Lessons to be Learned in Heavy Defeat
By Andrew Flaxman
Lads left licking their wounds, but scoreline not a fair reflection of the agme
Eleven against and a try blank. That's the kind of scoreline this Evesham side has inflicted on a few teams in the past, but probably not one we ever expected to see them on the wrong end of. We always knew a visit from Stow would seriously test the Under-13s and in the end the visitors were good value for their win, although sportingly they were at pains to say that 11-0 did not reflect how hard they were made to work on the day.
It looked difficult for our Under-13s right from the start, as although they had plenty of possession, Stow's excellent tackling and disciplined rucking kept them pinned firmly in their own half and even our speedsters struggle to score too many from there. And as Stow poured on the pressure, not even tough tackling from the likes of Darcey and Oli P was likely to keep them out for too long. It didn't help that put under that pressure Evesham began to make mistakes and the visitors' first two tries both came from wild or misplaced passes, a phrase that developed its own Groundhog Day momentum as the match wore on. Indeed four of Stow's six first-half tries came directly from misplaced passes - if you can't keep the ball you are not likely to score against good teams like this.
Evesham had few passages of play in the Stow half and too often it was knock-ons from careless handling that led to them coughing up more possession. The hard running of Theo, Josh A and Alex was wasted as mistakes began to cost the home side dear.
The boys kept working and playing hard and in the third quarter began to secure more of the ball thanks to improvements at the breakdown, but Stow's excellence and Evesham mistakes meant they couldn't quite force the try that their efforts deserved before Stow ran in four quick tries in the final few minutes to seal a convincing victory.
The boys knew they had been in a tough game, but so had Stow, and if the Evesham boys can learn from this they will be a better side. It is to their great credit that they never threw in the towel and I'm sure there are some brighter scorelines ahead - watch out Wolverhampton and Bromyard!
Team: Kal; Josh A; Josh N; Jonty; Luke D; Ewan; Luke R; Theo; Oli A; Oli P; Harry; Harvey; Darcey; Connor; Angelo; Alex; Django; Owen