Seapoint's Amazing 8s kick-off first matches of the season
By Jaime McKeown
Dirty knees the order of the day as Seapoint’s Amazing 8s tackle the odds to get 2018/19 season off to a flying start
As dawn broke across south Dublin and north Wicklow on Sunday, over 100 U8s and their loyal supporters descended on Dr Hickey Park, where hosts Greystones welcomed Old Belvedere and Seapoint’s very own Amazing 8s to the first blitz of the new season.
A fantastic showing meant that twenty-nine Amazing 8s marched onto the pitches, proudly wearing the blue, green and black. While many had graduated from Gearoid O’Keefe’s incubator/talent production line at Super 7s level, some of the squad are in their first season and were eager to impress and demonstrate the skills they’ve been honing since the first Sunday in September – and that they did with aplomb!
But this was no U7s runout and with gumshields at the ready, the mantra of “Eye to Thigh! Cheek to Cheek! Band of Steel” could be heard as the Amazing 8s took a huge step in their rugby careers into the realm of… THE TACKLE!
In a feat of tactical wizadry, the Amazing 8s agreed for the first game of the morning to stick with touch tackling. This lulled the opposition into a false sense of security as Seapoint went up through the gears, deftly dodging the opposition and getting their passes in to keep the ball moving forward while building attacking and defensive walls that at least one world figure would be envious of.
With such silky skills, the confidence levels began to rise and the tries quickly followed. But with no time to rest on the laurels, the next match beckoned and it was time to put that mantra into practice.
The Amazing 8s lived up to their name and had a menu suggestion for the nearby Happy Pear as they dished out a breakfast of tackles with an extra dollop of tries to a hungry and seemingly endless series of Greystones teams. In many games, even when outnumbered, Seapoint were never outplayed and shone through with some great displays of passing, support play, finding space and burning pace.
But most impressive were the fearless yet focussed Seapoint, getting down low to make their tackles, causing occasional apprehensive gasps from parents while giving their watching coaches comfort and encouragement that the kids actually have been listening to them over the last seven Sundays. Rumours also circulated that the Irish defence coach was in attendance and was no doubt taking notes given the proximity to the Autumn Internationals…
Victories were plentiful but the real prize for many was not just taking their first tackle (with knees, hip, shoulder in full effect) but making their first competitive tackle in a competitive game.
A great milestone and hopefully they’ll recover after an ice bath, err, a nice bath, and that any bumps and bruises will add to Halloween costume plans. Professionals to a tee, after the post-match media duties were complete, the Amazing 8s got some pre-Halloween practice in by hoovering up the feast of goodies laid on by the gracious hosts.
Well done all - next stop – THE RUCK!