The Beccehamian Development Festival gave the opportunity for some of the Wolves less experienced players to hone their contact skills.
The hosts were first up and the boys initially struggled to make their tackles as the largest Beccs player used the slight slope well and ran in three uncontested tries. The Wolves’ supporters gave a loud cheer as Max (Rush) made the first tackle, showing that commitment is more important than size. The boys grew in confidence and Jamie demonstrated great running skills to run in two tries, supported by a darting run and try by William, with Beccs scoring just before half time to lead 4-3. Jamie scored two more tries in the second half but Beccs responded by taking the restarts quickly before the Wolves could organise their defence and out flanked us on the wings to score two tries. Final score 5-7.
The second match was against Edenbridge and Max (Rush) made a try saving tackle in the corner before the opposition moved the ball quickly to the opposite side of the pitch to run in unopposed. The Wolves responded strongly and were camped on the Edenbridge line only for the ball to be knocked on as the try line beckoned. The Wolves came back again and Chester made a powerful run from a restart five metres out from opposition line to make it 1-1. Elliot made a superb mazy run through several Edenbridge defenders before passing to Ewan and then Ethan in support and the Wolves were very unlucky not to score, only for Edenbridge to steal a loose ball and race down the pitch to score, adding a further try to go in 3-1 up at half time. In the second half Ethan took the ball close to the opposition line and drove over for a try, followed by another weaving run and try from Elliot. Some weak tackling allowed Edenbridge to add three more tries. Final score 3-6.
Park House were next and the Wolves showed more confidence in making their tackles and releasing their strike runners. Jamie and Elliot both scored two tries, supported by Ewan taking a solo try from the restart, to give the boys their first win 5-3.
The final pool game saw the Wolves up against Warlingham who had brought a very well organised team, scoring a lot of tries in their earlier pool matches. They scored immediately from the whistle with a powerful runner brushing off weak tackles. The Wolves worked hard with their possession but tried to run alternating bigger players up through the middle of the pitch and without attempting to move the ball away from the contact area Warlingham defended in numbers to force the turnovers. Their strength in depth showed as three different players scored individual tries from their restarts, with the Wolves 0-3 down at half time. Jamie came on in the second half and led a spirited fight back, scoring a hat trick of individual tries from the restarts. However, Warlingham responded each time with tries to win comfortably 7-3.
With the pool stage complete the Wolves finished fourth and went into the Shield final against Colfes who finished in the same position in the other pool. It was very evenly matched, with the boys showing some excellent support play and hard tackling. Elliot and Jamie led the tackles and tries, with Jamie scoring three and Elliot one, before the crowd were distracted by the team gazebo going airborne in a sharp gust of wind! Play continued into a very tense final 30 seconds with Colfes leading 5-4. Ewan lobbed a pass into the air, to the loud dismay of his dad (showing little faith), only for the ball to drop into the grateful hands of Jamie who raced up the wing to score in the corner and make it 5-5 at the final whistle. The match moved into golden try and it was only fitting that Jamie crossed the line to cap a fine performance and win the Shield!
Beccehamians L 5-7
Edenbridge L 3-6
Park House W 5-3
Warlingham L 3-7
Shield final v Colfes: W 6-5