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HSBC JUNIOR RUGBY FESTIVAL REPORTS

On Friday our Junior Rugby section was out in full force as 7 teams travelled to The Sevens Stadium to take part in the HSBC Junior Rugby Festival.

A huge congratulations to all of the players that represented the club fantastically and we would like to extend a special thank you to the coaches who offer so much of their time to bring through the next generation of talent at BRFC!

U8 Coaches – Stefan Skrzywanek, Steve Holland, Aron Jenie, Stan Shilton

U10 Coaches – Charlie Mcelroy, Luke De Souza, Dean Pola, Steve O’Shea

U11/12 Coaches – Jez Ingham, Emyr Rowlands, Nick Tinsley

U13/14 Coaches – Lee Stones, Peter Ashcroft, Dave Roots, Allen Blake

U16 Coaches – Rod Callon, Richard Sweeting

Both U8s teams did brilliantly and the feedback from the parents is that all the kids had a fantastic tournament. The squad consisted of 20 players. Steve Holland coached one team, and I (Stefan) coached the other, ably assisted by young coaches Aron and Stan, respectively. Both teams played brilliantly against some very tough opponents including, in the case of my team, four of the Dubai teams, including the two home sides.

Collectively, we won 4, drew 2 and only lost two. We defended brilliantly and scored some amazing tries. One of my games (against the Dubai Hurricanes) ended 6 tries a piece (in a 10-minute match!), so it really was end to end stuff and we proved that we were more than capable of matching – and also beating – the home sides. Overall, my squad won 2, drew 1 and only lost one.

On reflection, I am delighted for this young squad – they showed maturity and resilience beyond their years, they played out of their skins and ran their socks off defending brilliantly against four of the local sides (Dubai Hurricanes, Dubai Warriors, Dubai Knights Eagles and the Jebel Ali Dragons) all of whom had some very big lads in their line ups, and huge squads to select from.

The squad played brilliantly and were all excellent ambassadors for BRFC (and for the great game of rugby). We can all be justifiably proud of them. We got medals and a podium finish, so I chalk it down as an excellent result for this young squad.

U8 Coaches

Stefan Skrzywanek

Steve Holland

Aron Jenie

Stan Shilton

U10s had a challenging time with last minute pull outs and one no show. One team played 4 and lost 4 against a much larger set of U10s but they played with their hearts and did not give up despite only having 9 players. Al Ain And Canes agreed to play 7s and 9s respectively with Canes 1s being in our group they also took it upon themselves to play with less players later in the game to try and help our young U10s team (mostly u9s) get some time and space with the ball. Size was a huge factor in this team.

Our other U10s team did slightly better with 2 losses and 2 draws. Again, they were out sized though not by as much. The boys started well and narrowly lost the 1st and lost the 2nd convincingly. The boys took it upon themselves to fix what went wrong in the 2nd match and pulled out a great performance in the last two matches in which they drew. They put in performances that they can all be proud of.

U10 Coaches

Charlie Mcelroy

Luke De Souza

Dean Pola

Steve O’Shea

Under 12’s came sixth out of twelve teams overall and managed to qualify for the bowl final. The boys had a really tough opening match against Dubai Hurricanes A and after a close first half we were well beaten 42-0.

That was quickly followed by a game against a huge Abu Dhabi A team the lads defended bravely but ultimately went down 24-0. The boys bounced back running in 4 tries without reply in a 26-0 win against the Warriors. A second win followed with a last minute 14-7 triumph against Dubai Tigers B which was cheered on by the visiting BRFC First XV and the Club Chairman.

We rounded off the group with another win 14-7 over Dubai Hurricanes B. After two and a half hours of game time our boys had just a short break before facing another big Dubai team the Knights/Eagles in the bowl final. The lads were carrying a number of injuries and conceded three early tries. Their heads never dropped and they fought ferociously in the second half going close on more than one occasion and winning the admiration of the crowd in what was a 21-0 loss.

U11/12 Coaches

Jez Ingham

Emyr Rowlands

Nick Tinsley

U13 and U14s groups had a challenging day facing off against many of the Dubai A sides. We were low on numbers and we had to share the U13 players in both the U13 and U14 age groups.

A few early injuries sadly meant we could no longer field two teams and as we could not play elder kids down we decided to concentrate on the U14 league. The team faced some tough and physical opposition but despite this were ahead in most of their games early on but sadly could not convert these leads into game wins.

The most frustrating was the last game of the day against Hurricanes where we lost the lead in the last minute after being ahead the whole of the game. Despite this the children kept their heads up, maintained their composure and represented the club with fantastic sportsmanship.  As coaches we learnt a lot and areas to focus on before our next game, the main thing to change is the 10s format compared to our normal 15s format training style with more focus on keeping width. Rugby is a great game when you are winning, but it is a very hard game when you are losing – despite this the kids all played hard and left nothing on the pitch.

U13/14 Coaches

Lee Stones – Peter Ashcroft

Dave Roots – Allen Blake

U16 were straight into the Bowl/Shield. We finished 2nd in our group of 6 having won 4 drawn 1 lost 1. We then played first place again in the final. It was the usual situation. We were down to no subs and they had a squad of, what seemed, about 40. We lost the final and got runners up medals. It was long day but we played some great Rugby and the boys did themselves and the club proud.

U16 Coaches

Rod Callon

Richard Sweeting

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