After a delayed beginning to our league season – things kicked-off for our U17-SWORDS team on Tuesday June-25, travelling away to Aurora, to take on the Barbarians.  A perfect evening for running rugby, on the high quality turf field.  After a few line-out practices, to break-in the stand-in hooker Ibrahim El-Amir, and a few passing-drills to warm-up the hands, the Swords were set for the off. A little delayed, since the appointed referee hadn’t shown-up, but a certified ref was found amongst the home-team’s coaching staff, and we were “off-to-the-races” –  And what a start!

SWORDS came out with cannons-ablaze – and quickly racked-up two scores before the home-team could claim to have had any real possession. The Crusaders kept their shape and executed a successful game-plan, crashing into their close-in defenders, and then playing a fast-ruck/off-loading style, to maintain momentum and pressure – this inevitably opened gaps, and gave opportunity for some great scores.  By half-time the Cru were up by 6-tries.  We knew the Barbarians were not going to take this lying-down, and after the break, the hosts hit back immediately, with a score of their-own – A thrusting-run right through our central-defence (as our guys were seemingly still having a “break”? ).  But the “wake-up call” worked, and the Crusaders came back with bullocking-carries from Michael-Hayes, and Mike-McArtney, but it was the solid-tackling and turnover-play that really won the day. Slick distribution from the breakdown by initially Connor Gittens and later Ben Robinson, at “9” – gave the runners lots of opportunity with ball-in-hand.  Some jinxy-side-stepping was able to out-fox the fast-up defenders, and meant for some spectacular line-breaks. Stand-outs were the great decision-making by Daniel-Sanders, plus the powerful running from Stefan Van-Niekerk, scything-through on several occasions.

Final score of 62 – 7 to the SWORDS was not a true reflection of the stout performance put-up by the Barbarians, but it does show the tremendous hard-work, and clinical-finishing, finely executed by the Crusaders-team. They all came away with big smiles.

Great Job guys

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