PUBLISHED 08 November 2021
AKS 1st XV travelled to Waterloo Rugby Club to play a Friday night lights game against Merchant Taylors School. The game was fantastic for all who had made the journey to watch and both teams are commended on their play, with top-class tries scored by both teams.
In the first half, Merchant Taylors had a strong start dominating possession and creating pressure for the AKS attack with their line speed in defence. This pressure resulted in a try for Merchants and AKS with much to do to settle into the game. With strong set-piece from Louis and John, AKS had a good foundation to start to build some attack. Then with strong running from Toby and Nathan and a fantastic kick into the corner from Daniel AKS slowly worked their way into the game and started to apply pressure to the Merchant Taylors line. This resulted in a grubber kick through from Morgan for Fraser to score a sensational try in the corner, this brought the teams to 5-5 going into halftime.
In the second half, Merchant Taylors started the stronger team again taking an early try and AKS returned fire with a fine individual score from Nathan as he cut through the mid-field. The team continued to exchange scores with another by the Merchants 13 showing his pace and eye for a gap, soon followed by a try as Mark crashed through a hole and with perfect offload to Daniel for him to dab down next to the posts, converted by Nathan.
With 4 minutes left in the game AKS were leading 15-17 and were planning on shutting shop and closing the game out, however Merchant Taylors had other plans. A mistake from the kick off gave Merchant possession and playing with urgency the home team launched their attack, with strong carries through the forwards and as AKS looked for line speed to neutralise the attack, the line became disjointed and allowed the Merchant Taylors 13 to show his pace for the second time, as he slid through the AKS defence. With a minute of playing time to go Toby roused the troops, giving clear instruction and looking for perfect execution. From the kick-off the ball was lofted high which allowed Tristan to regain possession and win a penalty in the process, rather than going for the draw AKS decided to go all or bust kicking to the corner and looking to play off the lineout as the referee announced final play of the game.
From the lineout, AKS looked to drive, but with no advantage or forward momentum, pushed the ball wide into the midfield. Players from both teams frantically worked to gain an advantage, as AKS crashed toward the posts with their forwards. 10 meters out and to the right of the posts the ball bobbled out the back of the AKS ruck and when it looked to be a 50/50 back, the quick thinking of Sasha, flicked the ball up to Daniel and as the ball mover right through the post a gap opened up for Franklin to dart through and seal an epic victory. Final score 20-22.
This was a fantastic game of rugby from both teams and supporters from both camps were in awe of the quality of rugby played. The two teams look forward to playing again in the Lancashire Cup.
Mr A Holmes