Wizards vs Old Grammarians
First league match of the New Year
January, the month where things take a while to get going… and so it was for the U13 Wizards and their game against Old Grammarians at ODP last Sunday. As their U13 squad has less members than London Welsh we were effectively playing against their A team, some of which had some considerable height and girth. Despite performing well in their warm up drills the Wizards were slow off the mark when the game began, with the well drilled Old Grammarians being quicker out of the blocks, closing us down and landing a couple of early tries. The Wizards fought back throughout the half however, reducing mistakes, increasing focus and benefiting from some impressive tackling from Rhys and some probing runs from Max. As the minutes counted down to the end of the first half Max fought, darted and wriggled his way to the try-line only for the ball to be knocked from his hands as he went to score.
Lifted by this uplift in tempo and a rousing half time talk from Coach Rhod the Wizards took to the pitch for the second half in determined mood. This was immediately evident as the Wizards were much more aggressive with their running and closing down the opposition. The Wizards played much smarter in the scrum, quickly moving the ball out before the larger Old Grammarian’s could take advantage. What look liked a dead cert for another Old Grammarians try was thwarted by a brilliant team effort to push their runner into touch. London Welsh Wizards were much better at attacking, producing a number of runs and tries. Max again starred in a run virtually the full length of the pitch following strong defending and turning over the Old Grammarians. There was also great support teamwork being shown during attacks as Charlie and Oscar were running on the shoulder of the ball carrier, ready to continue the attack.
Some excellent tackles were also being produced in this second half, with Danny and Oscar leading the way. Danny then initiated an excellent attack from midfield, passing brilliantly to Charlie who scored with a brilliant weaving run.
So the score ended with a loss against a team that was physically larger and well organised. A character building experience for the London Welsh Wizards and a case of what could have been
Report: Peter Alltree