The start of the Rugby season! Report – 11 September

The first weekend of the Rugby season started with a mixed set of results against The Judd School.

The U13A team came up against a strong and skilful side and the boys put on a solid defensive display but the opposition eventually broke through the Eltham College defense and managed to score a few tries. However, the team didn’t give up, battled on and managed to score a try themselves with some great hard running from David Bampoe and Lewis Stone allowing Oliver Gibbons to crash over the line from five metres out.

The U13B team put on a spirited display eventually going down 10-35. There was some excellent running from Frederick Sleddon and Alexander Lancaster with Alexander Soars putting in a lot of hard work in the forwards.

The U14A got off to a fantastic start with both sides giving it everything. Matthew Arman and David Manzini both scored two tries each on their rugby debuts and another superb score from Ilia Zyp saw the boys come close to pulling off a fantastic win against all odds. The final score of 29-25 was not a true reflection of the class of play on display, and the boys can be very proud of how they started and be confident for the season ahead.

The U14B team secured victory in dramatic fashion with a last gasp try to take the spoils. Both teams traded early blows and the score line remained level throughout the game with neither side pulling away. The Judd School led 27-22 with five minutes left as the Eltham team piled the pressure onto the opposition goal line. Ferocious carry, after ferocious carry earnt a five metre scrum with two minutes remaining. After a lengthy injury break and a change of pitch the pack scrummed down. A brilliant platform from the tight five allowed for quick hands through the back line and Man of the Match, Tyr Formica went over in the corner for a hat-trick. Strong reserve in defence saw the College hold out for the last few plays and seal a fine victory.

Our U15A rugby side started the season with a convincing 31 – 21 win, despite falling behind to two scores from Judd, the first half was fairly even. We scored a try ourselves through Izaak Laskey and Judd led 14 – 5 at half time. The second half was dominated by Eltham with our back line looking threatening every time they had the ball. Anjola Ogundeji broke through from the restart resulting in a try for James Lambton which he then converted. Minutes later James scored and converted again, after some slick handling from forwards and backs. Juan Chanthrakumaran beat several defenders to run in from forty metres out. The final try started from behind our own goal line and was finished and converted once again by James bringing his match tally to 21 points. Our Man of the Match for his outstanding defence was Ola – David Agboola.

There was nothing between the two U15B sides in the first 10 minutes but with Judd having slightly more possession they were able to score two tries to take a 10 point lead. However, Eltham responded well with tries by Uzo Ibenye and Francesco Roccato, either side of a third try by Judd, to be just 15 – 14 down at half time. Five changes at half time only served to strengthen the side and the game continued to go from end to end. Both teams got a converted try half way through the second half – Uzo getting his second and Eltham’s fly half Ayran Gupta kicking three conversions from three to set up a grandstand finish. However, it was Judd who scored a fifth try but it was testament to Eltham’s firm defence that four of their five tries were scored out wide. A converted try for Eltham would have meant snatching victory from the jaws of defeat but despite great efforts from Jack Millar, Ben Marshall, Ben Rippingale and many others it was not to be.

It was a brilliant start to the season for the U16As with a nail biting 12-10 win over Judd. An excellent attitude to training has seen them improve their structure and handling skills. Fantastic performances from everyone but stand-out players include Ted Mcdonald and Zaki Boudjemaa in the forwards and James Biss, Frankie Nella and Conrad Scrivener in the backs.

The 1st team rugby did not have a good week losing 27-0 to Judd. With a large number of key players injured the boys had to step up and even with the boys playing their hearts out they were unable to get any points on the board. In the end the game was very tough but Judd were just too strong for us.

The 2nd team did not have the best start to the season losing 5-22 to Judd. With the 1st team having loads of injuries, some of the 2nd team players had to play for them. The game was very tough and the boys put in a great effort but were unable to hold off Judd who were very solid. Overall there is a lot of positives for the season ahead.