Saturday, 29 November 2008

Sunday 30th November Pencoed Double Whammie

As Pencoed are fielding 2 U8 teams we plan to play both the Skulls & Crossbones. Both teams to meet at 9.30 to train with the Crossbones kicking off first as soon as Pencoed are ready. Skulls will play as soon as a pitch is available. Dress v warm, 2-3 layers, gloves & hats.Hotdogs at the Cricket club afterwards with Pencoed. Hoodies out tomorrow!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Tony's South Gower Report

1st half
A break in the winter rain allowed two well balanced teams produce some fine
running rugby. The first try went to Mumbles after a great run by Ryan.
South Gower then replied with a fine try. It was a credit to the effort put
into their training that the boys produced such an entertaining game despite
the very cold conditions. Each side could have scored several tries.

2nd half
South Gower scored first and in previous games Mumbles would have let the
flood gates open. However, the boys worked well as a team and tagged
extremely well. The play went from side to side as each team's tagging
created turnovers. The deadlock was finally broken by Max who scored
following a tremendous run. South Gower almost scored in the dying seconds
but the defence held strong. Well done to all the SKULLS who showed a lot of
improvement. I'm sure the CROSSBONES will do us proud next week after
training hard this week.

This weekend Sunday is at Bishopston again for a home game against Pencoed. They also have 2 teams we have found out. Having seen already the benefit of training sessions the working plan is for the crossbones to play each Pencoed team in turn to allow a full 930-1100 training for the skulls. If any crossbones want a rest rather than play twice we'll draft in the skulls as required. Everyone is welcome back at the Cricket Club after and we are short of volunteers to boil the hotdogs!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Sunday 23 November

See Alex's blog below about us splitting the squads. Further to this - can we all meet in Bishopston this Sunday (23 November) at 10:00.

The Skulls will have a warm-up and short training session followed by a game against South Gower, kick-off at 11:00.

The Crossbones will have a full training session.

There will be food and drinks back at the Mumbles Cricket Club afterwards, everyone's welcome.

Split Squads - the New Formula for Success

After the glory days of an undefeated season (like all great teams!) the Pirates have hit on a lean patch. For the most part there are positive forces underlying this – match after match without training time (which the kids love) and a recent swell in numbers, a brilliant foundation for the future but reducing game time in the present. I have no doubt if we fielded a squad the same size as our opponents (who often struggle to have 10 players) or favoured our strongest team at the expense of others we could well continue our winning ways. However, this challenges the fundamental goals and ethos of our team, built on enjoyment, fun, inclusion and to nurture and fulfil potential for all. I have been speaking to the other year group coaches who (believe it or not) highlight their positive experiences of a losing streak as a stimulus for focus and improvement. We plan to follow the example of the U10s and U9s who also have full squads and split in two working groups – easy to name for us: the Skulls and the Crossbones!

One squad will train and the other will play the match with warm-up and training fitted around. The intention is to have two groups of equal ability and potential (not A & B) and they will be shuffled and mingled regularly once we are up and running. For away matches one team will travel and the other will train at home (whether that be Underhill or Bishopston) – we will endeavour to accommodate all logistical issues (those with brothers in other teams / parents who car share etc) nearer the time. We will also use the mini-teams on non-match days for training exercises. This will of course only work if everyone gives training sessions the same priority as matches and as in all teams attendance will be one selection criterion. Remember the coaching staff is made up solely of parent volunteers – why not come and join us?

Jake C*
Max P
Tomasz B
Thomas T
Cai B-L*
Ryan C*
Max B*
Rhydian D
Josh B
Connor M
James F
Rory D


Will M
Liam T
Megan F*
Elias A*
Ioan H*
Tomos A
Tal E*
Matthew G
Alex D
Connor O’S
Freddie B
Sean M
Dylan T

* coach parent
This weekend the skulls will face South Gower and next week the Crossbones will take on Morriston!! both at home (Bishopston)with training for the other squad.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

After Match Drinks at Mumbles CRICKET Club

Good to hear about the tough battles while I've been away. We are all invited with the U&,U9 and U10 to the CRICKET club after this Sunday's game at Bishopston. This could be an opportunity to discuss any issues with parents - there are some ideas we are entertaining to maximize training time given that the fixture list is so heavy. Quietly confident that the Pirates hoodies and beanies may be available too!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Sunday 9th November - Cowbridge RFC

We have a match this Sunday (9th November) against a touring side from Cowbridge RFC which will be played at Bishopston School playing fields, the same venue as last weekend. Kick-off will be at 11:00 and we will have a training session beforehand, so please meet at Bishopston at 9:45.

There will be food and drinks back at the clubhouse afterwards with Cowbridge, everyone's welcome. I'll let you know arrangements later on in the week.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Match Report - Gowerton RFC

Catch me if you can!

1st half - It was a cold dry morning at Bishopston, our adopted home ground. The early score by Gowerton was followed swiftly by a swerving run from half way by Rhydian who crossed for a try. This set the scene for a fine running game of rugby. The extra practice on keeping the line paid off. Will again showed his skills with a run down the wing setting up a try for Ryan. Gowerton answered with a try. Some excellent tagging resulted in a turnover and a try for Will. (3-2)

2nd half - Some good running and passing enabled Elias to start the scoring with a fine try. Gowerton scored. Max made a snaking run hugging the sideline and set up Liam’s first try. Mumbles showed their team work with good passing, fast running and excellent support. Elias started a move, passed to Megan who ran well and passed to Will who went over for his second try. Elias was prominent again with a last minute tag to prevent a try, but Gowerton kept up the pressure and scored a short time later. Connor also made an excellent tag to halt a long swerving run by a Gowerton player. Unfortunately this move was finished by Gowerton scoring again. Gowerton had a further two tries in the half and took the lead that they never lost. (6-7)

3rd half - Gowerton were quick off the blocks again for another try. Mumbles replied after some good running especially by Liam that resulted in Max scoring by the corner flag. Gowerton scored a try. Will was able to finish one of his many runs with a great solo try. However, Mumbles then showed great teamwork to provide Will with his fourth try. Gowerton scored again before Liam finished off with his second try. (10-11)

The players of the week were Max and Matthew. Max showed some fine running skills and a try, whilst Mathew was rewarded for his teamwork and support play. Josh had a good game with fine tagging and good support play. Well done to all the players who made this game so enjoyable to watch. It was unlucky to lose such a fine game.

Half term holidays and illness meant that we were short on coaches this week so many thanks to Paul for helping with the training and running behind the team during the match; to Matthew's mum for looking after the substitutions and to Rhydian's mum and dad for the match report and the photos.