U14 Blackrock College RFC 2016/17 Season:
The u14's had a very encouraging season in 2016/17. We managed to keep approximately 28 of the u13 group together in u14 which is a credit to the boys, the parents and coaches who have shown commitment all season.
The u14 management decided that we would enter at the A Metropolitan League and throughout the season the boys showed that they are well able at this level. We contested all games very well and although only narrowly lost a few could have easily have pushed through and won those games. A few extra players (subs) in key positions would have helped this cause. We had a good battles against most teams and especially Clontarf, Skerries, Greystones and Coolmine. Clontarf eventually went on to win the u14 League and doing well across all age levels.
The two games that stand out the most were firstly against Greystones in the Metro Cup where our lads stood firm against an enormous Greystones pack. We had them rattled all the way to the last 10 minutes when we ran out of steam and they concluded with two late tries. The other encounter was a narrow defeat (4 points) to Coolmine in the Plate semi-final of the League (who we had beaten in the league previously) which would have put us into the Plate final in Donnybrook and a chance for silverware. Next year lads!! The boys acquitted themselves very well on and off the pitch and are a credit to this club (no red cards and maybe just 1 yellow).
The one interesting point about Youth rugby at u14 and most likely at u13 and u15 is that the teams winning games, have 1-2 very big and very fast players who tend to score all their teams points. This as we know is not sustainable and most likely will not facilitate the development of players in general. I believe a move to weight grades would be more beneficial for the development and safety of players across u13 - 15/16 levels.
I would like to thank our Captain Harry O'Sullivan who did a superb job and led from the front this year. His courage and tenacity in each game was an example for all his team mates - well done Harry. I would like to thank all the u14 players for their commitment shown during the u14 season and hopefully all of you will return to u15's next season. I would also like to say a BIG thank you to our special coaches who make the Sundays even more worthwhile, you guys are great to work with and experienced in what you do (thanks Frank, Neill, Ronan, Mark and Finbarr). Jacque Reiddy our new flying flanker had a great start to the season, but unfortunately did his ACL while making a very brave tackle on a large Skerries prop - we wish you a speedy recovery Jacque!!
Finally we have 20 players committed for next year and probably need another 5 players to have a decent squad to take on the u15 season. Lets get in those registrations boys. Onwards and Upwards.
David van Zuydam and Finbarr Hayes
Joint Head-Coaches Blackrock College RFC u14 (Born 2003)