Leicestershire Under 17s finished this years program with a convincing win eventually over Staffordshire Under 17s at Hinckley on the evening of Wednesday 29th March . The first quarter started at an incredible pace. This was set by the home side with Harry Clayton, Leicestershires hooker, scoring a well worked catch and drive. The home side continued with their dominance with a well worked try from centre Daniel White after a number of phases with the whole team involved, which was converted by Thomas Stocks. Birthday Boy on the night Joseph Callery scored two tries before the end of the quarter, neither of them were converted to leave the score 22-0 to Leicestershire.
The second quarter made 12 changes to the Line up. This made a big difference to the game with the new Leicestershire players finding it difficult to get in to the game and with Staffordshire making significantly less changes, the away side began to make in roads in to the game. This was also helped by Leicestershires poor discipline around the breakdown area to give a number of penalties away. Staffordshire scored 17 points to leave the half time score 22-17.
Leicestershire rung the changes for the next 20 mins due to injuries and squad rotation. The half time team talk from the coaching team seemed to have got the message through as the home side started to give fewer penalties away, this meant they could start to put some phases together, however it was Staffordshire that scored first. Leicestershire were caught napping from a quick tap and go to level the scores at 22 all. Leicestershire sprang into life again with some good phases of play resulting in Syd Hill, the Leicestershire No 8, crossing the line, which was converted by Ben Reilly. This made the score at the end of the third 20 minutes, 29-22 to Leicestershire.
In the final 20 minutes, Leicestershire started the way they did at the start of the game, with Man of the Match Fergus Odwyer making a number of breaks in the mid field which eventually ended in Morgan Galloway scoring. Straight from the kick off Leicestershire worked they way up the pitch with fantastic open fouling rugby resulting in Cameron Sly going over for Leicestershire and the games final try which was converted by Ben Reilly to leave the final score 41-22 to Leicestershire.
Head Coach Marc Birr was very satisfied with the over all result. “Staffordshire gave us a good hard test which was just what we needed and we still have work to do” also saying ” the whole squad , coaching and management team have put in a tremendous amount of work to remain unbeaten for the second year running at this age group”.
Next for the coaching team is to choose the Under 18s squad, which is the most difficult part of the job, in sending unselected players back to their clubs after a successful programme.
Report from the Leicestershire Under 17s & 18s Coaching and Management Team.