Minis and Juniors Tour Reports

Sale FC U10s & 9s

2017 Tour

The Sale FC U10s and 9s 2017 WHY-EYE-MAN Tour to the North East last weekend was a fantastic success. Rugby rightly prides itself on the core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship and throughout the tour weekend, these values were on show in bucket loads.

From the off the coaches wanted this to be a proper rugby tour, ensuring the kids and parents had a great time. On arrival at the Heywood Road on Saturday morning breakfast was served, before the players were each presented with a new Sale FC Tech top for the tour. We would like to thank all the people that have bought raffle tickets at 1st team games and our Tour Sponsor Cross-Fit Jackal (Based at Heywood Road) for contributing towards the cost of the tops.


Westoe RFC vs Sale FC

The three-hour coach trip up to our first game vs Westoe RFC was great as all players, coaches and parents travelled together. The importance of this is the bonding of the kids and in turn the parents getting to know each other. Amusingly, we were even out of Sale before there was a queue for the toilet on the bus.

After arriving a little behind schedule at Westoe RFC, there was only time for a quick warm-up and straight into the game. This may have counted for the slow start made by the U10s who found themselves 15-0 down within the first 6 mins. However, the lads rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in. It was not the prettiest of rugby due to a heavy pitch but with some excellent graft from the lads in the centre we managed get back into the game and some determined play brought with it 4 cracking try’s. Unfortunately, the slow start meant that they could not make up the deficit and the succumbed to 30-20 loss in the end. However, this should be seen as a decent result against a Westoe RFC side, who are the U10s North East English Champions. Their coaches stating that our lads were by far the best opposition they had played this season. The Sale FC U10s are already calling for a return fixture back at Carrington to even up the score.

The U9’s faced a strong Westoe side. Excellent defence and some sterling runs lead to tries by Oscar Raw and Joe Howells.  Sale won the first of the games.  Both sides played with great spirit and displayed excellent sportsmanship.  Westoe went on to triumph in the following 2 games as the small Sale squad (8) grew tired.  Callum Lewis, Che Lewis and Oscar Hankin put in some bone crunching tackles.  Oliva Soar and Hattie also deserve credit for some excellent forays down the wing.

The hospitality from Westoe RFC was fantastic. Players, parents and coaches all stayed back for a social in the clubhouse, where a plaque presentation was made to Westoe RFC by young Oscar Raw on behalf of Sale FC. Medals were then presented to the Sale FC players along with a smart pennant for our new trophy cabinet.

After saying our goodbyes to Westoe we headed to our hotel on South Shields were the teams enjoyed some fun at the local indoor adventure centre before then sitting down to dinner together at our hotel in South Shields.

After a brilliant meal, the evening team building games were then led by under 10 coaches Pete and Martin. Games included ‘how many pairs of underpants you could get on in 60 secs’ and the hysterical ‘toilet roll tower’, cumulating in the parents competing in the ‘marshmallows in the mouth challenge’ in which Scott Bambrick came 2nd with a respectable 28 to Andy Hankin who somehow managed 30. Sheona and Finlay Griffiths won the mums and kids attempts.

Durham City Rugby Club vs Sale FC

After a few light libations before bed, we were all up early next morning to head to Durham City Rugby Club for our next game on the tour. After much amusement trying to fit our luxury coach down a country lanes, we finally arrived.

At first glance, the Durham U10s made our Sale FC 1st team front row seem lightweight. Facing a strong squad with some very big lads, the U10s knew they would needed to get stuck in from the off. After a decent warm-up, it had seemed the time they had spent together up to that point on the tour had galvanised them and they were up for the challenge. Their defensive play was excellent and they fought for every inch and didn’t give Durham time to settle, time and time again forcing penalties. Every player gave 100% and pushed back the early attacks from Durham City. On a harder pitch than the previous day, the tactics were to get our centres to run with ball in hand, then bring in our passing game once in Durham’s half. This worked a treat as our lads kept disciplined with their own positional play when attacking and when Durham bunched towards the ball at the breakdown, we were right up and at them with quick passing down the line into space and touching down in the corners. This was pleasing for the coaches as numerous try’s went through the phases and at the right time played wide down the line, passing through every player until the wingers finally put over. Not to be outdone the lads in the centre also got in on the scoring with strong forward play and pushed over for a few scores. Overall, it was a cracking performance and the U10s ran out 40-15 winners.

The Under 9s faced a very big and physical Durham City side.  This was a bruising encounter for Sale squad now down to just 7 players.  Both teams played some great rugby, Sam Roberts putting in a strong performance weaving his way through the City defence.  City played some fantastic open rugby.  City won both encounters but the Sale team and parents can be very proud of the under 9’s, they really did put their bodies on the line and refused to give up.  It was an fantastic display of bravery and they produced some excellent rugby.

After the matches we had lunch on the clubhouse and a presentation was made by young Keiran to Durham FC on behalf of Sale FC. Durham were very happy to now have a Sale FC Plaque hanging in there clubhouse. Then it was all aboard the bus and up to Newcastle foe the Falcons vs Saracens game.

Newcastle vs Saracens

This was a brilliant end to the tour as the kids had the opportunity to see an excellent game of rugby. Interestingly, the boisterous nature they were in was noted by security at the end of the game. To the amusement of the watching crowd, security kindly took time to chat with the kids (separate them from Falcon U14s) and then escort them to another area after the game (kettling tactics) so they could meet the players.

After the game it was straight to McDonalds to order 30 happy meals for the journey home. This was a fantastic tour and took a lot of hard work behind the scenes to ensure it ran smoothly and special thanks needs to go to Mark Roberts who worked tirelessly. The kids all seemed to enjoy themselves and the bonding and coming together was clear for all those that attended. Next year the plan is for more age groups to join us on the tour to the North East, with the dream being that we Tour as a Club.



Scott Bambrick

Chairman of Sale Fc Mini and Junior’s