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U12’s Season 2017/2018
The goal for the coaches was to create a fun, friendly and competitive atmosphere for the boys to be
involved in which I believe we did as a group. It was always great to see the smiles on the boys faces
after training and games which created a brilliant comradery amongst the players.
Due to a falloff in numbers, we went from four squads to three this year but the U12’s still had 52
enthusiastic players for our final season of mini rugby. Coach numbers held strong at 16 which
meant that we had more than enough volunteers to help with our numbers.
Our season began when we hosted the annual Eric O’Connor memorial festival in September where
we hosted 20 visiting teams and managed to raise a record amount for St John’s Oncology ward in
Crumlin which was very satisfying.
In October, we welcomed Wilmslow RFC to Stradbrook; they brought 2 U12 sides and our boys were
looking forward to playing them again as they had beaten our sides comprehensively in Wilmslow at
U10 level, but the years had benefited us as we ran out easy winners in both our games. The teams
were picked from who was available on the Saturday and they were fantastic on the day and
delighted to have gained a bit of revenge.
Despite the disruptive weather over the year, the U12’s had a very busy Metro campaign where all
our teams were competitive with a noticeable improvement in skills and performance week in and
week out.
Early into the New year saw two of our teams entering the annual 5 th class Fr Gavin Willow Park
festival which, after a snow cancellation took place mid-April. Not selecting any Willow 5 th or 6 th class
boys, we entered two mixed ability teams into the B and C sections and both sides manged to win all
but 1 of their 6 games on the day, which was a fantastic achievement as we played against schools
and squads that had been together longer than our sides had been.
April also saw the U12’s been invited to play a half time match versus Mullingar during the Leinster v
Zebre game. As exciting as this was for our players, only 18 could be selected for the day, and with
this, we conducted a draw out of a hat. The boys who weren’t selected were a credit to the squad
wishing those that were lucky to be chosen well for the day and despite a torrential downpour, we
were unlucky not to come out with a win (after a disallowed try!) drawing 0 – 0, but the squad had a
brilliant time and experience.
The highlight of the U12’s season is the end of mini rugby and season tour; this year we decided to
follow the last two years’ s groups and head to Biarittz France. Organisation began in the Summer of
2017 where a fundraising dinner, together with raffle and auction were held in the clubhouse at the
end of January. Thanks to fantastic support from parents, coaches and other mini rugby age groups,
a fabulous night was had, resulting in us exceeding our fundraising target with over 200 people
attending o the night.
Our tour to Biarittz took place May 11 th – 13 th which also coincided with the European Cup final
taking place close by in Bilbao Spain. Having originally not included it in our itinerary, flexible travel
arrangements thanks to Rugby and French & JWT meant that our entire group of 85 were able to
source tickets and attend to see Leinster win their 4 title.
It helped cap off a brilliant weekend where our 3 sides played fantastic rugby, in terrible conditions
versus their French opponents and finished their weekend surfing, in the rain on Biarittz beach, with
not one complaint from the boys.

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