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HSBC JUNIOR RUGBY TOURNAMENT – DUBAI

Under 12 Group

The Under 11 and Under 12 group went as a combined Under 12 team to the HSBC Mini Rugby Festival in Dubai. This meant many kids were playing up an age group. We had a good response with 21 kids signing up, but sadly Lucie and Ramzi were injured and could not make it leaving us travelling with 19 players.  

Game 1 was against Abu Dhabi Quins, a tough and close game saw two beautiful first half tries from centre Bastien, both converted by standoff Euan. A great display of attacking and more importantly defending followed, with hard tackles coming in from our smallest children; winger, Harry and hookers, Ronin and Aden. We won 14-5.

Our Second game was against Tigers and we faced a very large team. They scored an early try and we were down 5-0 at half time. Following the restart, they had lineout 10 yards out, which was won by us resulting in a try from Captain Sam. This was then disallowed due to an incorrect ruling by the ref – rules stated we must have 8 in the lineout, they had 6 and he penalised us for numbers. Unperturbed, we carried on and through some quick thinking by scrum half, Jeremy finding centre Charlie who broke through and was in the corner, unconverted for 5-5. A tense last 5 minutes saw runs from lock Alex S and winger Sami, and some inspired tackling by props Josh C, Josh O and Benji who filled in the vacant No.8 spot. The half ended with Ewan on a sniping run which saw him score in the corner, duly converted to end at a 5-12 win.

Game 3 saw us facing old rivals Muscat Pirates who were also undefeated so far. After a very tense first five mins Flanker, Jack turned the ball over in a ruck with scrum half Kyzys feeding centre, Max and then Charlie who made a break down the wing to score, 5-0. It was powerful running that saw Charlie over again to give us a 10-0 lead at the half time whistle.

In the second half Muscat came back with a converted try to see us 10-7 with five minutes left. Muscat again attacked and broke through but the tackle of the day was produced by French fullback Maxime with a one on one 5 yards out that saved the game, and what’s more it caused Muscat to knock on giving Bahrain the scrum. A team effort of forward rucking and some dynamic backline running got us to the halfway line, before flanker Alex C took over with a fantastic marauding run, through several tackles finishing with an elegant swan dive to give Bahrain the win 17-7.

The fourth game saw a top of table clash between Bahrain and GEMS Silicon Oasis School, both unbeaten. GEMS were down to 9 players so in a sporting gesture we agreed to field a team of 9 against them.  The game was scrappy and they dominated with two large forwards in the rucking giving GEMS lots of ball. GEMS scored twice in each half and Bahrain got one try to finish as a 10-7 loss.

This left GEMS and Bahrain in the group finals. After some negotiations we agreed again to a sporting gesture by allowing GEMS to borrow some players to make up to a 15 a side – thus giving our kids the most rugby. Sadly, this gesture was returned with some interest as six of the largest 12 year old’s I have ever seen appeared in GEMS shirts for the kickoff. Bahrain still dominated in the pack winning several scrums against the head and allowing the backs to have a run. Then the unusual decision was made after 7 minutes to have uncontested scrums, this then allowed GEMS to receive balls from scrums and they scored twice from their set play, with a reply by Charlie to see us 10-5 down at half time.

The second half saw GEMS pull further ahead after a series of penalties all dealt with thanks to the shoulder of powerful lock, Sam but one too many saw their second row burst through to score 15-5. Kick off saw some loose ball ripped by Rafi who went through their pack to be held back by three kids 5 yards short, still on his feet and with ball in hand it sounded like he shouted “REDWALL!” as his head went down and he powered onwards dragging the opposition with him over the line to score, converted, leaving us 15-12 with three minutes left. Alex C received the ball from the kickoff and set toward the corner only to be tackled out into touch 5 yards short of perhaps the winning try. Sadly, it was not to be and Bahrain were left 15-12 down at the final whistle.

A great day was had by all, and some fantastic support from the travelling fans, parents and U10 players saw a sea of red on the sidelines, the redwall really does spread far.

A massive thank you to BRFC, the kids, the parents, the coaches and pitch helpers Dave and Gary, also a big thank you to the home coaches Allen and Nick. A special mention for Gavin Boyle who while recovering from surgery, helped with all the behind the scenes organisation of flights, hotels, and busses.

We learnt a lot both as kids and coaches this weekend and we are now looking forward to focusing on our weak areas to prepare for our next games. We are the mini #redwall.

Coach, Lee Stones

Under 10 Group

A Fantastic trip to HSBC Dubai Junior Rugby Tournament for the combined U9/U10 kids.

Our first game was against Kuwait Saracens, who we managed to dominate and won 29-0.

The Confidence the kids got from that first win took us throughout the tournament unbeaten all the way to the Final.

The Dubai Tigers were a great side and at full time the score was 7 all.
Extra time and still no score… 5min for golden try and still nobody could get the points. It was a tough game but unfortunately, Bahrain had to forfeit the final due to our flight back to Bahrain which we just made but the skin of our teeth.

On paper, the trophy went to the Dubai Tigers….(we beat them in the pool). Kids and parents alike were disappointed but we left feeling like champions – deservedly so and we were awarded gold medals also!

Fantastic team spirit and amazing Rugby played all day…

Thanks to all involved, Coach Ryan

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