A semi final rubber match against serial opponents D'rhinos for the U10s
By Derry O'Hara
Who would take the rubber match after a win in Malacca and a loss at home in the last month?
After a loss in the initial match at the National Sports Day championship to D’rhinos which given the league format left the Tigers running in 2nd throughout the competition, the U10s took the field against the same team for the Semi Final match of the BBRC 7s a few days later with just a hint of trepidation.
Despite not looking under pressure across Saturdays fixtures, a rubber match against a side that you beat in the final of their own comp one week, lost at home to a week later, and then meet again immediately in a rubber match in a different format which you only play once a year, (7s) and have only played once before (also 7s), is going to be a big ask.
The U10s had spent their Saturday afternoon contemplating their tactics for Sunday and debated back on forth on their most appropriate formations with which to take the field. It may have looked like they were ignoring standard furniture etiquette, drinking soda, eating chicken wings while swinging scythes and wearing masks, but those who observed them ignoring their coaches, parents and all other bystanders (not that unusual admittedly), in Jonkers knew that they were taking it very seriously indeed.
That said, and after receiving the kick off the Tigers put together a 14 pass move which used every player on the pitch (you can check it out in the match videos on this site), kept the ball alive with multiple offloads and pops where they might have got bogged down, to score an excellent opening try and all without D'rhinos ever touching the ball.
Fears were somewhat justified when the opposition managed to hit back and score from a quick tap with the Tigers asleep but despite this the Tigers looked comfortable focusing on playing the game their way and their pressure tackling when not in possession was a hint of things to come in the final surely.
Worthy winners and a place in the final for the Tigers later in the day.
Props to Lewis for his session with the players the weekend before.