Seapoint Amazing 8s first Home Blitz a triumph
By Jaime McKeown
Seapoint’s Amazing 8s inspired by Ireland win and “follow the process” to secure multiple victories at first home blitz of the 2018/19 season
Sunday 11 November 2018 @ Fortress Kilbogget
With reservoir levels overflowing following the week’s deluge, enthusiasm levels were also running over as the Seapoint Amazing 8s took to a sun-drenched Kilbogget Park on Sunday morning. Their quarry? A multitude of teams from Lansdowne, Malahide and Stillorgan/Rathfarnham, bravely venturing to the home of Seapoint Rugby.
Following a strict diet of post-Halloween treats over the previous days, as well as an impromptu training session with a Leinster coach no less over the October bank holiday weekend, the Amazing 8s were buzzing and ready for action, eager to secure precious U8 Metro Blitz World Ranking Points and build on their early season success following the first scalps of the season in Greystones only a few short weekends ago.
Record crowds (subject to verification) turned out to cheer on the boys in green, blue and black on the hallowed turf that is Seapoint’s Pitch One. Some of the Seapoint squad even embarked on a rousing rendition of Amhran na bhFiann as they went through the pre-match motions.
This being their first blitz to organise, pre-match nerves extended to the coaching ticket but having recently been reinforced by several parents (amid much rejoicing!), they set about organising the Amazing 8s into three teams and primed them for action. Calendar congestion and an extended global season meant no fewer than five matches would be played by each team so concentration levels were high as the lads zoned in on “the process” which if followed, would serve them well.
And they didn’t disappoint!
From the first blow of the airhorn to the last, the Amazing 8s swarmed forward, ball in two hands with support on each shoulder. In a game of fine margins, all Seapoint teams made early gains to remind their guests that you don’t just show up for the post-match muffins – you earn them (more on that later).
Swift hands guided the ball from player to player in attacking lines working as a unit. Progress was noticeable with the passing of each game as players found space without coaches having to resort to cries of “Go forward!” or “No! The OTHER forward!!” (which made a pleasant change and further inspired confidence that it’s all beginning to click). Players were instinctively (for the most part) quick to regroup and get back onside.
When play switched to defence, no quarter was given and none asked as the Amazing 8s belied their age and size with fearless tackles, ferocious ripping to win turnovers, and bundling the opposition into touch, or in some cases, next week.
In one of the last games of the morning, a hoard of visiting players who finished early flocked to the sidelines to cheer on their team, only to be silenced as they witnessed Seapoint score try after try after try – a fitting riposte!
There were many moments of brilliance – tries, tackles, offloads, turnovers - thanks to improved skills and communication and all on the sidelines were rightly proud of the lads who enjoyed their morning in the sun of which there will no doubt be many more (even if it rains).
Special mention to those who are really beginning to find their feet (along with hands and opposition thighs), many of which are new to rugby and in their first season – inspiring stuff to see their dedication and willingness to get stuck in so take a bow.
Despite Coach Andy’s best efforts to divert the players from a well-earned feast with promises of broccoli and celery (in the hope of securing the best goodies for the coaches), the teams were treated to a banquet fit for several kings thanks to a late rallying call for support and buns.
And in a display of rugby solidarity, surplus food was distributed to a local charity so thanks to those involved for organising, providing the delicious treats and helping with the clean-up proving that many hands do indeed make light work.
As attention turns to a certain visiting team from the southern hemisphere, some of the kids have been practicing their best Haka to welcome our New Zealand guests. Based on the Amazing 8s display on Sunday morning, it won’t be long before Kiwi kids are learning an Irish jig…