Final Cup game of the season
By Graham Shaw
Wildcats dominate in numbers
The Wildcats had their final Waterfall cup match at home to Dorking. The visitors were low on numbers so a half pitch 7s format was agreed that meant the 19 Wildcats had to take a share of game time. The day started with a player led warm up showing how far they've come in terms of knowledge and leadership.
For the 3rd weekend running, the Wildcats start was on fire. Megan set the tone for the game by receiving the first bobbling kick off and picking the gaps using great footwork to gain 20 metres. A slightly scrappy couple of minutes followed but the team took a breath and consolidated. Powerful running and support lines from the squad ran in 2 quick tries. This built the confidence and 3 more tries followed from some great flowing rugby. It was great to see the challenges set in training to keep the ball moving and support the ball carrier really being brought on to the pitch. To prevent knocking the confidence of the visitors, the game was made 8 a side. This spurred Dorking in to life and a try before half time got their heads up.
The second half was a slower start for the Wildcats and several tries for the opposition suggested the game was going to be tight. The team in the second half then brought their defensive work on to the pitch with constant pressure forcing errors and stopping breakaways. After holding firm they put their foot down in attack with 3 more tries to push to the final whistle and win the cup match. Plenty of lessons learned and a great show of rugby values to allow the game to be made as competitive as possible.
The 2 squads then played a 13 a side game on the full pitch. This allowed everyone to get game time and 6 Wildcats played alongside the opposition without any arguments. Both teams continued where they left off with some dominant running, on the shoulder support play, keeping the ball alive and using the space. The defensive work was just as tough with perfect technique in the tackle stopping attacks time after time. The Wildcats did run in more tries than the opposition but more importantly this 13 a side game allowed new players on both sides to gain confidence playing a competitive match and everyone to deliver what they've learned in training.
It's always such a bonus to receive positive comments from parents (from both teams), coaches (including some boy's coaches that took the time to watch), and the referee. Some highlights
- 'Impressed at how quick the game was and the quality of rugby - I didn't expect that' - Warlingham boys coach
- 'The offloads under pressure were textbook' - referee
- 'Our girls love playing against Warlingham - they make it such fun' - Dorking parent
-'The technique going in to the rucks was perfect' - Streatham & Croydon coach