Hamilton U18s show well at West
U18s use development game to build for season
So easy for a team to take their eye of the ball when faced with a game, where the points are in the bag before the kick off. To be fair to the Young Bulls they approached the game as if it was business as usual. Lending West 3 forwards the task became to improve as a player irrespective of which jersey you were asked to play in.
The Hamilton squad were quick out the blocks quickly spreading the ball from wing to wing and Oliver Dalby scoring in the corner.
Next up was Callum Baird crashing through the back line as he received the ball from a short line out.
It was only minutes later when Hamilton's Robbie MacDonald, becoming more confident, ventured a cross field kick to winger Jordan Craig to cruise in from the wing to score the third try. Robbie was up next himself with a cut through the line, to finish under the posts and it was only five minutes later that Callum Baird took a pass off Robbie in the center of the park, to again break the defence and score near the posts.
West really did not have an answer for Hamilton's attack off our shortened line and once again Callum Baird broke the line, taking the ball up to five metres from the line. The resulting ruck saw a quick pass to Lewis Bruce, who burst through the West defenders, who barely had time to set, for Hamilton's sixth try. With Robbie MacDonald converting five out of the six, the score for the half finished 0-40 to Hamilton.
With West having asked Hamilton to bring extra players to help them out, there was wide spread change in the Hamilton squad with ten changes and some of Hamilton's starting team taking their turn with a West shirt on. It is fair to say that this was not conducive with maintaining the flow of the game but certainly was, for giving as many players as possible valuable game time.
As the second half started West appeared to have a bit more fight but Hamilton did not help the situation with a number of offside decisions. After five minutes, West manged a break down the wing to score their first underneath the posts. Hamilton then took advantage of a penalty to gain some territory and from a resulting line out on the West five metre line, Cameron Irvine pounced on a mistake, scoring Hamilton's seventh try of the day. Robbie stepped up and converted for a good 6 out of 7 kick record for the day, to make the score 7-47.
It wasn't that long before West, once again managed a charge through the middle and some slipped tackles allowed another score under the posts.
Another opportunity came for West as they picked at the back of the scrum and the ball was popped to Jordan Craig, now in a West jersey, who ran forty metres and skillfully stepped a couple of Hamilton players to score in the corner. With 15 minutes left, West score the final score of the game and having converted three of them, the score was to stay at 26- 47.
I think it was fair to say that the structure to the Hamilton game was broken up a bit and the second half showed more individual skills than team skills but the boys fought it out and West for all scoring four trys never looked like making an impact, on what was overall, a convincing improvement in the Hamilton game from last week.
Thanks to West for hosting the the game and thanks to the large support who are following the development to this current batch Under 18 players.
Next Week we welcome Ayr to Laigh Bent for the slightly earlier kick off of 1pm. This should be a very interesting look at how U18 rugby has developed from last season and is certainly a match not to be missed!
This week Libby's photos are on an attached link to this match centre.