Amazing 8s get the wind in their sails and find their bounce at Belvo Blitz
By Jaime McKeown
Seapoint’s Marathon Men “make it safe” in the shadow of Funderland as season nears its conclusion
Sunday 14 April 2019 @ (C)Old Belvedere RFC (Really Flipping Chilly)
As the Easter holidays loomed large, the Amazing 8s gathered on a windswept Sunday morn to line-out against a plethora of teams from Leinster at the annual OBBB (Old Belvedere Blitz (the extra “B” is a typo)).
With the home of Leinster Rugby just a few hundred metres away, the backdrop of the Simmonscourt Halls and the smell of last season’s stale candyfloss still hanging in the air, the crack squad of Amazing 8s assembled with the aim of showing the opposition that Seapoint 1, 2 and 3 were ready to take on all-comers.
And take on all-comers they did as they set out their stalls across three pitches to face wave after wave of games against a mix of new and familiar faces from hosts OB and others.
With the team’s finely balanced, the Amazing 8s set about stamping their authority on their respective games, seeking to build momentum over the course of the morning.
Seapoint Scorpions (a.k.a. Seapoint 1) was one team you wouldn’t want to find in your boots and had games against Clontarf, Navan, Malahide and Longford
Rory made several powerful driving runs, added with the willingness to step-up to their biggest ball carriers, ensuring Seapoint was known for an impenetrable defensive wall that even “The Donald” would be envious of.
Ross took Game 3 vs Malahide by the scruff of the neck and tackled their players so hard they soon had dropped to only 6 players with one eye on the next northbound DART. Game 2 saw Paddy focus on tackling and he put in a tackle count of 5 in 5 mins. His best work was passing in attack to spread the defensive line. Dylan demonstrated devasting direct running, alliteration and attacking lines against Navan and gave the team real inspiration to push on when the weather started to bite.
Matthew B had a hat-trick in the first game against Clontarf to set Seapoint off on a high scoring morning. It also set off the talent scouts and we had to reject a lucrative transfer deal from the big spenders from the north side.
Killian K made a try-saving effort and contender for tackle of the day against Malahide. - there were only inches between the opposition and the line and Killian managed to stop his opposite number and bundle him to touch.
Many ball carries led to Matthew G scoring against Malahide and his energy was still brimming at the end of the day. James -was bashed about in each game but came back fighting hard, scoring a bunch of crucial tries when we needed them most and with a tackle count in double digits.
The final try of the morning saw Charlie waltz past 14 (yes, 14!!) Longford players. Constantly trying to get in as the jackal on opposition ball like David Pocock. With a darting run in the Malahide game setting-up Matthew for a try, Max worked very hard on supporting his team mates when Longford tried to maul us off the pitch.
The Longford match was the greatest challenge with our 9 players still fit taking on a Longford XIV. Space was at a premium and every tackle saw Longford pile in with numbers to drive us back. Very brave display with all of our boys playing with fairness, good spirits and only having to occasionally deploy the sting in the tail.
Just when you thought it was safe to go onto the pitch, the Seapoint Sharks (a.k.a. Seapoint 2) could sniff blood in the water and set about an attacking and defensive frenzy with tough games against the likes of Greystones, Blackrock, Clontarf and Malahide.
The McLaughlin brothers put Rob and Dave Carney to shame with their ability to switch seamlessly between defence and attack and managed to blank out the distractions from the crowd, not least the siren call of the bouncy castles (at least until the 5th game finished).
Amaury cut through the middle on several occasions, bobbing and weaving to wrong foot the defence and cross the whitewash in rumoured double digits. He had his dancing boots on for one fine try, pirouetting over the line to add to his strong tackle and pass completion rates.
Ciaran did a fine job marshalling the line, marking his opposite number and plugging any gaps by tracking them across the field. Some great support lines and bridging to round off a solid performance despite taking a knock towards the end which still couldn’t dislodge the bobble hat!
Lochlainn had not just his Spiderman hands at the ready but a Spiderman hoodie on under the blue, black and green of his Seapoint jersey to boot. His Spidey senses were in overdrive as he volunteered on more than one occasion to step in for the opposition when their reserves were depleted. Some great running and passing in what were difficult conditions irrespective of having 2 or 8 legs!
Blessed with a double dose of Sams (collective noun answers on a postcard please), Sam McN and Sam B divvied up the territory and were fearless at the breakdown, building bridges faster than Brunel and recycling the ball to the waiting Sharks. An unfortunate whack to the hand ended Sam McN’s innings but he put on a brave face following a strong display. Down to one Sam, Sam B battled on to uphold the proud name – pure inSamity!
Kings of the Wings Ryan and Cian, when not in scavenging, patiently waited to receive quality ball from the midfield bridgemakers and were rewarded with strong runs up the sidelines, outpacing the match officials so the touch flags were somewhat academic. Some great tries and running lines which got better with each stride and steps back inside when short of the line to create options for support runners.
With the coaches seeking out matches like heat-seeking missiles (it was very cold!), a well-timed chocolate intervention helped the kids get through a frozen barrier so kudos to Enda!
The Seapoint Sabres (a.k.a. Seapoint 3) were not too dissimilar to a family of Incredibles!! They had a very strong start with great rucking, passing and offloads straight off the whistle and resulting in an early try that screamed GOOD MORNING ASHBOURNE!!
Fantastic running from Leo, Luke, Eoin and Tom served-up end-to-end sniping through holes in defensive lines.
Superb sidestepping from Sean and Luke was on display, dancing off the tackles and weaving through the defensive lines.
Precision passing and rucking from Luca, Harry and Jamie picked out their receivers in a sea of opponents.
Fearsome tackling from Dexter, Tadgh and Eoin left no chance of a ball carrier being left standing after these bands of steel were locked on target!
Some particularly incredible tries scored from runs with elastic stretches over the line to finish!
We believe they had fun which is the prime objective of this and indeed all Sundays with Seapoint and as if to reinforce the point, the lads embraced the ad hoc games to try and stay warm between matches. Ernest Shackleton would have been impressed with the way morale was kept high as the cold swept in.
With each team playing between 5-7 games each over the course of the morning, the statisticians will be crunching the numbers on this one for some time yet but it’s fair to say that many quality minutes were played with tackles, tries, offloads and bridges warming the cockles of the loyal supporters and coaches-cum-referees-cum-managers alike (well done us all!).
As thoughts now turn to the kids trying to convince responsible adults of the high-protein value of eggs in their diet (Cadbury’s Creme or Kinder), the jury is out on whether there will be training over Easter (stay tuned to WhatsApp!) but suffice to say, the kids will know what worked well, what needs improving, and will be back on the pitch ready to fine tune their skills before the season draws to a close.
Seapoint Amazing 8s – they don’t get out of bed for less than 10 tries a day.