up the next phase. Both tries were converted by Travis, who also added a penalty to cement the Malvern lead.

However, Veseyans had played with great spirit throughout and, once they had established a period of possession in the opposition half, reduced the deficit with a try after a series of penalties near the home line.

The final score, though, belonged to Malvern and was a great individual effort from replacement winger Max Holt who, having received the ball near his touchline, cut inside on the diagonal to startle the away defence and cross with some style under the posts. Travis conversion another reliable kicking day from him - made the score 27-10.

It has become a bit of a recurring theme to talk about team efforts from this group but, yet again, it was certainly the case. Missing four regular members of the squad through half-term holidays and illness, they displayed the commitment and togetherness which makes them such a durable unit.

Coach Gareth Richards said:

'' The Malvern under 16's team is the future blood of the club, they come as a complete package, plenty of support from their parents, family, friends and coaches. We are blessed at Spring lane with a wealth of similar talent lining up behind the 16's, whilst the under 15's and under 14's are hot on the heels of the 16's, they also have massive support and have produced some great results this season''. In September 2013, Malvern RFC under 17's will enter and play in the North Midlands Under 17's league. The under 17's will compliment the Malvern Rugby Academy headed by Andy Longley. Richards continued: ''At a time where there are so many distractions at this age, it is essential that we give the young players as much support and structure as possible so that we keep them involved at all levels of the game, the league and coaching will further bridge the gap between Junior and Senior rugby. The current senior section coaches, Nick Tisdale, Pete Walton (RFU) and Rob Cook (Gloucester RFC) are the envy of other clubs and younger players will come on leaps and bounds with such experience around them, they will benefit massively. 'We look forward to the semi final and the Malvern under 16's tour of Antwerp in March, what a great way to reward the 16's for their hard work this season. 'The 16's coaches are grateful for the support of so many parents and for the kit sponsorship so generously donated by, County Building Supplies, Beacon Dental. Envex Building Contractors Ltd, Scimitar Clothing and 7 Valley Financial''.

Malvern Rugby Football Club Junior Section and the Malvern 16's team welcomes new players at any time. Please see web page for contact names.

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