On Friday 22 November, the Eltham College 1st XV Rugby team played against Hurstpierpoint College. After a disappointing loss in the previous week to New Hall, the team had a lot to prove. For the first time this season, the squad started fast with an excellent attacking set, breaking into the game with some nice phase play. The team had started as they meant to go on.
Unfortunately, a few lapses in concentration at the breakdown allowed Hurstpierpoint to exploit the guards and score a relatively early breakaway try. This happened on a few occasions; however, as the team got further into the game, they began to fix these mistakes. On a cold Friday night, the work rate of the Eltham squad could not be faulted, with the rowdy crowd boosting the energy of the game.
At times in the attack we looked deadly, we hit up the middle and then spread it to the flanks, where our danger men were ready. This is how we scored the majority of our points. Considering the Eltham squad were a much smaller pack than the opposition, the forwards carried well all game, implementing more chops, which allowed us to play an expansive game in the following phases.
There were notable performances from Conrad and Luke, who were everywhere during the 70 minutes. Roberts continued his good form with some dangerous running on the kick return, while Charlie also looked very sharp with ball in hand.
On Friday 22 November, the 2nd team faced their toughest opposition yet. After two good wins, it seemed as though they were on a roll, but with several injuries and absences, the 2nd team had a challenging game ahead of them. Hurstpierpoint College was the bigger side and dominant when they had the ball in hand. Due to a number of mistackles from Eltham, the opposition were able to establish a strong lead. This put Eltham on the back foot, and they struggled to get back into the game. There were strong performances from Sam Neicho and Will Harwood, but, as a team, Eltham College couldn’t bring it together, resulting in a significant loss. There is much to work on in training for next week.
On Thursday 21 November, the U15A team headed down to Cobham Rugby Club to play a very strong Hurst side.
The match was very tight and Eltham stuck in it the whole way through and did not give up. However, Hurst were very clinical and capitalised on the few mistakes that Eltham made. Some good carries were made by Oliver G, Tobi C and Isaiah O-E.
Taking home the positives, students will train hard in preparation for their next match.
Final score: 48-0 loss.
On Thursday 21 November, the night lights brought a different flavour to the rugby scene, with Cobham Rugby Club hosting the U15Bs fixture against Hurstpierpoint College. The early exchanges were tight, as much of the play was in the midfield, with both teams keeping things close. Uriel and Theo directed play from half back with Ruben in scintillating form at centre. Massimo, Leon and Oliver worked hard in the forwards, but it was James M who put on a show of defensive excellence.
Half time came calling with just five points in it, as Hurstpierpoint had found a small amount of space just before the break. Eltham U15B team were still in the game and playing well. A slight lapse in concentration meant the score was 12-0 shortly after half time, but Oliver scored a sensational try, bringing the score back to 7-12. The score stayed the same, as both sides battled hard, shutting down each other’s advances and fighting hard in chilly conditions.
Hurstpierpoint scored two late tries, making the final score a poor reflection of how well Eltham College played. A fantastic match played in an excellent spirit.
Final score: 26-7 loss
On Saturday 23 November, the U12B team had two tough fixtures against RGS Guildford and Dulwich College. Unfortunately, slow starts in both matches cost our side, but there were significant improvements in the second halves. In the first match, some early mistakes and dropped balls on our try line allowed RGS Guildford to build up a three-try lead by half time, and, despite dominating possession in the second half, neither team scored more points.
It was a similar story against Dulwich College, who had just beaten RGS Guildford in their first game. This time Eltham College were four tries down by half time, but again showed superb fighting spirit, led by some excellent tackling by Sam H in the second half, which got a well-deserved try through George Mc, bringing the final score to a 4-1 loss.