The U11 boys claimed third place after a fantastic performance at the ISA U11 Rugby competition at Bedford RFC.
The competition started at 11.30 and we were in Pool A with Rushmoor (Bedfordshire), Gateway (Buckinghamshire), St Nicholas (Essex) and The Grange (Cheshire). The U11’s first 10 minute game was against Gateway at 11.45. After a slow start with some basic handling errors and first-game nerves from both teams, we asserted our dominance. The handling and defence drills that we worked on during the week paid off and we scored 4 unanswered tries.
After a 30 minute break, we returned to the side of the pitch to warm up for the second game of our pool v Rushmoor. We had studied this team with interest during the opening pool games and they were going to be a tough opponent, fortunately they rose to the challenge. A crushing 4-1 victory against possibly the competition favourites and hosts turned some heads. Bertie C was outstanding in his organisation during this game and Lennon T combined well with James M to score some quality tries. The pick of the scores came through Ethan C. A turn over on our own line and several phases later [email protected] scored to bury any hopes of a Rushmoor come back. Parents commented that this was the best performance of the season to date, very comprehensive.
Meanwhile, The Grange School had been putting in some strong performances. They were a big physical team and had to be watched. [email protected] were scheduled to play them at 13.00 after one of two coaching clinics that had be timetabled with the Lions Sports Academy and Northampton Saints and, importantly, lunch!
[email protected] were rightly nervous when entering the pitch to face The Grange but fronted up well and the tacking was immense. As the rain started to fall the game got tighter and The Grange managed to squeeze over from short range to take a 1-0 lead. [email protected] replied equally as strongly and camped in the opposition’s half for the rest of the game but ultimately were unable to cross the white wash. The boys were visibly gutted at the loss. But nevertheless they didn’t forget their manners and thanked the referee and opposition for the game. In the post-match talk Mr Tom Hoare mentioned that all top-level sports professionals, at some point in their career, experience failure and this would either make or break the team and the day. It is worth mentioning at this point that if we qualified in first place from our pool would be in contention for winning the competition. Now we needed other results to go in favour of [email protected] in order to qualify in first place, it was out of the boys’ hands and they had done all they could.
After the upset of this close loss, the boys regrouped well and looked sharp in the opening exchange of their 13.30 fixture against St Nicholas, as the clouds opened the boys piled on the pressure and tries. [email protected] ended up scoring 7 tries to nil in 10 minutes of Rugby which is a staggering result, considering the conditions. We had done all we could!
With baited breathe we watched as the final results were entered and unfortunately we had missed out, finishing in 2nd in our pool, meaning [email protected] were playing in the 3rd and 4th play offs. A somewhat bitter pill to swallow as we had only conceded 2 tries and scored 15 tries during the pool stages. But this draw also gave us an opportunity to face Littlegarth who beat [email protected] earlier in the season at the Framingham Festival.
At 14.40 [email protected] played Littlegarth in the 3rd and 4th place play off of the ISA U11 Rugby competition 2018 and exactly at the same moment the heavens opened again. Inevitably, this was going to lead to a tight, hard-fought game. After the early exchanges proved fruitless for both teams, the tension grew until Lennon broke the deadlock and slid in for the only and deciding try of the game. After a period of sustained pressure Littlegarth kicked clear and if it was not for the covering tackle of Oscar they may have levelled the game. But [email protected] held on to claim 3rd place.
The [email protected] boys should be proud of their achievement and have been rewarded with a custom gum-shield fitting from GuardianPro Mouthguards who will visit School later in the term, as well as the accolade of 3rd place.
A fabulous day and some vital life lessons learnt well done. Thank you to the competition organisers and sponsors.
Team: Lennon T, James M, Oscar M, Sam C, Harry S, Oliver D, Charlie D, Ethan C, Toby C, Bertie C, Alex S
Langley Preparatory School At Taverham Hall
Independent education for boys and girls aged 2-13 #conantidabitur