With an unbeaten season in the UK under their belts, Haywards Heath RFC u12s were invited to the Luxembourg International u12s rugby tournament to test their skills against 14 other teams from France, Germany, Belgium and Holland last weekend.
Two Heath sides were entered and with the sun blazing down and temperatures hitting 30°C it seemed like a weekend more suited to cricket than rugby. Heath was welcomed on the Friday night with a BBQ and some light refreshments for the 30 strong contingent of fathers and sons on ‘Tour’.
With both sides warmed up and ready to go early on the Saturday morning, they quickly got into their stride showing their European counterparts why Heath has gone unbeaten over the past 18 months at this age level. With group games taking up the morning’s play both teams quickly progressed as group winners.
This resulted in a reluctant all Haywards Heath semi-final. With both teams having not conceded a try all morning and scoring at will in the group games the Semi was an entirely different affair!
The semi-final proved to be the game of the tournament with ferocious tackling and some fantastic handling from both teams. With competition for places in the ‘A’ team throughout the season being so competitive the boys really wanted to show what they could do and prove to the coaching team why they believed they should be in the stronger team.
No one disappointed in a game that all spectators agreed was the game of the season for both Haywards Heath teams! It could easily have gone either way with both teams going close to the try line in the first half. The Heath ‘RED’ team eventually prevailed with a 1 try to nil victory through some excellent quick rucking and passing of the ball out wide to score in the corner.
This team then went on to meet French side Epernay in the final prior to which a minute’s silence was held as a mark of respect to a past Heath player, Dax Garside, who at the age of 47 sadly lost his battle with cancer late last week.
The final was a fairly one sided affair with Haywards Heath comfortably winning 8 tries to nil against Epernay who had been recent winners of the tournament.
The Heath coaching team was very flattered to receive feedback from the organisers and the referees complimenting the Heath teams and commenting that in all the years it has been running, Haywards Heath were the strongest side ever seen at the tournament! Heath u12s sent a big thank you to their tour sponsor Pets Corner for helping to make the event happen and enabling Heath to test its skills against European opposition.
This summer Heath is hosting two summer junior rugby camps at Whitemans Green. From Monday 31 July to Wednesday 2 August the Quins camp is running from 9.30 to 3.30pm, teaching youngsters to play rugby the Harlequins way. Then later this summer anyone inspired by the Lions tour to New Zealand can learn to play rugby the NZ way over 5 days from 21-25 August. Details of both camps for anyone age 6 to 16 can be found on the Heath website at www.hhrfc.co.uk. Sign up today and experience the difference pre-season summer junior rugby training and development can make for all ages. Not to mention the fun everyone will have learning new skills and gaining confidence on the pitch at Heath.