North Midlands Under 16s Cup Final
Sunday 24th April 2022

Luctonians RFC U16s  15 v 10  Stourbridge RFC U16s

Match Report by Simon ‘Norm’ Green-Price

Luctonians beat Stourbridge 15-10 with a gritty and well organised performance to win the North Midlands u16 Cup Final at Newport RFC.

 The first 20 minutes was all about hard running ball carriers and fearless tackling. Stourbridge tried to use the wind for a tactical advantage, but found Lucs’ back three well up to the task. As the half developed Stourbridge were able to create overlaps out wide but Luctonians cover defence hauled down the ball carriers before they could release their pacey wings. In the 25th minute Stourbridge had their best chance of the half when they chipped the ball into the 22m and caught the defence flat. As the ball rolled over the line Gus Wixey managed to beat the chasers to the touchdown.

On 28 minutes Charlie Bemand missed a difficult penalty at goal into the wind, but it was a mesmeric run by Fullback Freddie Norman that broke the deadlock on the half hour. Fielding another Stourbridge kick over the top, Norman picked up the ball just inside his 10m line and accelerated at the chasers. On evading the initial tacklers he made the most of a disorganised defence and weaved his way through the opposition to touch down under the posts. A fantastic piece of individual skill to which Bemand added the conversion.

Stourbridge dominated the first 20 minutes of the second half and capitalised on a succession of Luctonians penalties with two unconverted tries through the forwards. Luctonians responded with a Bemand penalty. At 10-10 and with 15 minutes left to play it was Lucs who took the initiative and focussed on territory. Charlie Bemand used the wind wisely and pinned Stourbridge back in their 22m with a series of well placed kicks. Under pressure Stourbridge now began to give the penalties away and it was from a Lucs lineout that the forwards drove in field to create space on the blindside for Archie Davies to score in the corner. From this point on Stourbridge struggled to exert any territorial pressure and were lucky when the referee denied Gus Wixey a try, despite clearly lying on the ball over the line.

This win was the culmination of a 10 year journey for this squad and contained 12 players who originally signed up at u6.

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