In the week leading up to the festival the Old Pat’s U11s were faced with a dilemma! The GRFU had placed a limit on squad sizes, with the maximum being 14 players per squad. This meant that if we only took the three squads we had initially indicated we would, there could be 12 players that would miss out (that’s right we now have 54 players signed up – what a nice dilemma to have).
After much discussion the GRFU were contacted and we were able to persuade them to let us enter a fourth squad. Problem solved! Sadly, Covid reared it’s ugly head again and our gargantuan squad began dropping like flies in last few days before the tournament. Aaarrrggghhh!
Pleasingly, when the day of the festival finally arrived enough players turned up and we were still able to put out three squads (an impressive achievement in itself).
The Harlequin’s squad had a really enjoyable day, but with mixed results. In their first match they played really well and comfortably beat Dursley. However, in their second match they came up against a Hucclecote team with some very large players who physically dominated the first half. Pleasingly, in the second half Old Pats began to move the ball around more and scored some lovely tries, but left themselves too much to do before the final whistle came. In their third game they picked up where they left off in the Hucclecote game to beat Widden Old Boys. Their final match of the day was against familiar opponents in Stow. Unfortunately, fatigue kicked in at this point and Old Pats ran out of steam and lost, despite still playing some good rugby.
The Vikings had a similar day to the Harlequins. In their first game, versus Tetbury, they played some good rugby and came out on top. However, in their second and third games they came up against Minchinhampton and a very strong St Brendan’s team. In both games the Vikings bizarrely decided that rucking and tackling was optional…. After much reflection, in their final game against Longlevens, they soon realised the error of their ways and restored a lot of pride by really fronting up to a physical and able team.
The Barbarians, in contrast, had an extremely positive day. They began by beating Stroud comfortably in their first game and then followed this up by beating Gordon League, who were no match for the rampant Barbarians. Next up was Cheltenham Tigers who gave us a very good game a few weeks ago at Newlands. But not today. The Barbarian’s were on fire with another big, with one Old Pat’s player scoring an amazing 6 tries in the game. The day finished with their toughest test. A match Broad Plain. The first half was a very tense 0-0 draw, but then the Old Pat’s lifted their game to score four unanswered tries in the second half. As you could probably tell the defensive work was amazing today but so was the rucking, passing and running with the ball. Great work to all those involved (coaches and players alike).
Huge thanks to the GRFU and Tewkesbury RFC for all their efforts in putting on such a wonderful day!!