Lancashire Plate action for U15 and U16 rugby squads - Mr Holmes

Lancashire Plate action for U15 and U16 rugby squads - Mr Holmes

Lancashire Plate action for U15 and U16 rugby squads - Mr Holmes

PUBLISHED 11 February 2022

After a half term of football, the AKS U15 and U16 squads were in Lancashire Plate action this week.


The U15 travelled to Manchester Grammar School in the quarter-finals.  AKS travelled well and set off with high intensity and an attacking mindset, but needed strong defence in the early exchanges, as Manchester strong runners looked to take charge of the game.  After 6 minutes AKS bust through the line with a slight of hand from Toby and an explosive run from Finn, which saw him swerve the full back to touch down on the right of the post. AKS continued to look dominant and soon crossed again after powerful running from Leo and fastball to release Sam Li to crash over on the felt hand side. On the hunt to get back in the game Manchester's powerful number 8 kicked into gear with powerful running and was soon joined by the fullback, causing the AKS defence problems. This pressure saw Manchester score two converted tries going into half time 14.10 leaders. In the second half, Manchester continued to dominate the contact area and put AKS on the back foot, scoring a third try and kicking a penalty after some ill discipline at the offside line. In the final stages of the game, AKS showed tenacity and determination, as Stan led the change up front and Tommy making breaks through the middle.  This resulted in AKS being camped in the Manchester 22 for a period of time, with Manchester defence having to work extremely hard to keep them out.  As the game came to a close AKS capitalised on a penalty advantage with Stan skittling the defence to score a converted try. Final score 24.17 to Manchester. Some fantastic rugby played and good individual performances. Star of the game Toby Curran for his management of the game and numerous turn overs.


The U16s rugby team played host to Westhill school in the semi-finals of the Lancashire plate and after two days of wind and rain, the sun came out in time to see some fast and expansive rugby. From the kick off, AKS defence had to work hard to stop the powerful Westhill forwards, but with strong tackling from Cameron and Iestyn up front, they kept them at bay. With ball in hand Noah and Toby dictated the pace of the game and used the back line to good effect releasing Rio who scorched down the wing to score the first try of the game. It was not long until AKS stretched the Westhill defence once more and Jeremy jinked through a gap to sprint clear and put AKS in the driving seat. Westhill continued to battle with the ball in hand and challenged the AKS line on a number of occasions, but the AKS defence continued to work tirelessly to keep them out. With AKS challenging the defence out wide Westhill started to spread the field to cover the wide channels allowing John, to pick the ball from a ruck and showing a turn of pace, cruised around the full-back touch down for AKS’s third try, converted by Toby. In the final moment of the half Westhill finally got their break scoring in the left corner to make the halftime score 17-5.

In the second half, it was like deja vu, as John scored an identical try at the other end of the field, converted by Toby. AKS continued to stretch the defence with strong running from Aki and George up front and abrasive defence by Daniel, Jasper and Stan making their mark in the second half. The pressure was too much for the visitors and AKS ran in 3 further tries, one for Rio and two for Tom, with Harvey converting two of his attempts. From the next kick off Stan caught the ball and after crashing through the first two defenders, showed a clean set of heals as he powered around the outside of the defence to touch down in the left corner for a stunning individual effort. In the final stages of the game, AKS lost a little shape and with ill discipline gave Westhill the opportunity to attack their line. Despite strong running from the visiting pack, AKS defence stood resolute putting in a epic defensive display. The final score 48-5 to AKS and we look forward to playing in the final. There were many strong performances across the squad, today's star of the day is Cameron who played an excellent game.


When reflecting on the game Mr Jones said  “I am extremely proud of the team, we were a little rusty to start with, due to our lack of game time, but the team grew into the game, playing a brand of rugby that we can be really proud of. It was extremely pleasing to see the U15’s in the squad not only contributing but leading the charge in key areas of the game.”

Mr Holmes (head of rugby) said "Firstly Id like to thank Mr Jones. He has done a fantastic job with this squad, there was some exceptional rugby played today and I am extremely excited about the tour to South Africa this summer and next season as these players continue to grow and develop into AKS 1st XV players.”

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