Vikings triumph away at Petersfield
- Monday, 12 December 2016
Once again due to ongoing injuries and family commitments, the Vikings (Under 12s) faced Petersfield with only just enough players to form a team.
Unlike in previous weeks, the away fixture saw some players having to play out of position to form a competitive team, but in true Vikings' style the boys did not disappoint in what was a fiercely contested game of rugby, winning 0-10.
Notable performances from Fergus Carle and Bailey Downing who played their first competitive match at Hooker and Inside Centre respectively.
On a pitch that was long, but narrow, it was evident early on that the Vikings back line weren’t going to be able to play their usual expansive game as the opposition defence found it easy to cover the width of the pitch.
The tight five worked hard to punch forward, having learnt from mistakes in previous games. They played a solid rucking game in an attempt to draw Petersfield defenders into the breakdown.
Half way through the first period, their perseverance was rewarded when the Petersfield backs were drawn in, opening a gap at outside centre that George Middleton managed to exploit, crossing for the first try of the game.
The try seemed to galvanise the opposition, who then enjoyed a period of sustained possession.
They failed to convert this into points however, mainly due to some fierce tackling in the inside channels by Alec Campbell-Baldwin at Scrum Half and Ben Coleman at Fly Half.
The Petersfield period of dominance was ended by some brilliant counter rucking by the Vikings' pack and some quality individual ripping in loose mauls by Baily Downing, Alec Campbell-Baldwin and the Skipper, Harrison Brenchley. On the stroke of halftime, the Vikings picked up possession inside the Petersfield 22, with Petersfield rushing out to cover the well-set Vikings threequarter line, Marcus Blockley-Webb cut back on the blind side and powered over the line to score the second try.
The second half turned out to be a ‘knock for knock’ competition, the Petersfield Coaching Team had obviously identified the Vikings' strategy from the first half and briefed their players at half time.
The Petersfield defence remained well organised for the full 20 minutes and the breakdown areas were fiercely contested with neither team managing to gain any advantage.
With 10 minutes to play, it looked like Petersfield were going to get themselves back into the competition, when one of their biggest players powered through the Vikings defence and found himself one on one with the Vikings Fullback Findlay Shields.
Giving away around 15 centiometres in height and a fair few kilos, Finlay got himself into the attacker’s channel and delivered a perfect tackle, driving their player backwards and allowing the Vikings' defence to regroup.
This proved to be the last clear scoring opportunity for either side as they continued to cancel each other out until the final whistle.
Both sets of parents, coaches and the Referee applauded the teams on what had been an exciting and entertaining match to watch.
Player of the Week – Ben Coleman
Viking of the Week – Bailey Downing
Tackle of the Week – Findlay Shields