Under 11s Season Review - by Matty Taurima with Brendan Cathcart, U11 Coaches

This season has been tough for our boys and girls. Unfortunately the majority of the time we were on the wrong side of the scoreboard, however that is the only negative I can find for the year.

The boys and girls were playing their first full-field rugby union this year and our first couple of games showed how much work was needed.

We were the smallest team in the competition and we weren't gifted with any abundance of speed either, however the amount of heart shown throughout the season was second to none.

These young Crocs trained hard week in week out and really began to demonstrate the skill and determination that will place them in an enviable position in years to come. There was a great sense of encouragement between the players and parents and despite not earning a win throughout the season, it was never the main outcome we pursued. It was a year of learning the game, getting in there making tackles, learning to run the ball with confidence and most of all, learning that rugby union is a team sport. Everyone is as important as the person next to them.

There were a lot of highlights throughout the season and to pick one is a very daunting thing to do but for the coaching staff it would be the improvement made by each individual at different times of the year and the look on their faces when they realised they 'COULD DO IT'.

It has been a humbling experience watching your children grow into little rugby players and we are very proud of their sportsmanship, attitude and commitment to their team mates.

We would like to thank Kylie our manager for her guidance and commitment to the team. Without you I don't know what we would have done.  To the parents, aunties, uncles, nans and pops that played doctor, ran the sidelines or just stretched the lungs, we thank you.

To our water runners Tiana and Savannah we thank you, and to our team we hope to see you all next season!!!

PLAYER PROFILES

Aaron: Aaron was struck down with one of those frustrating injuries half way through the year. But to his credit he fought his way back and had a memorable game against his own team when he 'took one for the team' and played for the Dragons in a 7s match.

Owen: An absolute pleasure to coach, Owen always gave us 100% and it showed!!! He improved in all facets of the game, good on you!!

Ayden: Ayden really started to believe in himself towards the end of the season, and the team benefited from this. Some really good runs and a better understanding of the laws has helped Ayden enjoy his game more. Keep it up!!

Jesse: Jesse grew into one of our work horses of the forward pack, but it wasn't until he ran the ball against the Dragons in round 3 that he realised his potential and strength. A hard worker at training. Look out for this boy in the future. 

Daniel: Dan was the captain twice this year and seamed to enjoy it. Most memorable, his first game as captain, the hit of the year nearly knocking himself out!!

Lily: Lily really led the boys up front this year as far as heart goes. If she wasn't trying to knock herself out with her tackles she was the little thief stealing the ball in the rucks. Great season Lily!!

Alexandra: I wish we had more Alex's this year. Probably the best rugby brain on the team, she out smarted the opposition half the time and shocked them the other half. Thanks for your effort!!

Benny: Unfortunately we lost Benny to a knee injury early in the year. He started so well, what could have been I wonder!!

Wiremu: Wiremu had a fantastic season in the defence and attack. After a confusing start to the season, he applied himself and really began to dominate oppositions.

Raymond: Raymond has been a delight to coach. A great knowledge of the game outweighed only by his passion. One of our best players week in week out, you could forgive him for being frustrated, but not Raymond. He possesses the right attitude to go all the way. Keep it up!!

Kobey: Kobz really blossomed towards the end of the season, coming close to scoring many times and then finally getting a double against the Dragons in round 3. A great attitude towards training and team spirit could make this kid the second All Black halfback to come out of Palmy.

Tom: Some great skills from Tom this year was a real highlight.  Some crunching tackles and devastating running could see Tom go far in rugby. Unfortunately Tom was struck down with injuries early on and his importance to the team was noticed when other commitments forced him out later in the season. Good Luck Tom!!

Tristan: One of the most talented players in the team 'T' really blossomed in the centres. A great pass linking our outside backs, great defence and a good turn of pace really helped his mates, Good effort T!!

Sterling: What a great season from this rookie. Sterling come to us a few games into the season and really filled a gap in the team. A willingness to listen and learn really made Sterling one of the most improved in the squad.

Beau: The highlight for Beau this year was his defence. We know if Beau was there, he had them!! And he did, whether they were twice his size or faster than him, he found a way!!! You're the man Beau!!

Chace: Watching Chace grow in confidence was a real highlight this year. Always punching above his weight, Chace ran the ball like he was a 100kg prop. Top season Chace!!

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