Colts v Aldwinians

Aldwinians Snr Colts vs Eccles Snr Colts 

HALBRO Colts League Senior C

9th September 2018


Match Report by David Rapinett

A first ever visit to Aldwinians RUFC saw the Eccles Senior Colts slip to second loss of the season. A very depleted flat fifteen made the journey to Audenshaw and despite having as much good quality possession as our hosts, our failure to break down the oppositions last line of defence ensured that we couldn’t put any points on the board in a first half that saw Aldwinians score four Trys to lead 26 – 0 at the break.

Towards the end of the first half the Eccles lads seemed to lose a bit of their mojo which would see Aldwinians heap the pressure on an Eccles defence, a pressure that would continue well in to the second half seeing Eccles concede two further Trys along the way.

Despite being well ahead Aldwinians discipline let them down and the games only yellow card was shown to the Aldwinians Winger, possibly based on an accumulation of infringements. The one man advantage led to a lift in the spirits of the lads and Eccles began to pile on pressure of their own against a thoroughly well organised defence. A huge effort from the Eccles Forwards saw them within inches of the Try line. It seemed like it was never going to happen; the Aldwinians defence was holding strong as phase after phase of Eccles pressure was rebuffed. Keiron Reed, Matty Lee, David Smith, James Fletcher, Josh Green all made their representations, but it would be Harry Candland who finally grounded the ball to put some points on the board for Eccles

From the first whistle Eccles showed no fear against a much more robust and physical side. The lads pressed ahead, deep in to the oppositions half but, as would be the pattern for the game, a resolute Aldwinians defence would force Eccles in to handling errors and also in to making some some poor decisions while in good possession. It would be not be an exaggeration to say that Eccles conceded points from every single error they made, regardless of where on the field the error occurred. Aldwinians were utterly ruthless in their capitalizing on everything that Eccles did wrong.

It is always testing when there are a limited number of players available for selection; who plays where, who can fill in at such a position etc all have an effect on how the games plays out. When you are down to just fifteen players it is almost impossible to present a balanced and competitive team, and the lads on the field will always find themselves playing through the pain barrier, carrying a knock that, were replacements available, they would have been substituted off for treatment.

A final score of 38 – 7 is a somewhat unjust reflection of the game. Eccles never really looked as though they were going to run in multiple Trys; equally they didn’t look as though they were going to concede half a dozen Trys either. Without a couple of poor decisions and fewer handling errors the score could have been very much closer.

There are however a number of huge positives which should be recognised from the game.

The Eccles Pack appeared to be at least 10% lighter than that of Aldwinians but the lads were strong and resilient, never being overpowered and took the fight to our hosts Pack.

We have got our Line-Out working again with Captain Dan Aspinall and Joe Rapinett working the Line Out communication and action like Lieutenant Dan and Forrest Gump aboard Jenny, pulling out lots of juicy prawns and the occasional toilet seat (the short pass).

There were no real stand out performances today however Locks Callum Brady and Cameron Smollitt both had good games in the engine room of the Pack and made sure the Eccles scrum remained stable under intense pressure. Cameron even made a 50 yard dash to show off his Louis Vuitton.

I can confirm that Joe Rapinett’s nut is still attached to its bolt following Keiron Reed’s attempt to really take the cardio and conditioning up a notch by coupling a mule kick with a shoulder press mid game.

It was great to see our Director of Rugby Sam Simpson travel across to Audenshaw to support his Senior Colts at the game. I genuinely believe that the presence of senior players and officials from the club give the players that extra10%.

FAO Coach Brom’ – we always meet at the venue. We don’t have use of a charabanc (other than for Colne away) and it’s not like Smokey and the Bandit….we don’t meet at Eccles and convoy our way to the venue – do you Copy that Breaker One-Niner?

Next week sees Eccles host another team new to this group of players as Fylde make the trip from the seaside town of Lytham St Annes which for those of you that haven’t been is like the Cocoon Retirement home – ramps and handrails everywhere and all the shop windows are Bi-focal.

Fylde are a big name in rugby! Outside of the Premiership (Sale Sharks) they are the North West’s leading club, they are known globally and have in the past had some of the games biggest names in their stable including Ex England and British Lions Captain and current Chairman of World Rugby Bill Beaumont, Ex England and Lions Second Row and Manager Roger Uttley and of course Eccles RFC Director of Rugby Sam Simpson. All big names in their own right.

Without doubt this should be a game that the Eccles Senior Colts are110% up for, a chance to go toe to toe with the Senior Colts of Fylde.


Final Scores on the Doors

Aldwinians 38 vs 7 Eccles

  • Trys – Harry Candland
  • Conversions – Harry Candland

Starting Line-Up

  1. Josh Green
  2. Dan Aspinall
  3. David Smith
  4. Cameron Smollitt
  5. Callum Brady
  6. Joe Rapinett
  7. Matty Lee
  8. Keiron Reed
  9. James Fletcher
  10. Harry Candland
  11. Robert Strickland
  12. Archie Collinge
  13. Max Riley
  14. Max Mulligan
  15. Brad Palmer


From Around the Grounds

  • Fylde HWO   Rochdale
  • Whitchurch 24-25 Preston Grasshoppers
  • Winnington 48-12 Ormskirk
  • Wirral 17-29 Makos

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