At first team level the boys got off to a slow start, with a number of errors to give Birkenhead momentum in the first half. However, some individual excellence from Frank Mansell and Will Stanford-Davis enabled us to go into the half-time break 14-7 up.
The team talk focused the team in the second half, with more of the free-flowing rugby promised all season with interplay between backs and forwards. Tries followed, with Ed Craik, Henry Davies, Fred Stephens and Will Stanford-Davis all crossing the whitewash to give us a convincing 40-7 victory.
Special mention should be made of Fred Stephens, Bilal Khan and George Daly individually as part of an excellent team effort.
The second team put in an excellent performance, with the forward play enabling us to turn over a decent amount of possession. The back row also performed well, especially Ruaraidh Lockett and Dylan Griffiths.
It was great to see the Fifth Formers playing so well after limited training time; Arthur Sutherland was formidable up front, and Louis Graham controlled proceedings superbly.
The final try was an absolute delight, with backs and forwards combining from our own 22m all the way up to the try line for Harry to take the last pass, and the team the victory 17-0.
A very strong Birkenhead squad and only one week of training in preparation was never going to be an easy day! The first half saw us give away some soft tries to enable the opposition to pull away 19-0 at half time. The benefits of the slope in the second half, however, and some more focused play enabled us to pull back into the game.
Tries from Jack Sheldon and two from Tom Griffin brought the game close, with the eventual score 34-19.
This was a game of two halves – and having ‘won’ the second half, the boys should take great confidence as well as pride in the heart and commitment they displayed.
The U14s won a narrow contest, 24-22. The game had a very exciting climax where we finally got the ball off the pitch to hold on to a slender lead.
It was a masterclass from the wings: Todd Rees-Pullman with two long-distance tries from the left wing; and Theeka Niumpradit with amazing defence on his right wing to stop them from doing the same to us.