Beverley Braves U12s attended the Rhino’s Challenge festival help at Butlin’s Skegness this past weekend and finished an outstanding joint 7th out of the 34 teams competing in their age group.
With a squad of 17 travelling to the event the Braves had high hopes of repeating their successful campaign of 2017.
The Braves festival opener was against Batley Boys. Despite a lethargic warm up the Braves got off to a flying start.
Their defensive line speed was exceptional causing Batley to spill the ball. From the restart the Braves spun the Braves wasted no time in getting the ball wide and cross for their first try of the tournament. It wasn’t long before the Braves line speed resulted in another Batley error and another Braves try.
The Braves continued to play classy expansive rugby resulting in try’s for Tierney Chillcott, Louix Gorman, Sam Bayes and William Wilson. With the Braves in control the coaches made some changes and the intensity and line speed remained with Dan Stevens and Reubyn Mortimer putting in a fantastic defensive spells on the wing. It was will ball in hand that the Braves really excelled with more try’s from Sam Shrimpton and a Reubyn Mortimer who finished off a lovely kick chase play. The Braves finally won 8 – 1.
The second match saw the Braves take on Dean Valley Bulldogs. In a game were the Braves line speed was again outstanding restricting the Bulldogs to a single try. Sam Bayes led with way with great pressure from square marker supported by George Youngs, William Page, Samuel Shrimpton and Jacob Parkinson.
From the bench impact was made both in defence and with ball in hand by Jude Killganon, Oscar Thomas, John Pearson, Freddie Rogers, Tom Morphy, Daniel Smith and Roberto Seminara. In attack there was once again some impressive scores Sam Shrimpton, Jacob Parkinson, Freddie Rogers, a brace for Sam Bayes and a hat trick for William Wilson.
The try of the match was scored by Daniel Stevens following quick hands across the pitch, a barn storming run by William Wilson and a sublime offload for Dan to score in the corner. The Braves finally won 9 – 1.
With confidence high the Braves faced Yorkshire Cup holders Lock Lane in their third match. It was obvious from the start that this was going to be a close game with some big defensive shots going in. A chip and chase from Louix Gorman saw the Braves cross first. Lock Lance piled on the pressure and eventually that told and they crossed for the equaliser. A few errors from the Braves and an increase in Lock Lanes confidence told towards the end of the game and they crossed for what was the decisive score. The Braves lost 1 – 2.
To have any chance or progressing to the Cup Quarter Final the Braves needed a win in their final pool match against Golborne Parkside Pirates. The game started well with a return to the intensity of the first two games. With good early defence from the starting nine the Pirates were kept at bay. With ball in hand the Braves crossed twice through Sam Bayes and Jacob Parkinson before ringing the changes.
As earlier was the case earlier in the day the changes didn’t diminish the intensity with Oscar Thomas, Reubyn Mortimer, Tom Murhpy, Jude Kilgannon and Roberto Seminara putting in good defensive efforts. As the Braves started to tire the Pirates eventually broke down through their defence to score.
The Braves picked up the pace with Freddie Rogers and Daniel Smith taking the ball in well and good back play from Tierney Chillcott and William Page resulted in Jacob Parkinson crossing again. It the closing seconds the Pirates managed to cross again but the Braves help on to win 3 -2.
With 3 wins and one loss from the four pool matches and a +15 try difference the Braves qualified as the best placed runner up and made it through to the Quarter Finals of the main cup competition.
The Quarter Final draw pitted the Braves against the team who had just beaten them in the pool stages Lock Lane. After the previous days defeat the Braves went out looking for revenue and progression to the Semi Final. It was far from a perfect start as Lock Lane took advantage of the Braves poor line speed and crossed for an early try.
The Braves didn’t drop their heads and hit straight back from the restart with an excellent try by Daniel Stevens in the corner. Freddie Rogers and William Wilson carried the ball in with determination and were both unlucky not to cross the line. Some untypical errors by the Braves let Lock Lane in for a couple more try’s.
The Braves sorted out their defence with Oscar Thomas and Tierney Chillcott making a couple of certain try saving tackles. With the clock running down the Braves went back into attack mode with Jude Kilgannon, George Youngs and Louix Gorman linking up well. After some continued pressure Sam Bayes crossed to narrow the gap. Unfortunately the clock came to Lock Lanes rescue and the Braves missed out on Semi Final place losing 3 – 2.
In their final match of the tournament the Braves faced Bristall Victoria. Unfortunately the Braves failed to reach the highs of their earlier displays. With defences cancelling each other out at the start it looked like it would be another close game.
A combination of tiredness, deflation from the quarter final defeat and injuries the Braves defence couldn’t cope with the repeated off-loads by Bristall Victoria and the Braves fell behind. The Braves didn’t give up and managed to pull a score back through William Wilson. Defensive frailties once again cost the Braves as Bristall Victoria crossed twice more. Freddie Rogers continued his impressing performance both in deference and attack but despite pulling a further try back the Braves lost 5 – 2.
The coaches (Mark and Steve) can’t give enough credit to the team for the outstanding rugby they played over the two days. The boys are a credit to their parents and the club, a statement that was reiterated by the coach of Golborne Parkside Pirates who went out of his way to track us down after the presentation and pay tribute to the team and our parents.
A 7th place finish on their first visit to this excellent rugby festival was a fantastic achievement by the Braves who did themselves, their club and their parents proud.
The Braves would like to thank our sponsors Structural Frames Ltd, Clubleys Estate Agents and Lime Properties whose support was greatly appreciated as it has enabled this team to represent Beverley in this distinguished tournament, develop their rugby skill and broaden their character on and off the field.
Beverley Braves would also like to thank the staff and customers on B&M Willerby, Tesco Beverley and Morrisons Beverley for supporting our bag packs which also contributed towards attending and representing Beverley at this Nation Rugby League event.
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