PUBLISHED 26 September 2022
After a fantastic rugby tour to South Africa and a strong pre-season AKS hit the ground running with the seniors travelling to Merchant Taylors School for pre-season warm-up games. This was a great opportunity for 9 players to make their 1st XV debut and saw impressive performances from many of the U16s, new to the set-up. In the First game AKS played Merchant Taylors and with a shaky start in the contact the young side soon came of age as they played some magnificent rugby. This was on full show as John crashed the ball up over the halfway line and with quick rucking, the ball mover wide with a great line from Reece in the middle to give Josh space to canter down the wing. The final score was 0-19. Victory was short-lived as AKS came up against the next challenge of St Anselms’, who posed a different challenge in their intensity and physicality. AKS battled well, but were outworked at the breakdown which hindered their attacking play. St Anselms’ ran in 4 unanswered tries and AKS were left with plenty to work on in training. This was a great experience and there were lots of positives to build on moving into the season.
On Wednesday the U16s were in full swing in the Lancashire Cup against St Margaret’s from Liverpool. Despite the visitor's abrasive tackling and some strong runners in attack, AKS U16s put on an attacking master class, with a high-tempo game and moving the ball to space with purpose. This saw AKS score 7 tries to 1, with 2 tries from Will, 2 for Sam Li, and 1 each try for Finn, Josh and Tommy. It was impossible to pick out one stand out player, as there were a number of fantastic performances, with Toby controlling the game, Sam Li who was defensively fantastic and running great lines in attack, Will joining the line from full-back and causing St Margaret’s issues out wide and Harvey cashing the ball up the middle to create space for the back. This is an exciting team and we look forward to seeing them in action again soon.
Saturday 17th September
On Saturday 17th September, AKS hosted the first block fixture of the season. At home, a large squad was on show for the 1st XV with the sides playing 3rds to allow all players an opportunity to play and develop. In the first third, It was a close game with both teams looking dangerous, but AKS went a try-up with Cameron back to full fitness and crashing over the line , with one of his trade mark runs. In the second third, AKS had a young side on with many of the U16s playing their part. This saw the mace of the game pick up and despite the change in physicality, AKS were able to run in 2 well-worked tries, one from Daniel and the second from Sam Li, who ran an outstanding line to sleight through the defence. In the final third AKS continued to pressure the visitors, with tries from Stan, 2 from Joe, who is back from long-term injury and looking to cement a place in the team, then a final try from Mark. Altrincham were not without opportunity and they scored a penalty kick and a try late in the game after sustained pressure on the AKS line. Although another good attacking performance, AKS will need to look at their penalty count in preparation for next weeks clash against Giggleswick.
Elsewhere, the U15s lost in a closely fought battle. AKS got off to a slow start going two tries up in 5 mins, when they lost all defensive shape and struggled to keep possession of the ball. Leading the charge William score and in rousing the players, AKS got a foothold in to the game. With pressure on their hosts AKS were awarded a penalty try to make the final score 36-31.
Following a long week on Yr. 9 field trip a fatigued U14 squad found themselves on the wrong side of the score line. Despite their opponents running in a number of tries, they kept going until the game finished.
Starting slowly was the theme of the day for the U13s as they found themselves 25 – 0 down. However, with a tremendous show of resilience from the team and a large dollop of tenacity, the team were able to work together, to turn the game around. Following a rousing speech from Mr Castellas, the squad honed their communication & organisation skills, which saw a huge improvement in their play. All players contributed to a sound second-half performance, and with a hat-trick of tries for Tino and one from Isaac, AKS clawed their way back to a respectable 30-20 score line. A special mention to David H, Freddie B and Henry C who all had an excellent match.
In their first competitive game, the U12’s selected a large squad and played 3 periods of rugby. In the first period AKS led by 25-0 with tries from Lukas, Frank, Tristan, William and Monty. In the second period of play Altrincham fought back scouring six tries to one with William adding his second, making the scores all square at 30-30. In the final period of play, AKS took control of the game again with tries from Harry, Frank picking up his second for the day and Owen finishing off the scoring. This made the final score 45-30 to AKS. This was an extremely positive morning with some excellent rugby and even better atmosphere around the squad.
Reflecting on the game Mr Walmsley said ” I am super impressed with the squad and especially those who were experiencing rugby for the first time, the lads tried to positive attacking rugby and really kept their shape in both attack and defence.”
We look forward to our upcoming cup games for the U15 against Ripley and our U18 against Scarisbrick, as well as our next block fixture against Giggleswick next week. Good luck to all involved.
Mr A Holmes