PUBLISHED 13 November 2019
AKS started with a fantastic defensive effort which was determined and aggressive, in particular Sammy, William and Thomas who tackled magnificently. They handled well when given the opportunities, but unfortunately these were limited as we struggled to win any loose ball at the rucks. This allowed Birkenhead to dominate these areas an eventually finish winners of the game.
Tough conditions awaited us after the long trip to Birkenhead, with snow falling and the temperature close to zero.
Suffering some ‘bus-lag’, we conceded early due to missing some important tackles and some athletic play by our opposition.
Stan & Jay injected some much needed energy after half time and gave our team confidence to start attacking through gaps. It was excellent to see our team continue to fight despite unfavorable score line. Our boys stuck together.
Some good runs by Sam Li, Oliver & Toby put AKS in position to score. However, we did not capitalise on our opportunities and numerous turnovers cost us in the end.
Jasper, Sam Lo & Finn were strong in defense and continued to contest at every opportunity.
Our team is working very hard at training and is sticking to our process. With support to learn and encouragement to enjoy the game, we will continue to make progress each week.
Stand out performances: Oliver, Jasper, Sam Li
On Saturday 9th November AKS U14s took on Birkenhead at home, after two weeks off for half term this was our first game back and the boys were eager to get playing once more. It was a cold, but dry Saturday morning which added it is difficulties to what was going to be a very competitive match.
Birkenhead started very well and managed to sneak in any early try before the AKS boys had realised what was going on, then from another strong attack and some miss tackles from AKS Birkenhead were leading, 14-0, 20 minute minutes into the game. This was a new experience for many of the boys and a good lesson to learn, however the AKS boys started to build their attack and from a well worked line-out Jeremy managed to get over the line and score. Soon after from a strong attacking scrum AKS managed to shift the ball to Reece who burst through the defending centers and scored, AKS were still behind by 2 points (12 - 14). The start of the second half was a totally different story to the first, with AKS being dominant with the ball in hand and showing once again the benefits of a strong defense.
AKS were next on the score sheet with a brilliant clearance kick by Noah, Jeremy chased hard and managed to pressure the opposition full back to dropping the ball, from a good piece of skill Jeremy dribbled the ball over the line and dropped on it to take AKS into the lead 17 -14. The final score came from one of our front row, John, after receiving the ball from KO AKS worked up the pitch to the half way line, John saw a gap on the blind side and picked and went, shrugging a few birkenhead players off on the way and scored under the posts to make the final score 24 - 14.
A well contested game by both teams. MoM for running some fabulous lines Max Green.
Stepping off the coach into the cold and sleet then watching our feet sink into the sodden ground, one could have been forgiven for predicting an attrition match between ourselves and Birkenhead.
In fact, despite the bar of soap which substituted as a ball and the generally difficult conditions both teams played some entertaining and expansive rugby with the ball often reaching the wings. Birkenhead went ahead early on with a try down the blind from a scrum, but were soon pegged back through a simply majestic try from Iestyn who broke through the melee, showed the opposition a clean pair of heels and put a try between the posts which Dan S converted. 5 - 7.
Birkenhead then took the game by the scruff of the neck and used their bigger lads to gain ground and set up strong attacking positions which led to two more scores one of which came just before half time despite heroic defending from the AKS team. 15 - 7.
Following a rousing half-time team talk from Messrs(.) Walmsley and Parker the team conceded almost immediately following the restart! Birkenhead were fired up yet still did not manage to convert their try. 20 - 7
That was the last score Birkenead would achieve as AKS began a phenomenal fightback. A team with two U14's, a sickly number 8, missing key players and NO substitutes took the fight to the opposition and took a short time to impose themselves on a reeling Birkenhead side.The fourth opposition try seemed to sting AKS into action and the game swung swiftly in their favour as the forwards began to dominate in broken play and at the breakdown. Hard-won, quick, clean ball became available Zack and Dan began to steer the game with some intelligent play and deft kicking complimented by incisive running from Tom O and our intrepid captain Josh E.
Tries came from Joe H following a great backs move down the right wing from within our own half which stemmed from a simply audacious run from our captain and which quite probably turned the tide of the match. Another 30 yard storming try from our number 8 through the middle of the park having stolen the ball in broken play. Our fourth try was an absolute humdinger from Tom O who capitalised on another probing kick under pressure from Dan kicking through himself and then doing all the work at the breakdown to run in the try. This took the score to 20-21 after a fortunate "in-off" the upright from the conversion.
The icing on the cake came with about 5 minutes left on the clock and another kick and chase involving Tom O, Josh E, and a couple of others supporting tenaciously. This finally seemed to break the spirit of the stunned Birkenhead lads, not quite understanding how they had found themselves on the losing side after being so dominant for much of the contest. A final conversion from Dan took the score to 20-28 and sealed a famous and well-earned victory on a day which threatened a forward-dominated weather affected match, but which delivered something much more entertaining! Credit must be given to both sides for delivering a wonderful game of rugby which held the attention of all who witnessed it, from start to finish.
Thank you to Birkenhead for their sportsmanship and hospitality. We wish them well for the remainder of the season.
As every member of this AKS team delivered, it is impossible to pick a M.O.M. so for the first time the entire team can pat themselves on the back and take home that accolade. However, a special nod must be given to the U14's lads who bravely stepped up and looked EVERY INCH an equal and valued addition to our team.
The potential of this AKS team is unknown and if we could put out a squad for every game with subs and have ongoing competition for key positions who knows what could be achieved.
The 1st XV showed great intensity from the start of the game, dominating the early exchanges. AKS created opportunities, but in a game full of handling errors, AKS were unable to capitalise on the chances. Mid way through the first half Birkenhead got their first opportunity from a dropped pass, they did not need an invitation to turn this in to points with their first try. Moments later Birkenhead stuck again with a clear interception to make the game 0.12 toward the end of the second half. In a f final effort of the half Tristan caught the ball from the kickoff and AKS launched an attack moving the ball well, to pressure deep in the Birkenhead half. When AKS got a penalty 10 meters out a quick tap looked like it would bare fruits, however a dropped ball saw the visitors again make the most of every opportunity as they moved the ball well to go the length of the field. half time score 0.19.
In the second half AKS rallied in defense and both teams looked very even. AKS looked to be getting back in to the game as Strong running from Oliver and some great tactical kicking by James, saw the home team with a scrum 10 meters out. Tristan did not need a second invitation as he powered over from 8 to make the final score 5.19.
The U16s are in action this weekend in a cup game against St Marys Crosby.