Over the long bank holiday weekend at the end of May, 13 Warriors ventured south to the medieval Frameries Rugby Club (near Mons, Belgium) with 29 other teams and returned as heroes after having participated in the “Tournoi international de la Table Magique 2023”.
The weather was sunny and dry, the turf a little dusty and the parking was cramped – perfect rugby conditions – and the fighting spirit of the Wassenaar Warriors U10 rugby team was only beaten by tiredness on the way home.
After a bit of light training followed by an intense Q&A session to check everyone was up to speed with the different rules being applied in this tournament than what the team’s used to when playing in NL, the Warriors took to the pitch for the group phase knowing this tournament would be tougher than any they’d previously played in.
Despite being quite outsized on some occasions, and out muscled on others, the team used their guile, speed and tackling power to win their first three games putting them top of the table going into the deciding match of the group phase against one of the tournament’s favourites. The team worked hard, both mentally and physically, no quarter was given lightly. But in the end the WWU10s ended up second in the table having lost to the team that would be the eventual runners up.
Having raced out of the blocks in the morning to come second in their group, the WWU10s then quickly dispatched their quarter final opponents and were into the semi-finals – this was further than any of the previous Wassenaar Warrior Teams who’d dared to venture this far south in years gone by had achieved!
It was a bruising semi-final encounter, and the team did Wassenaar proud, tackles flying everywhere, and darting runs cut short all over the pitch. In the end there was not quite enough gas in the tank and the Warriors were narrowly beaten by the team that would ultimately win the tournament.
The WWU10s last game, the third/fourth place playoff, was against the host. Another great performance, coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 was testament yet again to the grit and determination that embodies this team – working hard until the final whistle! Our Warriors ended up drawing the third/fourth play-off and finished fourth, an excellent achievement and reward for the significant effort the whole team had put in. This result was certainly a glowing tribute to all the coaches, managers, first aiders and volunteers who all combined to make our participation in this vibrant international tournament a resounding success – there are too many names to name, so a huge thanks to all !!!
GO WASSENAAR WARRIORS!
James, proud father of a Warrior and match reporter.