b'THE ELLESMERIAN 96Rugby - U12This was the first season post covid for the U12 rugby squad, with3 players pulled out on Friday night, made things tough from the start. many playing competitive matches for the first time. The season startedThere was plenty of heart and commitment but the opposition had at Wilmslow, where the boys were clearly not used to the physicality ofsize and physicality that we couldnt match and were much sharper a proper game and started slowly against a good team who ran in 5around the breakdown. I cannot fault their attitude as they kept going early tries. There was too much offloading in the tackle, some key pointsto the final whistle and under the circumstances could have easily lost were made at half time and the style of play was changed to be moretheir heads at such a young age. They did their best, which is all we can direct and focus on taking the ball into contact. After we had wiped theask of them, and I was proud of the effort they put in. A special slate clean and with a clearer game plan, the boys ran in 7 unansweredmention to Oscar Hewitt, man of the match for us, who was at the tries. Some great straight running from Joseph Joyce, Nathan Draco, andforefront of displaying a good demeanour throughout and a never say Alex Hu put the opposition on the backfoot and under pressure fromdefeated attitude.the kick off. Harry Walker was excellent in attack and, along with Grayson Raybould, was particularly aggressive in defence and led fromThe boys saved the best performance of the season till last against the front. A much-improved performance and a good win.Bishop Vesey. In a thrilling game which had great attacking play from both sides, honours were even at the final whistle. We started brightly Next up was Adams Grammar. A thrilling game for the neutral but therunning in two early tries but a few weak defensive sets let them back boys were left with a feeling that Adams got away with a win that theyinto the game. We scored two more tries before half time with Harry didnt deserve at the final whistle. There was plenty of effort on displayWalker scoring a hat-trick and Grayson Raybould running the length of and some crunching tackles from Nathan Draco in particular andthe pitch to score our fourth. In the second half we were less aggressive strong running from Oliver Dyson made us look excellent at times, butat the breakdown and failed to compete with them as well at the ruck. a failure to play to our strengths was our undoing. We spent much ofThere were great performances all round and, considering that we the game in their half of the pitch but too often failed to turn ourplayed a team comprising of Year 8 boys, it was a magnificent dominance into points through silly mistakes and sideways running.achievement. There was a noticeable improvement in the second half and we nearly earnt a draw with the final play of the match, but unfortunately a slowThe boys came a long way over the three months and it was pleasing start cost us on this occasion and we ran out of time to even theto note that parents and teachers who watched the game recognised scores up. However, it was evident to see progress being made by thethe development in their skill sets and commitment to playing rugby to group, many of whom were new to rugby at the start of the season.the values in which the game is held. The toughest game of the season came against Calday Grange Grammar. It was a difficult day for the boys; only having a squad of 11, asEJR'