Manawatu U11 vs Whanganui U11 Match Report
25/8 Vs Wanganui U11 @ Bulls Domain, KO 11.30
Weather was fine, the field was in great condition, and there was a good westerly wind.
We started very strongly with the wind on our backs and found ourselves 10-0 up after 10 minutes. A strong carry from Villi resulted in a great try after some excellent work from the forwards. Lucas went over from short range shortly after. We again were hard on their line and had a number of opportunities but couldn’t convert (Logan was called back for a double movement and we lost the ball on the try line on other occasions).
We looked ominous on attack, the forwards providing great clean ball, but the spirited Wanaganui defence seemed to scramble every time to stifle our attack. Again we went close after quick hands gave Aidan and Caden space on the outside but unfortunately we were unable to convert. This is where we relaxed and lost a bit of shape. Our forwards didn’t quite dominate like we were from the first whistle and we didn’t run with the intent of the first fifteen minutes. Eric was struggling to move the ball due to great defence from Wanganui. We were a bit slower on our clean outs and seemed happy for them to run rather than meet them when they carried. We also started throwing the 50/50 pass (one resulted in an intercept try) and we also started running across the park.
The second half saw Wanganui had scoring twice to level the game through quick hands and some pace on the outside. Their forwards started dominating the breakdowns and with a few decisions just not going our way, momentum did swing. They used the wind to their advantage and kicked long and had great chasers, which put us under pressure! We turned the ball over and they were able to capitalise by scoring out wide, which they converted to go up 17-10.
The game finished with us hard on attack, but a combination of their very quick line speed and a couple of basic mistakes from us where the chalk was wide open proved to be the difference, with the final score at 17-10 to Wanganui.
We certainly had plenty of opportunities to win the game and our intensity will need to lift for our next game. We played very well in the first 15-20 minutes then fell away. This was a great learning curve for the team, being under pressure was something many players had not experienced in this environment.
Players of the day:
Backs: Logan Junior Lokeni – strong running and great defence
Forwards: Lucas Goodman – aggressive carries and huge work rate