Rugby report – 27 November

The 1st XV team got back to their winning streak against Cranbrook School on Saturday. It was an unsteady start to the game with both teams swapping bouts of possession before Cranbrook took the lead with a converted try. Eltham then built their way back into the game with two scores before the half time whistle, leading 7-12. The second half was a very different tale, playing up the slope on thick mud, the boys pulled together and scored 4 great tries and only conceded one try after excellent defence on their own line for over 5 minutes. A great win, finishing 14-38.

After beating The Coopers School by 44-19 on Wednesday, the 2nd XV team were looking to record their third victory of the week against Cranbrook School. With several players missing due to call ups to the 1st XV or injury, a makeshift 2nd XV started strongly, running the ball and trying to play attractive rugby on a small and muddy pitch. Eltham opened the scoring with 2 quick tries by James Eckel which were converted by George Jackson but Cranbrook managed a try just before half time to make the score 14-5. A converted try scored soon after half-time by Tanner Kisic extended the score only for Cranbrook to narrow the gap with an interception try to give them some encouragement. Further tries by James Sawkings and Toby Baldwin and a consolation try for Cranbrook near the end left the final score at 38-15. It was a rather scrappy performance by Eltham with too many handling errors and they will need a better performance on Saturday against Skinners School to maintain their excellent playing record this season.

The Under 16 team scored in the last minute to record a 19-12 victory over Cranbrook. A brilliant team performance with all players contributing in both attack and defence. Tries came from George Ennis, Dylan Wildman and Thibaut Evans.

The Under 15A team made light work of their match against Cranbrook. A 31-10 win, in a game where Eltham were always in control. Eltham scored 5 excellent tries and were a threat throughout.

The Under 15B team put in another strong performance to beat Cranbrook 29 – 12. The victory was built on an excellent team defensive display and some strong solo running.

The Under 14A team had a superb week. They played well on Saturday, mixing up power and pace to beat Cranbrook 36-12 with 7 tries spread amongst the team. The highlight of the week however was the 38-14 Cup semi-final victory against St Olave’s Grammar School as the boys defended for their lives and were clinical in attack. They now have the Kent Cup Final at Gravesend Rugby club.

The Under 14B continued their unbeaten run with a 34-0 win over Cranbrook. Ben Lewis and James Baillie providing some piercing running to dominate the game.

The Under 13A team came second best to a strong running Dulwich College team. They defended bravely in the early stages of the game but struggled to create any go-forward themselves. Dulwich managed to score key tries either side of half time to take the game away from Eltham. Still the team remained committed throughout with Oliver Gibbons, Lewis Stone and Luke McCool leading the way.

Not even a squad of 20 enthusiastic and courageous boys could stop a strong Dulwich College team from racking up a double figure try score during the Under 13B game on Saturday. While Reuben Chandler was Eltham’s player of the match for his high level of commitment, skill and non-stop running, many others also had strong games namely Uriel Jinadu, Georgiy Savchenko, Theo Austin, Thomas Hoque and Mario Chukwukere.

The Under 12A team picked up a solid 8-7 win over Dulwich College with outstanding performances and Dominic Wade and Maxence Augier de Cremiers.

The Under 12B team had a tough game on Friday afternoon against a strong Dulwich side and despite an excellent second half performance lost by 5 tries to 2. After a strong first few minutes Eltham lost their shape and missed too many tackles in a poor first half performance which left them 4 tries down. It was very different after the break though with Ollie Harris pulling a try back after great work in the forwards by Lucas Fonseka Koon, Will Stone and Diego Golsby. Although Dulwich scored a fifth breakaway try it was all Eltham for the remainder of the half with Orin Vitalis scoring following prolonged pressure.