Champions for the 2nd Time! FT Surrey 30 v Staffordshire 12
The boys from Surrey County have done it for a second time in as many consecutive years.
We planned the day as usual, to meet early as a squad and run through our plans for the forthcoming match. As such all of the players were gathered and ready to go on time, eager faces and buoyant energy ready to make their mark and create a little history for the U20 age group in Surrey.
Our morning session is a time to get the players to bond and run through game understanding and remind themselves of who they are playing with. As so many come from differing clubs and universities where they play a different way to Surrey. We have had at times, to hold the players back and again on this occasion they needed little encouragement to drive the session forward themselves and seemed more than ready for the game.
So to lunch, relaxation and naming of the squad, disappointment for those who turned up and trained and were not going to be able to play and excitement for those ready to start. I couldn’t have wished for better, the players were focused and knew what they had to do to be successful.
Our focus for the day session was ‘’ to get the job done ‘’, finishing off all aspects of the game and win! The team was ready!
We took the field and as usual and the first few minutes I thought the guys were really going to let rip, but Staffordshire were resilient and started to fight back. The next 10- 15 minutes were a very tense affair, but with Stoic defence we kept the opposition away from our lines until we finally broke away and scored.
For some reason the game never really flowed, we never quite got into full stride and the game plan we had worked on all season just didn’t come off.
We scored a further two penalties and went in to half time 16- 0
Two further converted tries in the second half were down to the individual ability of all the players rather than collective ambition and adhering to a game plan.
While I never felt that we would lose the match for some reason we just could pull of that display that would really excite the crowd.
Whether the tension of the day, playing on a G4 pitch or the cold wind I can’t put my finger on why it didn’t work, only that it didn’t.
Staffordshire played to the bitter end and were, thoroughly deserving Finalists who had obvious players of high ability.
Surrey this season assembled a squad of very high Calibre players who have worked hard and sacrificed a lot of their time to represent their County to achieve a consecutive season win in this National competition.
It is a credit to them as individual’s, their clubs who have brought them on through junior age groups and younger County teams that have excited and built a desire within the guys to always want to play for their County, that has enabled us to build that team. We have created a very positive programme, giving boys a further opportunity to be selected to represent their Country.
Also to keep a link between the players and the County as they leave to go to university and then return looking to play Senior Rugby.
I would like to take this opportunity to specifically thank my coaching team that have worked so hard this season to maintain standards and create that level of enjoyment that makes the guys want to come back time and time again.
Also Matt Macpherson who as Captain has led the team from the front ably assisted by Ryan Travers when unavailable due to injury.
Jonathan Griffin, Mike Birmingham, Chris Sewell, Gareth Rise
Team Manager David Page and Phisio Sophie Capito
Thank You all very Much
At time of writing this (A little after the event I know) the following players have been selected for the London Divisional Team and a chance for England Counties Selection
Nathanial Opedo Ali Wade
Matt Perks Matt Macpherson
Ryan Travers Mike MacDonald
Surrey have the largest group of players represented in the divisional team and we wish them every success for their chance of England selection.
One other player was unfortunate not to be selected due to injury Josh Christie but he will be back as he was young this year.
Let’s see if we can make it three in a row next season.