Colchester Rugby Club set to host around 1,000 children at Mini/midi festival

Around 1,000 youngsters will descend on Colchester’s Mill Road ground next Sunday (March 23) for the club’s popular 33rd Mini/Midi Rugby Festival.

Teams representing the hosts, as well as from the two Ipswich clubs, Hadleigh, Stowmarket, Sudbury, Woodbridge and Bishop’s Stortford will play in competitions ranging from under-sevens to under-12s.

“My first hope is that the tournament goes ahead, as it was cancelled due to snow last year, following a lot of had work from the organisers,” said tournament organiser Jack Hedley.

“We hope everyone has a good time and want to promote kids’ rugby in Colchester as much as we can.”

A total of 93 different teams from the eight clubs will be taking part, with between 950 and 1,000 children likely to be competing in more than 200 games.

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The competition’s format will adhere to the RFU’s Continuum with teams in the under-sevens’ age group playing four-a-side games lasting five minutes each half, while contact will be introduced at under-nine level.

Uncontested scrums will be introduced from the under-10 level and will involve the first three players that reach them, so not to pigeonhole certain players in certain positions.

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In the pool stages, two points shall be awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss and in the event of two teams finishing with the same points in the pool, the final placing will be decided by the following: The result between the two sides with the winner of that game finishing higher, or the team with the highest difference between tries scored and conceded, or the toss of a coin

In the under-12s, the games will be 13-a-side, minus two flankers, and Hedley says junior rugby is a good spectacle.

“The way the RFU has structured the game encourages ball handling and support, with the physicality introduced at under-nine level.”

Admission is free and the action starts at 10.30am.

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