Prior to the tournament start on Sunday, the team were hosted by a local club RC Eemland. The boys and girls had a great afternoon playing mixed team matches with RC Eemland and even getting some of the referees to play along with one of the tour games "gecko". RC Eemland were fantastic hosts and organised a really great afternoon of rugby for our young Lions.
On Sunday the Hilversum International Youth Tournament kicked off in baking heat. Our first match was against Haagsche RC. This was a team that were tipped as potential winners of the tournament , being a very strong Dutch team. The Lions were first to cross the line, thanks to a powerful run by Lizzie Deverson. The team grew in confidence, however, it seemed like we just weren’t able to capitalise on our chances. Early in the second half, the inevitable happened and Haagsche RC equalized. Luckily, this seemed to be the motivation for our team to move up another gear and a great team move up the field, ended up with Finley Wilson scoring the next try and displaying some fancy footwork to beat the defence. This gave us a 2-1 victory!
Our second match was against Tilburg 1. Our team picked up yet another gear and ran in 7 tries without conceding. Archie Seward got a hat-trick in this match, showing his power and resilience to overcome the opposition. Nicolas Proctor scored 2 tries , using his pace to out run his opposite number. Our first try scorer from the first match Lizzie, managed to cross the line in similar fashion and our final try was scored by the human battering ram that is William Price.
For our Third match, parents and coaches were all getting twitchy, starting to think we had a chance of winning the cup. The cheers on the side-lines were getting louder and louder. Our opposition in this match was DRC Pickwick Players, however, they again succumbed to the ability of our young Lions, who ran in 5 tries, conceding none. Our first try scorer was Finley Wilson, who again showed fantastic footwork to cross the line. This was then followed up by Nathan Powell who scythed through the opposition from our own 5 meter line. Finley Theaker was next , who powered through, using his height and strength to great advantage. Jonny Lees was next across, not wanting to be left out, steaming up the wing at frightening pace. Last, but certainly not least was Geoff Richter, who scored his first try for the club, making his mum weep for joy.
Our final match was against RC Eemland, our fantastic hosts from the previous day. A really spirited game , which brought the best out of our players. We won this last match 9 tries to 2. Jonny Lees scored an amazing 4 tries dashing up the wing, Finley Theaker scored 2 tries, straight through the middle, but the 2 stand out tries of this match were Jess Lilly, how finished up a team move that involved Jonny Lees and Jimmy Irwin. This was followed up Catherine Race crossing the line for our final try.
The 4 victories made us overall winners, giving us the U12 Cup!!!
Special mentions must go to Nicolas Proctor and Tom Atkinson, who volunteered to help out another team, that had lost some players. Both boys were the stars on the field.
As is tradition in our team, the players get to vote for a player of the tournament, this player then gets awarded a pair of socks , which they must wear at all future matches, of the host club. The player of the tournament this year was Finley Wilson.
Reporter Will Wilson