The Old Pats Spartan and Viking squads travelled to play two strong Longlevens teams in perfect conditions for rugby – cold, but sunny and dry with no wind.
Aside from the obvious challenge of playing against a very physical and competitive opposition, the Old Pats players also had the new experience of finally playing the U11 laws, which includes the addition of two-man rucks and mauls, competitive hooking in the scrums, the option to kick in open play and most notably kick offs (of which there were many!).
Old Pats and Longlevens both had a good mix of strong, direct ball carriers as well as a number of speedy runners with jinky footwork, and there was little to separate either team in terms of ball handling skills and running ability. This was frequently demonstrated by the steady procession of eye-catching tries scored by both teams from all parts of the pitches! Ultimately though, it was the extra physicality that the boys from Gloucester showed in the tackle and at the breakdown that meant that Longlevens deservedly shaded the try count.
Overall, another great learning experience though for the players, who stuck at it throughout, with plenty of positives to take from the matches and as always plenty of things for the coaches to work on (tackling included!).
A massive thank you to Longlevens RFC for hosting us. We look forward to meeting you again soon.