Rosslyn Park Too Strong For U12s
Mini Quins fall just short of second League victory
Having immaculately observed two minutes silence before the kick-off, Mini Quins faced the other unbeaten side from the opening round of the Middlesex League, hosted at Broom Road Campus on Remembrance Sunday. Rosslyn Park had put Scottish to the sword in their first game, proving themselves to be a well-drilled side with a couple of elusive runners. And they lived up to expectations, as the initial exchanges quickly revealed Park to be a powerful side in the close quarter exchanges who played a very high and disruptive defensive line.
Although welcoming back Frankie, Hamish and Thomas to their line-up, Quins were unable to make any substantial territory and they struggled to strike their own ball in the scrums. When Quins did gain possession, an obliviousness to overlaps and a few too many wayward one-handed passes left the Park try line intact. But it was the well-worn failure to tackle that cost Quins most dearly: a lovely dummy and acceleration by one Park youngster saw him run over half the length of the pitch to open the scoring and it was a similar pattern that led to their second, although a few Quins can claim to have at least touched the try scorer on the latter occasion.
But these young Quins are a resilient bunch and none more so than Wilf, who collected the Park restart and showed electrifying pace to go the length and put Quins on the scoreboard. Powerful runs from Olli, Drummond, Frankie and James began to cause Park some problems, whilst Arran and Cash worked hard to tie in the visitors' runners. It was somewhat against the run of play, therefore, that Park notched up their third try, a more classic brute force effort rather than the free-running of the previous tries. Once again Wilf came to Quins' rescue with another burst through the middle, this time streaking away from the defence to score on the left. The teams went into half-time separated by a single score and still with everything to play for.
Quins generally looked the more accomplished side in the second half, playing a lot of the game in the Park left corner. Maybe a little less selfishness with the ball in hand may have seen Quins score the tries that would have earned them victory, but the Park defence was able to snaffle Quins' ball carriers as they elected to drive into the defenders rather than spinning the ball out to the ever colder Josh, Hamish and Guru. It didn't help Quins that, by his own admission, the referee wasn't penalising Rosslyn Park for coming in from the side and several times Gabriel found himself cleaned out as he went in to pick-up well won ruck ball. Park managed to secure a fourth try with an outstanding turnover from a hold-up tackle in midfield which gave the impression that their defenders might have been wearing the famous multi-coloured jersey.
With the referee having lectured Park about "using the gate rather than the side door", Quins finished the game in the ascendency, but were unable to further breach the visitors' line and the game finished 2-4 to the Cherry & Whites.
It was an excellent morning's rugby and the boys departed in high spirits, rejuvenated no doubt by Andy Brampton's Hot Dogs