On Saturday 5 October, a rested Eltham 1st XV came up against a large Felsted side. A week of effective training sessions soon became evident, with the forwards winning lineouts with a refined 7-man set-up and achieving the full coverage of the pitch in both attack and defence. The physicality of the game resulted in a lot of big hits and multiple injuries on both sides. As a result, Sami, Reyhan and Phil stepped up to call of duty after already playing a full game for the 2nds, but all put in an excellent performance. Highlights of the match would be James R’s try and captain James B intercepting the ball and running the whole length of the pitch. The final score of 27-8 does not do the team justice, as effort and energy levels were unrivalled. Everyone on the pitch communicated well with one another and played with high intensity and physicality. The team should all be proud of their performance and continue into training with the same energy levels in preparation for the plate fixture against Colfe’s this Saturday.
The U16A team hung on to beat a talented Felsted team 38-34 on Saturday. Both sides exchanged tries in the first 20 minutes of the match, but it was clear that Eltham College needed to make greater use of the wind and slope that they had in their favour. Three quick tries, with the highlight being a fine solo effort from Sam R, took Eltham to a score of 31-12 ahead at half time. In the second half, Eltham were put under pressure by Felsted’s much improved tactical kicking. They pinned Eltham in their half and started chipping away into our lead. Thankfully a breakaway score from Sam R got Eltham up to 38 points, which proved to be just enough. In the frantic final stages, Eltham forced a mistake and managed to clear the ball off the field from a scrum to seal the win. Credit should go to fly half Josh, whose conversions turned out to be the difference between the sides. Due to injuries, Eltham were grateful to Jamieson, Benji and Ben, who all played out of position to get a full 15 on the pitch. A great win in tricky circumstances, which keeps the team’s excellent season going, with three wins out of four, so far.
The boys worked hard and, after an emotional week, had to pick themselves up after the defeat against Ravenswood in the cup. The team, in true U15 fashion, showed extreme resilience throughout, with some heart filled defence in the first half. The game was poised at 0-0 at half time. Felstead were much better at keeping hold of possession and that proved to be the difference. A good try from Christy gave the boys something to be proud of in a tough and injury littered physical encounter.
With nearly half of the squad missing due to injuries, this match was always going to test the depth of the team and the extent of the team’s competitive nature. The team played some of their best Rugby this season; the scrum performed well and the team strung together their best passages of play, with some strong running from Will and brave tackling from Lysander. Both boys have stated strong cases for their position in the A team. With a powerful passage of play towards the end of the game, Nikita, Tom, Zeka and Ben drove forward to get us inches from the try-line. Unfortunately, Eltham were unable to convert the pressure into points. Congratulations and thank you to Lucas, who was not expecting to represent the A-team (after running out for the C-team last week) but gave it his all. The team still looks forward to its first win.
The U14B team will feel hard done by after a narrow 17-10 loss on Saturday, having had the ball for most of the game. Solid defensive work in the first half meant Felsted went into the break 5-0 ahead. A rallying call from Lucas got the boys fired up and they came out to score two quick, well worked tries, one from Alex and one from Captain Oles. Unfortunately, Felsted were able to breach our defence twice more to come away with the win. A good display, nonetheless, with plenty of lessons and positives to take forward.