2004 - 2005




2004 - 2005

U12 Reports




Matlock U12 - 42

Derby U12 - 5


Derby Rugby Club were the visitors to Cromford Meadows on Sunday for Matlock’s second home game of the season with the squad anxious to establish a positive result over their old rivals.


Full of confidence after their last fixture and some intense training sessions, Matlock were raring to go in an attempt to unsettle their old adversary early in the game. Both teams locked horns in a very even but strongly fought contest.


Things were kept very tight, mainly due to the overall shape and discipline showed by both sides, the teams were very evenly matched with some fantastic tackling in all areas of the pitch, Matlock’s forwards showing great determination in this aspect of the game.


Eventually Matlock’s drive and application paid dividends as Henri Packard, receiving the ball from a well-executed scrummage, sprinted for the corner for Matlock’s opening try. Derby now had to step up a gear in an attempt to gain ground on Matlock. The home sides tackling was immense, stone walling the Derby offensive. However, Derby’s strength came to the fore with an equalising try just before the whistle, the half finishing with Matlock on top as a result of a positive conversion kick.


Matlock started the second half in the same positive manner they had contested the first, with some strong surging runs to the heart of the Derby defence. Matlock’s forwards, with their straight running and good ball recycling, were causing Derby all sorts of problems. Matlock’s pressure was rewarded through Chris Poynton, charging for the line to increase his teams lead.


Two more tries followed in quick succession from Chris Poynton, both the result of some great inter-passing play with Rob Beeston. For once Derby didn’t seem to have any answers and Matlock were starting to dictate the run of play. The match was put beyond any reasonable doubt after two further Matlock tries, Jack Ritchie, overlapping down the wing, taking a lovely pass from Chris Woods for one and James Robinson touching down for the final try.


Undoubtedly Matlock thoroughly deserved their victory, this was a hard fought contest between two very competitive teams. Grit, determination and a greater desire to achieve, was what was asked for prior to the match. With no exception every player gave that today in what was possibly one of their finest performances overall.




Ilkeston U12 – 20

Matlock U12 – 55


Matlock visited Ilkeston Rugby Club on a wet and blustery Sunday morning for their fifth away match of the season so far.


Right from the whistle Matlock were on the offensive, eager to take the match by the scruff of the neck. Although the continual rain made the pitch very heavy, Matlock’s quick running line-up coped with the conditions admirably, thus the match developed into a hard, physically demanding contest.


Matlock were very disciplined and kept their shape well, moving the ball around the team. The result of this flowing play culminated in a fine pass out to Henri Packard enabling him to jink and twist for the line, opening up Matlock’s account with try number one.


Minutes later a similar move, the result of fine team play and back up, saw Callum Goodman diving for the line for Matlock’s second of the game.


Chris Poynton, Rob Beeston and Edward Moore were resolute in the middle of the park, constantly making tackle after tackle and releasing fine breakaway runs into the heart of the Ilkeston defence in what can only be described as energy sapping conditions under foot.


Ilkeston looked shell-shocked, wondering what had hit them, but to their credit dug deep and put in some resolute defending with the odd quick breakaway. However, Matlock countered every probe with hard ‘brick wall’ tackles, stealing the ball from Ilkeston on numerous occasions. This resolute play was to pay dividends for the travelling Matlock side with Barnaby Curzon-Jones and Jack Ritchie adding two more tries respectively and Henri Packard getting his second and Matlock’s fifth. As the half came to a close Ilkeston managed to scramble over for their opening try.


The second half picked up where the first had finished, with some fine inter-passing play from a confident Matlock side. Chris Poynton, adding two tries in quick succession, the first culminating from a great blind pass from Jack Ritchie, the result of the two players taking to each other, set the scene for the rest of the match.


Tries from James Robinson, Edward Moore and two more from the ever-speedy Henri Packard put the game out of Ilkeston’s reach. However, to their credit the home side weren’t about to role over and responded with three more tries close to the end of the match.


Matlock bounced back from last week’s disappointing result with an overall more competent performance and this in itself illustrates the depth of character within the squad.






Matlock U12 – 14

Paviors U12 – 42


Nottingham Paviors were the visitors to a cold and damp Cromford Meadows on Sunday and a lesson in hard, determined tackling was their pre-Christmas gift to an unusually lack-lustre Matlock side.


Raring to go after a string of confident away wins, Matlock’s first home game against old rivals Paviors started at a furious pace, with both sides determined to stamp their authority on the game. Matlock’s tackling was good, but from the start it was clear Paviors had a resolute game plan. They were very strong and well organised and it wasn’t too long into the half that Matlock found themselves two tries down.


Rory Lyne pulled one back for Matlock just before the half-time whistle, the result of some good mauling from the pack and a fine sprint down the line to touch down in the corner.


After a half-time team talk majoring on the necessity to get committed first time tackles it was hoped Matlock was to resume normal business, however, Paviors had other ideas and just seemed to step up a gear with two more tries in quick succession. Matlock were having to dig deep but there seemed an overall lack of grit in their play. Two more quality tries for Paviors more or less sealed Matlock’s fate and heads were beginning to drop.


A closing last ditch effort from Matlock, momentarily raising their game, allowed them to grab a consolation try, Rory Lyne making another fine run down the line for his and Matlock’s second try of the match.


This Matlock performance seemed out of character with what we have become accustomed to recently, one or two positions seeming to be lacking in commitment, especially the initial tackle, and with this area being so important against the better quality sides, no doubt this is something the coaching staff will be confronting on the training ground.




Chesterfield U12 – 12

Matlock U12 – 54


Matlock visited Chesterfield Rugby Club on Sunday and what a cracking mornings rugby it turned out to be in ideal conditions.


Matlock, fresh from their successful tour of Italy were raring to go against a formidable Chesterfield line-up. Right from the whistle Matlock surged forward keeping Chesterfield on the back foot. Great inter-passing and strength in the drive created space for Henri Packard to touch down for Matlock’s first try. However, Chesterfield were soon to respond, catching Matlock in a rare period of unawareness.


This had the result of spurring Matlock on to greater things, pressure from the visitors was now relentless, not allowing Chesterfield to get into their stride and use their superior weight. These tactics allowed Henri Packard to score his second try with Matlock taking the first half honours two tries to one.


Play resumed in the second half with Matlock once again on the offensive, tackling with real venom and releasing players at every opportunity. Henri Packard adding to his account with a fine solo run and try. Rory Lyne was allowed the room to show off his blistering pace, which resulted in two fine tries.


Matlock were now in total control of the match, dictating the run of play and Chesterfield heads were starting to drop. Jack Ritchie, direct from Chesterfield’s kick off, caught the ball and ran two thirds of the pitch to touch down for a great solo effort and Matlock’s sixth try.


The match was drawn to a close with two further Matlock tries, Rory Lyne getting his hat-trick and Henri Packard notching up his fourth. A late addition to Chesterfield’s total was their only consolation. This was a workmanlike performance from Matlock, and one that keeps them in winning ways, a habit that we hope will long continue.


MONDAY 25/10/04 & TUESDAY 26/10/04


Reggio U13 – 10

Matlock U12 – 45


Colorno U13 – 0

Matlock U12 – 15


Viadana U13 – 10

Matlock U12 – 5


Sabbioneta U13 – 0

Matlock U12 - 35


Sunday 1.30 a.m. and it’s off to Stansted Airport to catch an early morning flight for Southern Europe, this was Matlock Rugby Club Under-12s second tour of 2004, the destination being Italy with the hosts Viadana keenly awaiting our arrival.


A full programme had been planned with matches to be played at Rugby Viadana’s stadium on Monday against Reggio and Tuesday a mini tournament including Colorno, Sabbioneta and the home side. The team base camp was situated in Sabbioneta and it has to be said that the hospitality extended to us was truly magnificent at both the club and the hotel.


The tour kicked off on the Monday afternoon with a tough battle against Reggio, a well-organised and impressively capable outfit. It wasn’t long before the Italian side had touched down for their opening-try; a well-rehearsed series of tight interchanges and the final breakthrough sounded a wake-up call for the Matlock team.


However, Matlock travel well, and right from the subsequent kick-off were back on the offensive. Chris Poynton, picking up the ball on the twenty-two line blasted through Reggio’s defence to touch down for the equaliser.


Matlock had visibly settled, they were now starting to dictate the run of play capitalising on their ball retention and strong tackling abilities. Jack Ritchie added to Matlock’s tally on two occasions, both tries being the result of some fantastic work in the scrum.


Matlock were now starting to dominate in all areas, their defensive play and tackling ability being particularly noteworthy. Reggio seemed to be running against a brick wall and as a result the ball was turned over on numerous occasions to Matlock’s advantage. Rob Beeston increased Matlock’s lead further after a thunderous charge down the line. Two more tries finished off the half, both brilliant solo efforts from Edward Moore and Rory Lyne respectively.


The resumption of the second half saw Matlock pick up were they had left off, Henri Packard increasing the lead with one of his characteristic mazy runs and Rory Lyne getting his second try, the result of a fine line-out win. Reggio got back on the score sheet with a fine individual consolation try only to be rocked backwards as Henri Packard, making good use of his pace, sealed Reggio’s fate.


So after a very comfortable and enjoyable night back at our Sabbioneta hotel, it was back to Rugby Viadana’s wonderful facilities and the prospect of a late afternoon mini tournament accommodating some of the local teams.


First opponents were Colorno, a strong team with a solid reputation for fast open play and hard tackling. Things were pretty even in the opening moments as either side found their rhythm. But it wasn’t long before Matlock were stamping their authority on the game with a fine try from Jack Ritchie, the ball popping out of the ruck with a nice lay-off from Chris Poynton.


After the break Matlock stepped up the pace with very little resistance from the Italian side. Two more tries followed in quick succession from Rory Lyne and Sam Cunningham respectively, the game being ‘done and dusted’ with Matlock posting their intention.


Now for the big one and possibly Matlock’s stiffest test in a long time. Viadana looked very fit and agile with great pace and passing ability, and this was very evident in the way they came at Matlock right from the opening whistle. In all honesty it was a case of ‘backs to the wall’ with some stout defensive work from the whole Matlock team. Eventually Viadana broke through exploiting a moment of weakness to score a great try. Matlock seemed a little shell-shocked and before they could get back into their stride were hit again by a second Viadana try, which brought the half to a close.


After a strong half-time pep talk Matlock started the second half in a more determined fashion. They had got the bit between their teeth and were totally focussed on hauling back the deficit. Matlock were now using their pace to great effect and it was Rory Lyne who clawed back a try after a swift attacking move.


Viadana seemed to be momentarily rocked backwards by this fighting spirit with Matlock moving forward in wave after wave of attacking rugby. Matlock very nearly had the equaliser after a great drive into the opposition’s corner, but Viadana proved just that little bit too strong holding the ball up and thus preventing the try. Matlock played out the remainder of the match with some fantastic defensive play, denying Viadana’s attempts to increase their lead. Although Matlock ended up losers in this match they probably played their best rugby ever against an incredibly strong well-organised outfit.


The last game of the tournament against local side Sabbioneta was perhaps a bit of an anti-climax, especially in comparison with the earlier offerings. However, Matlock, disciplined as ever, did a thorough job and ran out 35 to nil winners. Three tries from Henri Packard and one each from Jack Ritchie and Will Moorcroft set the scene in the first half.


The second half was really a formality with Sabbioneta causing the Matlock team no problems at all. The victory was sealed with two great tries from Rob Beeston, his second being a terrific drive through the defence from a penalty.


What a great few days it had been with some fine rugby being played, new friendships being formed and every one of the boys being a credit to their families and Matlock Rugby Club alike. Special thanks go out to head coach Mark Packard for the incredible amount of time spent in organising such a trip and for the way in which it was so successfully executed.





Sheffield U12 – 19

Matlock U12 – 21


Due to a fixture rearrangement Matlock were on their travels again with Sheffield Rugby Club the Sunday morning destination, this being their third consecutive away match.


This was going to be a stiff test, Sheffield being a well disciplined outfit and having the advantage of home territory, however, it was obvious Matlock were up to the challenge with some fantastic team play right from the off.


Both sides were very evenly matched, each having the ability to show their attacking flair backed up with some stout defending, the resultant rucking and mauling was terrific. However, Matlock found themselves two tries down, the result of some strong running from the Sheffield forwards. Both tries were successfully converted.


Sheffield started the second period with continued determination, attempting to break through Matlock’s defence, but again the visiting side were resolute. The contribution of Chris Poynton, Alex Park, Rob Beeston and Rory Lyne was immense during this testing period.


Over the last few matches Matlock seem to be in a class of their own, drawing on a never say die attitude and an ability to step up a gear when required. They weathered the storm and were now slowly starting to grind Sheffield down, slick passing and fluent movement started to open up space. Edward Moore, finding an extra yard of pace and shrugging off tackle after tackle, broke through to touch down and bring Matlock back into the contest.


Sheffield seemed to be rocked back on their heels as the Matlock machine surged forward. It was from a scrum down, more or less on the half way line, that Henri Packard, on receiving the ball, made an unstoppable charge for the try line to double Matlock’s tally.


Matlock were now back on level terms and were starting to dictate the run of the game. Ferocious tackling and mauling were keeping the Sheffield side at bay as they threw everything into their attacking play. However, Matlock had the answers, and once again Edward Moore was able to force himself over the line to put his side in front for the first time in the match.


Now it was Sheffield’s turn to show their determination, throwing everything at Matlock’s defence. A resolute period of defending ensued as Matlock held their line and overall shape. However, Sheffield’s power eventually got the upper hand as they levelled the try tally, albeit a missed conversion attempt allowing Matlock to take the final honours.


This was a fantastic result against extremely tough opposition with each and every member of the squad giving 100% and more, with the result being a well-deserved victory. It was a terrific overall performance by the boys.  





Henry Mellish U12 – 0

Matlock U12 – 65


Matlock visited Henry Mellish Rugby Club on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning for their second away fixture of the season and stormed to a confident victory over a less than convincing Nottinghamshire outfit.


Right from the whistle Matlock were on the offensive, eager to take the match by the scruff of the neck. The pitch wasn’t too heavy and this suited Matlock’s quick running line-up. In no time Matlock were deep in the oppositions half, moving the ball around to create the opening. Mellish were on the back-foot as Chris Poynton managed to put a hand on the ball for Matlock’s opener.


Matlock were very disciplined and kept their shape well, moving the ball around the team. Their rucking and mauling was dominant along with some strong driving, as a result Henri Packard was able to break for the line to double Matlock’s tally. A third Matlock try following in quick succession again from Henri Packard.


Matlock were now totally in control, dictating the run of play, probing the Mellish defence at will. Callum Goodman, one of Matlock’s new signings, secured Matlock’s fourth try after a good run from his own half quickly followed by a fine overlapping try from Rob Beeston, opening his account after some great driving play from Chris Poynton. The half was brought to a close with blistering runs from both Alex Park and Jack Ritchie, twisting and jinking their way through the defensive pack for Matlock’s sixth and seventh try respectively.


The second half picked up where the first had finished, with some fine inter-passing play from a supremely confident Matlock side. This resulted in surge after surge, deep into Henry Mellish’s defence, from each and every member of Matlock’s squad. One such powerful surge from Chris Poynton, added to Matlock’s total, this being rapidly emulated again by Alex Park with a great run down the line giving Matlock a nine try to nil lead.


Matlock were now coasting and all too easily finding cracks in a crumbling Mellish defence. The home side seemed to have no answers to the Matlock onslaught, one such offensive again finding Henri Packard the recipient of some slick passing and one more for the visitors.


Henry Mellish looked shell-shocked, wandering what had hit them, but to their credit attempted to hang on. However, Matlock proved too strong and three brilliant individual tries from Jacob Hartley, Rory Horton and Henri Packard respectively, finally laid them to rest in what can only be described as a rout.


Matlock proved once again what a fine unit they’re developing into and one that travels well. Their team-work is a credit to them, with each member giving one hundred per cent effort in their attempt to carve out a result from every game.




Buxton U12 – 0 pts

Matlock U12 – 47 pts


Leek U12 – 0 pts

Matlock U12 – 12 pts


Buxton Rugby Club was the venue for a Sunday morning round-robin series of matches including a side from Leek Rugby Club, with the Matlock squad anxious for results in the first two games of the new season so as to establish themselves in the Under 12 category.


First match against Buxton and Matlock were straight on the offensive, ripping into the Buxton defence. Due to a fantastic record of victories last season, Matlock’s confidence is sky high and it showed in their overall approach to the game. They were dominant in every aspect of the game and really Buxton had no answers.


Literally two minutes into the game Jack Ritchie received the ball from the maul and powered his way to the touchline for Matlock’s opening try. The writing was on the wall with further tries coming in quick succession from Alex Park and Rory Lyne. Buxton had no answer to the onslaught and couldn’t handle the forwards pace, with Henri Packard notching up two further tries to finish the half five tries in front.


The second half was really a mirror image of the first, Matlock dominating whilst Buxton seemed unable to respond, Jack Ritchie again capitalising on some loose tackling to charge through for his second and Matlock finished the match off with a fine effort from Rory Horton. All Matlock’s conversions were successful barring just one attempt.


The second match, Buxton against Leek, also turned out to be a one-horse race, with Leek finishing confident winners with 63 pts to Buxton’s zero.


The final pairing was set to be an interesting contest, with both Matlock and Leek looking very purposeful and the early indications showed that things were being kept very tight, mainly due to the shape and discipline of both sides, with hard tackling in all areas, this being a particularly dominant feature of Matlock’s overall game plan.


However, Matlock’s attacking pressure and an upturn in pace gave Henri Packard the opportunity to touch down for the opening try, the result of a blistering run down the line from deep within his own half. Matlock were now slowly starting to exert their authority onto this match, being able to step up a gear when required. A sequence of quality passing and good control developing space in numerous key areas.


Matlock started the second half in the manner they had finished the first with some strong surging runs to the heart of the Leek defence. But Leek weren’t about to lie down, they too had aspirations of victory, and it was only due to some stout defending by Matlock that Leek were denied that elusive try on a number of occasions.


However, Matlock through their inbuilt will to succeed were now showing their dominance, and in due course this resulted in a mighty surge on Leek’s defence, Matlock’s pace pulling them apart thus allowing Chris Poynton to touch down for the second and winning try of the match.


This was a good season opener from Matlock, with September’s training sessions undoubtedly paying dividends. They performed well as a team with some notable performances from the likes of Jack Ritchie, Henri Packard, Chris Poynton and Rob Beeston. New players have joined the squad, giving additional depth, and we hope to see them flourish as the season unfolds. On this performance it looks like being another successful season for the boys from Matlock Rugby Club.