Mon 05 Jul 2021 17:35

This 'season' has been especailly challenging and the club would like to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE for their continued support, effort and commitment since summer 2020. Without players, parents, volunteers, members and sponsors there is no club.
A big thank you in particular goes to our coaches, team managers and fixture secretaries for their dedication and tenacity, without whom there would be no record of our rugby to look back on. Thanks also to Phil Saunders Hall for his assistance once again with team photography. The club also offers its sincere appreciation to all the volunteers who toil year-round maintaining our facilities and pitches. Regardless of COVID the grass grows, paint flakes, lights fail and roofs leak. There are no magic elves that do the work whilst we sleep. Eccles RFC exists because people step up, give their time and make things happen. We hope all our volunteers will continue their efforts again next seaosn and we hope many more will join them to lend a hand.  
The restictions placed upon us by the cornoavirus pandemic this season have certainly supressed our enjoyment of the game we love. There has been very little rugby played and very few opportunies to come together. And yet despite these restraints, in the face of adversity we have stuck at it and not only survived but thrived! 
The annual player award presentations are now begining to take place and the club's AGM is approaching. So gathered here, in one place, are summary reports from all our teams to celebrate and enjoy.  We hope they leave you feeling positive about what we've achieved this past year and looking forward to next season, when hopefully we will see a return to rugby in a form we can all recognise.
We wish you all an enjoyable summer break. Don't forget, there are events and activites taking place at the club right through June, July and August. Please follow the club on social media for regular updates. Stay safe.
CG.

U5s

The U5's started the season with 16 players on their register by the end of 2020 we had 27 players! We are so overwhelmed with the number of new players and especially with the global pandemic.

2020/2021 has been an extremely challenging year with COVID-19 but our players & parents have fully embraced the challenges and helped support and adhere to the "new normal" with training going from pitch side to living rooms with the online zoom sessions. 

By the end of May 2021, the U5's register has grown to 31 players - with an average number of players for the total season being 23 a week! Amazing! 

Thank you to all the children this year who have consistently wowed us week on week with their resilience and attitude towards learning. They are starting to create some great bonds and we're so excited to see what 2021/2022 has in store for our team! 

Lastly thank you to all the coaches and managers in the minis section and throughout the club for their support and guidance.
Thanks
Sophie, Jamie, Greg, James & Dan


U6s

What a season for the under sixes it has been. When we got back into action in the autumn all the boys and girls came back raring to go and had clearly been working on their skills over the summer.
Over the winter, during lockdown, they engaged with the online sessions and thanks to a generous anonymous donation all received their rugby care package. Thanks again to that kind person, the excitement the kids showed will be something they will remember for a long time.

When we finally returned in the spring any fears that we might have lost players were allayed and we had to quickly recruit more coaches to manage. Thanks to all those who have helped in any way across the season, without this support it isn't possible to put on good quality sessions which everyone enjoys and learns from.

As the season finished the U6s were regularly getting 25+ players attending sessions and we started to begin introducing matches to prepare them for next season where we will commence competitive games. From what the coaches and I have seen the players are more than ready to make this step and we all look forward to continuing this enjoyable journey.

It is a joy to coach these children and watch them develop as players, building friendships that will last a lifetime.

Coach Simon Donovan


U7s

Season 2020/2021 has been a very strange mix with Covid restrictions getting in the way of rugby and of course every day life , but I'm sure that everyone involved with the U/7 group will admit it's been a very good and very productive year.

This group of players have changed remarkably from a gang of boys running around with a rugby ball in their hands to 3 and sometimes 4 very competent and very competitive rugby teams. The skills level has risen considerably both in catch and pass and also tag taking. They have shown great skill in working as a team and adapting to the team changes that are inevitable with such a big squad. Every player brings something different to the squad, some have pace some have great tagging ability others , catch and pass but the one thing they all bring is a great team spirit and an ability even at this young age listen and act on new skills they have been shown and then to try to develop those skills and bring them into the games whe have played. They can only go from strength to strength in the coming seasons and be a real force to be reckoned with in local mini and junior rugby.

I would like to thank all the volunteers that help make coaching such a pleasure from team manager to the guys that put on their boots and get involved with the session and the guys and gals that pick up the cones at the end of a session. And last but not least the parents that bring their children down and support us as a club. It is your support that keeps Eccles Rugby Football Club going and hopefully you will take pleasure from being part of the family. I have taken great care not to mention any names but I hope you can all take great pride in helping to mould these little guys and gals of our into players that enjoy what they are doing and the friends they are doing it with.

Yours in rugby Alan Bent (Benty)


U8s

The Eccles under 8s started the season looking forward to taking everything they’ve learnt from two years of tag rugby and putting it all into practice on the pitch.

Unfortunately, COVID had other ideas.

Up until May the team had done zoom sessions, fancy dress, fitness challenges, strava stats, countless training drills and taken them all in their stride with the enthusiasm and passion that this tight knit group demonstrate in everything they do. But what they hadn’t had is very much competitive rugby.

Not that you could tell when fixtures finally resumed in May.

The team hit the ground running with free flowing rugby in their first match against Bolton that, if we’re honest, took the coaches by surprise. After months away, we were expecting a little bit of rustiness, but far from it - the passing, tackling, teamwork and organisation levels were fantastic, and from that first fixture onwards only got better. Whilst scoring at this age isn’t an exact science, there were very few games in which the under 8s didn’t come out on top. Whatsmore, they did it with respect, discipline and with a smile on their faces.

Each year, our numbers have steadily grown, and the group has become more confident, organised and dedicated. This season, despite all the challenges that the club has faced, has been no different. We’ve had a steady stream of new starters as word of mouth has spread and more and more under 8s walk away from a Sunday morning eager to come back for more.

They’ve come on so much in this stop start season, it’s exciting to think what next season holds for this brilliant group of talented young rugby players. On behalf of all the coaches, we’re really proud of the under 8s.

Coach Andrew Hassell


U9s

The Under 9s continue to go from strength to strength! At the start of the season, after a long lock down summer, we had just four players on the u9s books. 
By the end of spring, after a stop - start season due to the pandemic, we now have 13 registered players with us plus a further 3 players who came down for the first time in May and will formally join us in September.
All the players have made good progression in their first season of contact. It has not been without its challenges but all the players and have embraced the new rules and parents have done everything possible within the guidelines to allow their children to play rugby.
Many thanks to all the parents for bringing their children down to training and to the players for working hard and developing their game  A massive thank you too to everyone for welcoming all our new parents. I know from feedback from the new parents they have been made to feel extremely welcome and have commented about the positive friendly community feeling and ethos the club promotes.
Thank you to all the volunteers at the club for making the coaching sessions and games possible - we know how much hard work goes on behind the scenes to provide rugby for the players. Hope everybody has a great summer and whilst we have a couple more Sundays for the U9s to train (our Covid delayed award ceremony on Sunday 11th of July!) we look forward to welcoming everybody back to Gordon Street on the first Sunday in September.
Rugby regards. Coach Dan 

U10s

The Eccles under 10’s have had a successful year in regards to recruitment, we have managed to recruit another 6 players taking us to a healthy 11! The season started with non-contact training and no fixtures due to us adhering to guidance from the RFU road map. This period provided unexpected opportunities to develop confidence with our new recruits. For a lot of these lads, they had no previous experience of rugby but they did demonstrate a huge appetite to learn the game.

We worked on going forward and support play for a number of weeks and developed their knowledge of how to make the most of a 2 v 1 situations. The players in this team are very athletic and what they lose in size they make up with courage and determination.

Although not perfect, their tackle technique and ruck performance has improved greatly in such a short space of time. When we played our first game against Bolton it was clear as day to see that the development of the lads passing the ball through the hands to their team mates. An observation that was quickly picked up by the Bolton coach. In a second game another aspect of our game had improved. We were first to the ruck and cleared out with more intent in the second half of the game, allowing us to play with more continuity. In our third game against Burnley we had to play under 9 rules as they had not worked on ruck technique. In this game we demonstrated a lot of bravery and courage in the tackle as the opposition were huge compared to us.

We have finished the season in a strong position going forward to under 11’s and a number of parents have volunteered to take up vital roles in management, first aid and match day roles. I would like to thank all parents for their support this year and Pete Cooney who has helped to develop the team!

Coach Pietro Carinci


U11s

Well, a great return to Rugby Union for the U11's after what felt like a lifetime away from the game.

Although we started by loosing two members after the lockdown break we ultimately gained another three with Jamie, Max and Bryn all joining the team.
The coaching and management also had a shuffle about but with no detriment to the boys. A few weeks back training showed that the lads were just as keen as ever to get stuck in. Five fixtures throughout May saw us celebrate 4 wins out of 5 although a couple of games were very close and tough.
The lack of any rugby did show through at the start of the games but by half time the team would be in full swing and making big improvements throughout the 2nd half.
Big thanks to Jamie's parents for the donation of a new match ball and to all parents for getting the boys back to training and matches during these tricky times.
Onward and upwards for the U11's as fitness training and fun activities continue throughout the summer. 

Coach Paul Ogden. 


U12s

Awaiting report


U13s

Awaiting report


U13 Girls

Awaiting report


U14s

Awaiting report


U15s

As with all age groups connected with the club, the constraints delivered under the COVID restrictions resulted in limited playing time for the U15s this season.  Despite this, the squad made an admirable effort to participate in zoom fitness sessions during lockdown and remained in good shape and high spirits when permitted to gather for training sessions in the winter and spring. 
April saw the U15s return with great numbers and enthusiasm, ready to commit to a full month of preparations for contact fixtures in May. The timing of this delayed commencement of friendly games did us no favours with many members of our squad committed to playing Rugby League. Where possible, switching fixtures from Sunday to Friday evenings gave us the best opportunity of fielding a team. When we could select from a full squad, we were able to take on some quality opponents, playing an exciting brand of never-say-die attacking rugby.  
In our first game back, after a year without competitive rugby, we enjoyed a fiesty encounter away at Warrington; a 34-14 defeat but fighting back and finishing strong with two unanswered tries showing the defiant character of the team (another 10 mins of play would have been an interesting spectacle). The lads suffered a defeat away at Winnington Park too but showed great team spirit to put the loss behind them and put it right with hard work in training.  The highlight of the ‘season' was a defining 19-5 victory against a very strong Rochdale team in a tremendous game and real physical battle at Gorton Street, where we kept the majority of possession and defended hard, fast and high up the pitch to pin our visitors into their own half for long periods, all followed by a memorable post-match in the clubhouse.     
However, these physical testosterone-fuelled contests were not without their casualties. The U15s suffered immeasurably with injuries, shoulders, knees and ankles being most common. In conversations amongst our coaching group, and with opposition coaches who were experiencing the same shocking losses, we concluded that playing a fast-running reformed version of the 15 a side game (no scrums no mauls) made a significant contribution to the injury list and was certainly a game where our 'pure union players' suffered.
To end the season on a brighter note, the U15s enjoyed a fabulous summer's day at the Heaton Moor 7s tournament where the lads' brilliant performances and try scoring exploits saw them reach the semi final before running out of steam against the hosts on a scorching afternoon. 
The team’s progression continues to attract players. The U15s finished the season with the recruitment of five new players, including boys new to the game, bolstering the squad to 30. The team were also able to deploy 5 players to the Sale Sharks DPP and here we are very proud to congratulate one of our players; Jack Lightbown, on making it through to Sale Sharks Development Group (SDG) - their Academy squad!  
Like everybody else within rugby circles, next season can't come soon enough!  We have a great bunch of lads with the talent, spirit, respect and confidence to carry them forward not only to next season but through life. We also have a terrific support team in Paul, Chris, Dave, Mark and Paula and enjoy great vocal encouragement from our committed parents!  Sincere thanks to all! Without you it wouldn’t work and it wouldn’t happen. 


U16s

Awaiting report


Junior Colts

Awaiting report


Ladies Rugby

Report here LINK


Mens Rugby

Report here LINK


Walking Rugby

Report here LINK

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