Rugby Report – 16 September

U13A

U13A team took on the notoriously strong Campion School, desperate to keep hold of a proud undefeated record. Early exchanges were very equal as Eltham College traded two complete attacks to one. A flowing move from the home side saw Eltham College complete another attack with Tobi O touching down in the corner. The opposition fought back with some superb individual play to have the game sewn up and a tie, only for Harry C to register a superb attack to conclude the game. Great play all round from both sides.

U13B

The U13B team played their second game of the season against a strong Campion outfit. As was the case last week, Eltham conceded two early tries and, from that point on, were chasing the game. Despite scoring three tries — including two from Dunming Xu — the physical Campion side won out. Bleddyn M, in his first game as captain, lead the team well. There were also encouraging performances from Jarvis S and Henry W. Final score 55-15.

U13C

The U13C team put in a solid performance and didn’t deserve to find themselves 20-0 down at the half time break. A passionate second half fight back saw the team dominate the possession and score four very good tries. Unfortunately Campion managed to hit us on the break and we went down 35-20 in the end. Plenty of good rugby on show and lots of positives to take moving forward.

U14A

The U14A team fought valiantly against an athletic Campion side. The game began with an error, which saw the opposition go 7-0 up quite early but after we got our teeth stuck into the game, we began to show everyone exactly what we could do with ball in hand. At its tightest, the score was 24-19 with 8 minutes left. We were unable to maintain our intensity, which saw the score line increase to 34-19 by the final whistle. We competed across a higher proportion of the game compared to last week, with only the first and last 8 minutes letting us down. The improvement in our spirit and endeavour cannot be understated. Well done.

The focus of the week has been how quickly we respond and how we compete across all facets of the game (particularly the ruck). There were clear differences in the way we played, and the return of Matthew C, Hector S and Orin V added much to the strength of the squad as their dynamism was felt at all points during the game. The boys should be very proud of themselves and remember that a focus on performance will ensure an improved outcome over time.

Thank you to Efan-Rhys who has led us as captain over the last 3 weeks and changed the way the squad approaches training and self-improvement. Congratulations to Adem C who took on the mantle this week.

In what has been the best squad effort (squad meaning all rugby players in the year group) thus far, we must all be excited for where this season is headed. What we do in training counts, here’s to another strong week behind the scenes.

U14B

The U14B earned a hard-fought victory that will live long in the memory, demonstrating bags of character and spirit to repeatedly overcome adversity. The large number of new additions to the team – Dhruv M, Barney E, Lucas G, Aayan P, and Rafa K soon realised they were to play a bigger role than expected given the number of absentees on the day. They relished the responsibility and played very well, creating even more competition for places in the team. Going down a try at the start and having to play against the slope, the match was truly an uphill challenge. This was in no part helped by the pitch, seemingly teleported from the bowels of Mordor. Exceptional leadership by Oles C, and the 8-9-10-12 axis of Tendwai N, Boris J, Max D, and Oles firing on all cylinders, allowed “The Es” to take control of the game. With the scores level, Alex P crashed over for the lead at the half, or so we thought, before the referee informed us that Saruman had cast a spell of invisibility on the tryline; poor Alex in fact grounded over the dead ball line. The team was not to be perturbed the chaotic shenanigans, and through exceptional leadership and composure in the centre, calmly passed the ball through hands to look for opportunities. Patiently Eltham attacked, and turned a small lead into a decisive victory. This performance demonstrated not only excellent rugby, but also composure and character, something to be really proud of.

U15A

Another gritted and determined performance from the warriors of Year 10. A strong Campion side battled hard and made life difficult. Through a very unlucky try we found ourselves 14-0 quickly, however the Eltham College forwards began to dominate physically in the contact area and got right back in the game at 14-12. Unfortunately, a turnover in the dying seconds of the game made the score line flattering for what was a brutal physical encounter. Special mentions must go to David B, who helped to drive the forward pack.

U15B

The match started with both sides showing willing to throw the ball around and play exciting running rugby. This was epitomised by the strong forays forward from Luca, who took on all comers to give the rest of the side a target. The boys duly obliged with some excellent offensive rucking. For the first half, and much of the second, it was a cat and mouse affair at 0-0, with Eltham being able to nullify the speed and power of Campion’s centre pairing with tough upfront tackling, especially from Antay and Ludo. Unfortunately, a few lapses in accuracy allowed the speed of Campion’s wide players opportunities to sprint in for a 21-0 lead. Yahia embodied the passion and spirit shown by the side when he courageously tackled a hard-running penalty tap resulting in a bloodied head. The team spirit continued as Eltham were in the ascendancy for the last 10 minutes of the game and were eventually rewarded with a superb team try next to the posts, converted for a full-time score of 21-7. Lots of positives to work with and on another day the score line could easily have been the other way around.

U16A

The U16A team turned in an outstanding performance to defeat Campion 31-17. The early play saw Eltham dominate possession and Campion defend with aggression and discipline. The two sides were clearly tightly matched and it was going to be a battle of attrition to see who gave way first. Initially, it was Campion who looked the stronger. They scored 3 tries in the opening half and were very dangerous when Eltham conceded possession. However, despite playing uphill, Eltham scored 2 tries themselves in the first half. The second try from Ilia Z being a vital score to keep Eltham in the contest. Trailing 12-17 at the break, Eltham had to start strong in the second half. A try from Finn E was exactly what they needed, and from there they never looked back. Another try from Finn and a score from Laurence C saw Eltham break any Campion resistance. An outstanding team performance all round, with special mentions for the returning Matt A and captain Finn E for driving the team forward all game.

2ND XI

The boys struggled to get going against a big, physical Campion opposition. Campion ran good lines that we struggled to defend against, despite having most of the possession throughout the game. It was a valiant effort, but we found it difficult to maintain control of the ball for long periods of play and good counter attacking from Campion left us 36-0 down at half time. In the second half we managed to find our game structure and run straight, which meant we could keep hold of the ball for longer and so the second half was much closer. Tayo’s crushing cover tackle on a Campion breakaway helped to limit the loss and the final score was 48-0. Well played to Sami and Matt M, who stepped into the backline out of position and had good games and to Uzo and Tayo for some excellent attacking runs.

1ST XV

On 14 September, the first and second XV played an away fixture against Campion school. In a tense first half, Campion pushed in front of the firsts with a break away try. Despite the high morale, Campion manged to effectively break through the strong Eltham defensive line and, as a result, were able to gain more scoring opportunities. Despite the disparity in points between the two, the firsts were determined to not concede and attack with pace and precision within the last half. The coordination within the squad allowed us to score a converted try. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to overcome the tough opposition, and as a result Eltham lost 27-7. Despite the loss, the firsts are not discouraged for the rest of the season and are determined to bounce back. A special mention goes to Anjola O, whose pace and agility allowed the first team to score against a strong opposition. Lastly, a special mention goes to Ouzo, who played the last 40 seconds as a result of the injuries to both Frankie N and Dylan W.