U12s Soar To Final
By Richard Robinson
Great performance takes Rockets to final
The league season reached the playoff semi final stages and the u12s had the honour of leading off the Rockets onslaught on the finals with the 1st of 3 semi final games at Cramlington across different age groups.
Having selected a strong match squad there was some early rejigs required when it was discovered that one player couldnt get his head into the assigned shirt number so a last minute shirt swap rectified the issue.
Peterlee travelled with a full match squad including a number of their big guys and we knew that we were in for a tough game. The game kicked off in perfect conditions. From the off the defensive play from both teams was on top, before a couple of missed tackles allowed Peterlee to make good progress up the pitch and attack the Cramlington line. Cramlingtons defence stood firm, only to be undone by over eagerness and we were penalised for advancing before the ball had been played. Eventually in the 10th minute Peterlee managed to get a play the ball just short of the line and a quick scoot resulted in the 1st try of the game which was converted for a 0-6 scoreline.
This early setback only galvanised the Rockets though, from the kick off the Rockets were on the front foot, A hugh hit by Ewan Goodridge drove his man back 5m, followed up with great marker defense gave Peterlee no time and forced a turnover to the Rockets. From the resulting play Alex Donaghy was able to cross the line to get the Rockets on the board in the 15th minute.
Great play by Alex looked to have put the Rockets in again only for the ball to be placed short of the try line due to some eroneous line markings on the pitch, but this mistake was soon rectified with Adam Patterson storming into the line from Full Back to score and put the Rockets in the lead in the 20th minute and with Donaghy adding the extra 2 the Rockets were begining to take hold of the game.
From the resulting kick off, Peterlee pinned the Rockets back with some good defence. However, the Rockets stuck to the basics and utilised the Rocket Rumble to good effect when Prop Ollie Robinson received the ball on the Rockets 30m line and started a brutal charge up the pitch smashing through defenders and gaining a good 40m of ground, a quick PTB from the run and Adam Patterson was able to take full advantage and score to stretch the lead to 14-6 in the 23rd minute. There was still time in the final minutes of the half for the Rockets to once more cross the goal line with Ewan Goodridge and Alex Donaghy converting for a Half Time Score LIne of 20-6. The half had been a great turn around and we had used the full width of the pitch to stretch Peterlee, with wingers Peggie and Leon both having good games and the forwards working tirelessy with Max and Ewan being quick in defence and Danny Glover producing great runs off the back of the scrums
In the second half, Peterlee came storming back desperate to get back into the game. But Cramlington were not having it and to a man tackled there hearts out. Some great tackles from Matty Law, Benji Kinloch, Jack Bowman, Craig Lamb and Korban Roler, in his first competitive game since breaking his nose, typified how all players were giving 100%. Having weathered the 5 minutes of constant pressure the Rockets once again gained control, with Nathan Clemmit linking well from Hooker to continually set up good moves from the PTB. From such a move in their own half Ewan Goodridge was able to break the line and score under the posts, conversion by Adam Patterson for a 26 - 6 scoreline.
The Rockets continued to play well, with Danny Glover using the loose forward run to great effect gaining good territory which allowed Donaghy to break the line again and score with his last play of the game as he came off with a tight hamstring, Michael woods converting for 32-6.
While Peterlee were tiring they still threatened with AJ their loose forward being a constant threat with his surging runs. On one such run he managed to evade 3 tackles and seemed certain to score before Leon Smith produced a ground shaking tackle to save the try. Again good defense was required to repel the Peterlee attack, and Cramlington put on another good defensive set with Tom Henderson playing at wing marshalling a kick out over the dead ball line to stop a score.until Peterlee worked an opening and managed to squeeze in a consolation score.
But the Rockets would finish strongly with Patterson and Glover scoring deserved tries to take the final score to 40-10. This was a massive result for the whole team squad including all the interchanges such as Tom Henderson and Steve Leinson who came on in the 2nd half and continued to demonstrate the Rockets core values of hard work and team spirit. All players should be immensly proud of their performances with many u11s stepping up such as Sam Buck and Curtis Easton and performing very well. The u12s Coach Richard Robinson had set up motivational goal of winning by 20 points, the reward for this would be the opportunity to pour buckets of water over him as part of the Ice Bucket Challange - you can see the resultant video on the Rockets Face Book Page