scottys little soldiersSaturday 31st August 1430 KO, March, Cambridgeshire

Scottys little soldiers are a team formed of Soldiers/ex soldiers/Pro’s and Ex Pros brought together with one thing in mind, to raise money and try and make the country not forget the children of our nations heroes. This was Scottys second game, the first being at Leicester Tigers very own Welford Road Stadium where we played rugby for 24 hours 50 minutes, Raising £75,000 and Breaking 2 world records in the process.

However sadly due to commitments with Players club teams and Pre season games as well as Army/RAF/Navy commitments we were only able to retrieve 7 of the original Scottys World Record Players (Simon Whittaker, Myself @craig_monaghan, Garry Windle, Russell Davies, Dominic O’Sullivan, Paul Denton And John James) and proudly stepping in for his first ever game of rugby was Alan Knell who was one of the organisers at Leicester and Fundraiser for Scottys Little Soldiers. Also along for the journey were our coaches England Women’s Rugby Star Charlotte Male, Malcolm Baker and Chloe Mckenrick aka baggage. Thankfully March Bears had some spare players sitting around and players bringing friends along we had a full team, with Tim Davies who helped with the running of the Armed forces side of things in the WR game making his return from an injury he sustained back in January.

With full teams and what looked like a keen March Bears 1st team warming up, Scottys now a barbarian like team thrown together with only 7 guys who had ever played together back in May, we were at a disadvantage from the start, however were just as keen as we got under way with March Bears kicking off. The game got under way extremely quickly, with us on the back foot the whole way, we started a bit shabby and patchy also taking a knockout injury within 2 Minutes 15 Seconds, with no full back and now down a Centre our backs were strung open with gaps, which resulted in us spending the first half trying to keep the ball with our forwards who fully understood they were currently the back bone of the team. We unfortunately conceded a few points in the first half, luckily thanks to Russell Davies speed being on form he managed to make a few breaks and almost touched the ball down. By Half time we were down to 11 men due to injuries sadly, but never the less we came out stronger and hungry to put some points on the board which we did thanks to the forwards and a tank of a Southend Centre, scoring 3 tries two converted by @craig_monaghan who missed the third conversion. By the end of the game Scottys team were playing brilliantly as a team and certainly put March Bears on the back foot with our aggression and determination, by the end of the Game Scottys had sadly lost 57 – 19, score aside though we were just as happy to make an appearance at March with almost every player travelling over 2 hours plus with our families and friends. Hopefully raising more awareness for a brilliant Charity, with a strong rugby team in the making.

A Huge Thanks goes to Nikki Scott, her support team, March Bears RUFC, the Players who stepped up to put a shirt on for Scottys, and most of all the public, also a small Thank You to the REME who gave us there strip last minute which had there Capbadge on which most of us loyal to our regiments sadly taped up. Also a big thank you goes to Charlotte Male and Garry Windle for coaching and leading us.

Please look out for any Scottys Little Soldiers events in your area and come along and show support. Also in May 2014 Scottys Little Soldiers Vs HM Armed Forces in a Re-match for the Cpl Thacker Cup,

My Personal Performance review:

For myself (@craig_monaghan) this was my first game since an injury ravaged Sevens Summer season, and also an early injury return from a damaged Achilles and ligaments. I normally feel extremely comfortable in most positions within the backs and have a good physical pace and strong leadership skills, but sadly the loss to Scottys fell hard on myself due to what I felt was a lack of pace and confidence on my behalf where I struggled to find form most of the time and even gain ground from the foot under pressure, just simple basics of a Rugby Player. That aside I now know going into my club season what I need to work on and recover from and how I am going to get focused on my rugby and fitness. It just goes to show that no matter how good or who you are as a player/athlete you can still have a bad performance. It’s how you come back from that bad performance that counts, or so I am told.

So this week I aim to train as normal within my hours but also take the extra free time I have this week to get them extra reps and sprints in and also just kick the ball from hand a good few hundred times. An average day for me would consist of arriving around 9-930 kicking for around 1 hour sometimes 1hr 30mins, which is around 200 balls at the posts, before spending 30 minutes sprinting. I then take a short break before moving into more intense speed and agility for around an hour then finally would finish with a intense weight session/circuit before spending the afternoon with clients or more training depending on the day or time of year so after Saturdays game I feel I need to spend more time on each aspect of my everyday training, I am very lucky to do PT on the sideline and also have a Partner (@beckykelly_x90) who trains just as hard in the evening so luckily I have the time to cram the sessions in.

I would like to thank @intheloose for the coverage also my sponsors @ArmourWash @HollyHairFairy and Hench Nutrition.

If you’d like to find out more about Scotty’s Little Soliders and donate you can check out the website here.