PUBLISHED 07 October 2021
In the Cup, AKS continue to progress with the 1st XV in action against St Edwards College and the U14s against Scarisbrick.
On Wednesday AKS played a return fixture with St Edwards College who they had beaten in a very close game the week before in the Lancashire Cup, but this time the prize was to progress in the National Vase.
St Edwards showed their intention from the first whistle, with a strong defensive line and dominant tackling, making it difficult for AKS to build momentum into the game. Through the pressure, St Edwards scored first and converted, with AKS battling to get a foothold in the game. It was up to Captain Toby to take the initiative along with Louis who carried to get AKS on the front foot and allowed them to challenge the St Edwards line as Toby pick to crash his way over the line. AKS continued to gain momentum in the game through the boot of Daniel as he expertly kicked a 50-20 to pin the home team back into their half. AKS made the most of their time in the opponents half as the industrious Mark scored after fantastic support play, converted by Nathan. As the half came to a close St Edwards struck back with a break down the left-wing and despite the scramble defence, St Edwards went into the half 14-12 up. In the second half, St Edwards started with power and pace scoring an unconverted try to extend their lead. In the final stage of the game, AKS kicked for territory pinning St Edwards back into their half and winning a scrum on the 5-meter line, John, Mark and Louis, put in a shift to win the ball back and this saw Morgan show a touch of class to sell a dummy and glide through to the right of the post, Converted by Nathan to bring the game level at 19-19 for the final whistle. AKS progress as the away team. This was another tight game against good opposition and notable performances from Chris, Cameron and Ben upfront. MOM Tristan for his tireless pursuit of the ball at ruck timekeeping AKS in the game.
On Thursday the U15’s played host to Scarisbrick in the Lancashire cup. Scarisbrick started strong with powerful runners and before AKS had time to react they were 2 tried down. They were down but not beaten as the team including a number of U14s rose to the challenge, with Felix leading the charge in defence and Finn crashing his way up the pitch in attack. This allowed AKS to show their pace and with slick passing Will slid over the line in the left-hand corner to get AKS on the score sheet. AKS continued to apply pressure and keep the Scarisbrick runners at bay, and continuing to mark big dents in the defence Finn crashed his way through the defence for AKS second try and to bring them within 2 points at halftime. In the second half and with the wind at their backs, AKS kicked tactically to keep the pressure on the visitors and with the backline now getting good ball Leyton switched back inside off Will to cross the line to put AKS in the lead. AKs continued to look extremely dangerous out wide as Josh crossed on the left-wing and to top a fantastic second-half performance, Felix showed his pace to dot down and finish off a fantastic team performance. Final Score 27-12 AKS
On Saturday, in extremely wet conditions AKS played our friends from across the Yorkshire border, Giggleswick Grammar School. With all team all teams on show including an U12 & U13 B team playing conditioned games, there was much to celebrate in a fantastic week for AKS rugby.
The U12s moved the ball well playing expensive rugby in tough conditions and as the two teams exchanged blows, it was Giggleswick who took advantage of the gaps in the AKS line scoring a 3 good tries. AKS were also able to get on the score sheet themselves which saw the teams drawing 3-3 going into the final period. It was at this point AKS really sprung to life dominating the game through great recycling of the ball and attacking space, with the energy levels high, they ran in 4 late tries. This has been another great week of development for the boys team who have continued to show improvement week on week and will take the positives forward with them, as they prepare to travel to Wales in the half term tour.
Final Score 35 – 15 to AKS
Tries: Finlay K 2, Isaac 2, Johnnie, Aiden & Oakley
The U13’s came up against a very big, strong Giggleswick side who were well suited to a particularly small pitch. Needless to say, this ended up being a test of our sides defensive capabilities and they tackled superbly well throughout. Though the team conceded 5, they were scored through hard straight running and our lack of experience around the breakdown. The three tries scored by AKS were finished off out wide after a number of phases and even more passes. Leo scoring 2 and ….. scoring the third from a wonderful kick and chase by Xavier D.
Ethan B captained brilliantly and led in the tackle count by a long way. Final Score 25- 15 to Giggleswick
MOM: Archie Pennington for his work rate at the breakdown, decision making in possession and his defensive effort.
The U12 and 13 B teams combined to play conditioned games, this was a great opportunity for players to continue to develop their skills in a semi-competitive situation. There were lots of tries from both teams and despite the weather, all involved continue to improve their skills.
With strong coastal winds and a lot of rain, AKS U14s spirits were not dampened as they picked up their first win of the season. From the outset, AKS delivered a masterclass in tackling and there was vast improvement in their defensive shape and teamwork.
On several occasions, AKS opted to clear their lines against the wind and strong chases, particularly from Will, Charlie, Harry B and Harry J helped to pile on the pressure.
AKS strung together some good attacks and one, in particular, helped to put Harry B through on the wing. Some tidy footwork from Harry meant that he stayed in play and excellent support from Charlie helped to maintain possession. A couple of phases more resulted in Sammy spotting a gap to dot down for try number 1.
Being against the wind, AKS were not without pressure on their own line but a few brave last-ditch tackles (notably from Will) meant that AKS got to halftime without conceding.
First half performances were extremely encouraging notably with Ted and Harry J who received some well-earned rest at halftime only to returned to add some more energy to the team in the latter stages of the game.
Giggleswick hit back hard in the early exchanged of the second half and with strong running, Giggleswick scored a well-earned try. After a rallying call to arms from Sammy under the sticks, AKS began to work their way back into ascendency with intense tackling from Alfie, Owen, Harley, Jake and Daniel and with a quick tap penalty from Sammy and excellent support by Lucas meant that one well-timed offload put AKS back in front. AKS continue to improve physically with Toks, Lucas and Robert K battled hard in the rucks to keep position and with Charlie and Will providing options all afternoon for Sammy, and it was Will who carried strong up the middle and broke free gliding through to the try line to score the third try for AKS. In the final play of the game, AKS passes the ball through the hands and with offloads finished with Toks crashing over in the corner to score. Final Score 20 – 5 to AKS.
MOTM - to Ted who played 2nd row for the first time in this game and tackled brilliantly, which helped to set the tone for the whole team.
The U16s continue to galvanise and build momentum as the season progresses and securing another win and strong team performance. The team showed great composure and control showing their maturity and in defence, AKS were hugely impressive a stood strong against a trio of powerful opposition runners. Their selection of when to compete at the breakdown was a key factor in the overall outcome of the match. With ball in hand, AKS were clinical in the wider channels but was made possible by crisp handling across the board in very challenging conditions. Their effort and ability to execute a game plan is extremely encouraging for games to come. Final score 19-0 to AKS
Try- Stan M x2, Noah M, Conversions by Toby C x2
With a much-depleted 1st XV squad confidence was at a premium for the 1st XV as they faced an unbeaten Giggleswick team. In terrible weather conditions, both teams battled for possession and a game littered with handling errors meant for lots of scrums, where John showed his quality aided by Mark, Louis, Cameron and Ben, as AKS pressured Giggleswick in the scrum. However, Giggleswick showed attacking power with a great individual try from their centre. AKS slowly built their way back into the game with a fierce defensive effort lead by Nathan, toby and Chris and when Gigglewck kicked to pressure the AKS line, Jeremy cut through the defence almost going the length of the pitch to get dragged down 5 meters from the Giggleswick line. AKS kept the pressure on and with a powerful run from Nathan, AKS were all square at 7-7 as the half come to a close. In the second half both teams had opportunities and in terrible conditions made it difficult to convert tin to tries. AKS won a penalty in front of the sticks and Nathan kicked it to pull the visitors ahead. As the game neared the end, Giggleswick played with an urgency and moved the ball well, AKS worked tirelessly tackling to keep the home team attack at bay, but Giggleswick were able to push the ball wide as AKS ran out of numbers in defence, this brought the teams level and as the conversion sailed wide of the post the final whistle sounded. This was a great performance from a young AKS 1st XV, Lead upfront by Mark and Toby who were outstanding, but MOM goes to Nathan for a fantastic defensive display.
Monday saw St Mary Crosby bring a U13B team to play AKS B team to give boys the opportunity to experience a rugby match for the first time. The game started as touch rugby to allow maximum involvement, both teams scored two tries and notably, Nando in his first game made a run into pace and passed left to Leo who found the space to score. The teams then moved on to contact and with a new confidence for the game, this saw 9 players who take to the field in their first contact rugby game. Both teams showed great progress at the tackling and the defensive line improved dramatically and the confidence to run forward allowed both teams to score tries. This was a fantastic afternoon, with an environment that allowed students to be challenged and grow in confidence. Well done to all involved.