U11 v Abergavenny (Away) 05 May 2013

The Bears’ 33rd and final Sunday of rugby saw them conclude a difficult season at the Abergavenny Festival of Rugby, surely the second-best annual tournament in Gwent – I wonder which one is the number one?!!

Many of the players gave up their chance of playing their first cricket match of the season, choosing instead to see out the rugby calendar – given the hard ground, clear blue skies and a rarely seen yellow burning globe up above, I’m sure they wished they’d donned their whites and pads instead to face the likes of Tommo and Lillee, given the tough day that ensued!

Participating in the “Group of Death” consisting of seven teams, the Bears knew they had their work cut-out if they were to progress to the knockout stages of the event. Their cause was not helped by a lack of match practice, having not played for six weeks and low numbers at recent training sessions. The day saw them compete very well in patches, but a lack of cohesion and battle hardness, saw them succumb easily in games which in the past they would have comfortably won.

To be on the receiving end of a penalty-try decision in their first game, the first ever witnessed by all present in U11s rugby, indeed in all mini rugby, made for a challenging opening match. Quite how the smallest player on the pitch, making a text-book last-ditch tackle from behind on a player resembling Giant Haystacks in size, could be guilty of such a decision – “it was above waist height” – utterly amazing!

Despite this, there were some real positives and highlights:

Josh Lewis providing another “I was there” moment with his superb solo try against Ystrad Rhondda.

The performance against Usk, five tries to one, the biggest win in the pool on the day, showed the quality of the Bears at their imperious best.

James Robertson received the accolade of “Man of the Match” from the neutral referee in the Usk match.

A new player on board as a direct result of the recent Club Open Day – a big Bears welcome to Joss.

A great team spirit shone throughout amongst players and parents.

Two wins, four losses – a tough day at the office. Beaten, but still so proud of you boys!

The Bears Usk Tournament 04-May-2013

We now look forward to a welcome summer break, following the Awards Evening on Friday 17 May.

Try scorers on the day:

Josh Lewis (3), Jonny Snell (2), Will Ruck, James Robertson & Cam Ogilvie (1 each)

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