A break from the League and Cup saw us meet for a very friendly match against old friends Upminster. The weather wasn’t great but I assured Brad and the other coaches that the rain would definitely be stopping by game time….. I am of course a man of my word and so it did stop raining …….and instead snowed the entire game !!! The pitch turned a nice shade of white, the players a nice shade of various reds and pinks and the parents could barely be seen under as many layers as they could muster !
We decided to have a few 15/20 minute sections to try and get as much game time for everyone as possible and keep the boys warm as we could – the new WRFC coats being very popular today !!
And so to the first section of the game Westcliff started brightly and looked very alert early doors – as usual this season – Louis Hughes nipped round for a very slippery scrum half move and raced to the posts-his first for WRFC I believe- Adam converted. West were in dominant form and it was no surprise when Adam scored and converted our second try. Despite the cold conditions the ball was moving superbly through the backs and Owen duly went in at the corner for a well worked move . Westcliff 19 Upminster 0
Section 2 was a very tight even affair with again despite the worsening conditions some good rugby played – Upminster scored first and converted before some strong forward play saw Harry H go over for a try. But back cam Upminster again with some fine work of their own duly scoring with ease and converting again. However West don’t give up as we know and back they came with another try through the forwards Sam M this time the scorer. Some good play by both teams but no more scoring. Westcliff 10 Upminster 14
A quick break and in asking the question who wants to play the 3rd leg ive never seen so many sheepish faces with those not selected looking more pleased than those that were !! To be fair the conditions were getting worse and the cold was starting to take its toll. Nevertheless the boys went back out and started the game lively and were rewarded with a Baily try and conversion. Upminster came straight back with some fantastic foot work in the conditions and scored themselves. It was clearly going to be end to end and it was our turn to use the kick to move up the pitch Baily going over for his second. Upminster realising these were good tactics took to the “football ” approach as well and scored a try . With neither team able to hold onto the ball for too long when Upminster scored another “football ” try the sensible decision was taken by the ref and coaches to call it a day .
I can honestly say the cheer the players made and smiles on their faces was one of the best reactions to a game finishing I can remember.
Despite the conditions etc again have to say the players from both sides were fantastic and played in a superb spirit. Epitomised by a scrum when players from both sides were commenting on how their parents were all wrapped up on the sidelines and they were all out here freezing their ….. off ! Cue much laughter from our ref – Pete M – and a big thank you to him too .
A new experience for most of us that one but it was also great to see especially how the conditions seemed to unite the players from both sides – more rivals against the weather than each other – I love that and it bodes well for their future in rugby and the friends they can have in years to come.