Rugby Report – 25 September 2017

Eltham College Under 12As first game of the season resulted in an 8-4 loss to an athletic Ravens Wood side. There were outstanding performances by Maxence Augiers de Cremiers, Marko Morin, John Kay and Jamie Sears; in a game that Eltham finished as the stronger side.

The Under 12Bs had a fantastic start to the season beating Ravens Wood School by five tries to two on Friday afternoon. After three weeks of training and preparation the team had a large squad and all the boys contributed well to the victory. Efan-Rhys Mottershead opened the scoring after strong work by the forwards before Oles Chaban and Oliver Harris made it three tries by half time. Ravens Wood came back into the game in the second half but Eltham defended excellently to keep them out for so long before conceding. Almost immediately Oles restored the three try advantage before Hector Salter scored the fifth try late on.

The U13As played some excellent rugby for the majority of the game, moving the ball well down the line and threatening the Ravens Wood defence. Tobi Clement scoring two tries, showing his pace on the wing. There was some great defence at times however Ravens Wood were too strong and were able to score a few extra tries in the final quarter to run away with the game 35-10.

The U13Bs lost by three tries to one with Ravens Wood’s final score coming with the last play of the game. Playing with the advantage of the slope and the wind in the first half Eltham played all the smart rugby and came close on several occasions to opening the scoring; Isaiah Ozigbo-Esere had several rampaging runs, as did Jackson White and Thomas Hoque while the three quarters handled the ball skilfully but were just held up short of the line. In defence Eltham were superb with Ludo Jones leading the way putting in tackle after tackle. If the defence was strong in the first half it was quite outstanding in the second – the entire team and subs too put their bodies on the line to stop Ravens Wood taking the lead. Eventually the pressure told, Eltham just ran out of pitch to defend and conceded two tries. However, with heads held high Eltham scored a fabulous team try when Dimitri Blonz touched down in the corner. Desperate to level the score Eltham conceded possession and with the last phase conceded a third try but they can all feel very proud of their performance.

U14A put in the performance of their lives as they blew away Ravens Wood on Saturday morning. The tone was set from the opening moments when quick hands and a superb run from David Manzini saw Eltham 7-0 up. Shortly after Illia Zyp scored to extend the score to 14-0 but it was the defence from the squad that was so impressive. The second half saw the team on the back foot as they tackled, rucked and mauled to not only hold Ravens Wood out till the last seconds but also score two further tries to win 26-7. The complete team performance.

U14B won 65 0. Absolute outstanding team performance. Forwards rucked and offloaded brilliantly whilst the backs handling and running was exquisite.

The U15A team produced a storming first half display scoring five tries. The first ten minutes saw Ravens Wood in attack and only fine defence kept them out. Once in possession though we were always threatening and tries from James Roberts, James Lambton, James Bush and Ola-David Agboola were the results of fine team play. Although the second half was quieter our defence was again excellent. Strong forward play led to two further tries for James Roberts and James Bush. Final score 47 – 0.

A comprehensive display saw Eltham U15B score 38 unanswered points against a committed and determined Ravens Wood. The performance was underpinned by strong defence and a never say die attitude. Special mention to Robbie Crouch, Will Leverton and Theo De-Pury who stood up in defence and hit far above their weight. Ben Merchandani marked his return from injury by opening the scoring with a lovely try and conversion, scything through weak defence. The score then stretched to 12-0 after soft hands allowed the ball to be moved left to right for Andrew Martin to cross the line on his season debut. Ben Merchandani stepped up to add the extras before scoring another try soon after to take his points tally to 14 for the day. The points then dried up for the first half with many opportunities spurned. The team took to the field for the second half with some very clear directives. After sticking to the game plan the flood gates opened with Robbie Crouch, Dominic Owen and Christian Weeks getting their name on the score sheet with a try each. A conversion each from Ben Merchandani and Will Harwood left the scoreline at 38-0.

The U16A romped to a 50-5 victory in a very encouraging performance. They played with good discipline and aggression in the contact areas. They were clearly the superior side, but they were clinical when chances came their way and scored some impressive tries. Conrad Scrivener, Zaki Boudjemal, Ashley Sewell, James Biss and Frankie Nella all scored tries, but the highlight was Louis Hedegaard scoring in the corner after a well-judged cross kick. James Biss and Frankie Nella shared five conversions between them. An excellent result as tougher games now come their way.

The 2nd XV put in a spirited performance against a big and physical Ravens Wood team. After some initial early pressure Eltham forced their way up field and Tom Macallan managed to pick up a bouncing ball on the half-way line and raced in for a try which was converted. The Ravens Wood forwards were carrying the ball well and managed to gain field positions to build up a 22-7 lead but the game finished with Eltham scoring a try by James Ocana, making the final score 22 – 12.

The 1st XV won 34 17. Good performance with forwards dominating the opposition and backs showing pace and precision outside.