Sale Sharks Tournament
Southport U11's face 6 teams they have never played before in a mini Tournament at Sale Sharks and come out winning 5 matches and loosing only 1
Southport RFC U11’s @ Sale Sharks Tournament
30th January 2016
Early on a very wet blustery January morning 14 intrepid players, 3 Coaches and several hardy parents set off to brave the arctic winds at the Sale Sharks training facility to take part in a 7 team tournament.
All the teams involved were new to Southport so we had no idea of what standard to expect. The teams present were as follows. Chester Lions, Chester Tigers, Winnington Park, Bury, Eccles and Macclesfield and all proved to be decent teams, with the Chester teams proving the pick of the bunch.
The matches were only 10 minutes long with no half time and were played on pitches which were over 50m wide and basically the same length.
Southport started strongly using the width of the pitch to good advantage to secure a win over Macclesfield, next up came Chester Lions who proved to be a very strong side, Southport started the game slowly and failed to make their tackles against some big players allowing them to get through and score, Southport rallied towards the end but too little too late, resulting in a victory to the Chester Lions at the end of a tough encounter. The Bury team were also a tough opposition but Southport were wounded from the encounter with the Lions and were not ready to succumb to another defeat easily. They tackled hard and moved the ball wide to cross the white wash securing the win.
Eventually there was a long enough period before the next match to allow us to retreat to the warmth of the Fans Bar in the stadium where the players warmed up and had some food, some parents took the opportunity to re-hydrate themselves. Suitably refreshed we took to the windswept pitches to resume the battle.
The Chester Tigers were next, who proved to be slightly smaller than the Lions but no less committed, and the match ended with a victory to Southport thanks to some good rucking and quick ball to the flying wings. The penultimate match was Eccles and the ever strengthening wind was playing havoc with kicking, re start kicks were ending up behind the kicker and kicks the other way were going straight out of the back of the pitch. However a lovely move from the scrum, 9 to 10 with a cross field kick putting the winger straight in at the corner was pure delight the game was eventually won to nil. Winnington Park were the last opposition for the day and by this time Southport had their tails up and were playing some of the best rugby they can with fast ball from the breakdown and lightning breaks down the wings bringing them another comfortable win to nil..
The tournament was over, Southport Under 11’s had won five out of the six matches only losing to Chester Lions, and everyone was glad to get out of the wind and take our seats to see how the professionals play the game, with Sale facing London Irish in hideous conditions. The half time entertainment was provided by our very own Carl Bartlett thanks to his name being pulled from the hat to compete in a catching competition on the pitch. Which he duly won by holding onto 3 (very, very high) balls out of 5 even if he couldn’t stay on his feet whilst doing so. He has now offered his services as a coach to the first team.
A fantastic day was had by all and the chance to play against new teams was a real bonus, many thanks to Ash for organising the trip to the tournament.