Waterloo 5 - Southport 14
Southport U16s return to winning ways in hardfought encounter
Life often presents us with different types of spice. There is the subtle – a Moroccan tagine or the hint of the piquant that underlies a true, Valencian, paella. There is the regretted – the cheeky weekend kebab for example. But Sunday’s game against Waterloo represented rite of passage spicy - the chicken phal to be consumed without sight of a glass of water let alone the cooling embrace of a lassi.
Southport, who found themselves challenged by a degree of physicality they had yet to encounter at this level, weathered the Hall Road storm from the first breakdown to the final whistle. Every player performed to the best of their abilities in very difficult conditions, and despite lacking any experienced replacements the pack established a degree of dominance in the set-piece that bodes well for the rest of the season. Unlucky to concede in the first half Southport immediately countered to bring the score to 5-7 at half time (Try - Harry H, Conv. - Tom Ste.).
The second half saw Southport better able to retain the ball and make a number of big gains, with some excellent kick returns from both the backs and Joe H (on as substitute flanker). The finishers again showed how important it is to have strength in depth if first half effort is to be capitalised upon and a series of patiently worked backs moves based around the forwards ability to stretch Waterloo’s defence saw Southport in a position to score their second try (Try -Harry H, Conv. Tom Ste.).
A final flurry of Firwood Waterloo pressure resisted by strong defensive work saw Southport to the chequered flag and a return to winning ways.
Champagne Moment - Miles’ masterstroke of sending the team, unaccompanied, to the changing room at half time to reflect on, and reassure themselves of, the validity of ‘the plan’.
Man of the Match - Connor whose second half performance was central to victory. Very much a “Thanks for that, very tasty. Now fetch me the raw chillies!” 35 minutes.