St John's School, Leatherhead 1st XV vs Eastbourne College
On: Saturday, 15 Oct 2016
Venue: at Home
The Head of Rugby at Eastbourne College could be employed by any political party based upon the spin he has unwound over the past two seasons. The underselling and over delivering campaign has caught many sides off guard recently but we were under no illusion that this would be a test of epic proportions. Eastbourne are always passionate and have effective defensive systems and excellent workers over the ball at the breakdown; they did not disappoint on either front!
The St John's 1stXV have perhaps gone into their shell a bit of late and were determined to get the "va va boom" back into their game; they did not disappoint either!
Once again, the lads began in superb fashion after another terrific warm up. Running the ball from our own 22, the opening possession moved seventy metres up the field. Pressure turned into points with a well struck Hugo Coughlan penalty. Eastbourne hit back soon afterwards. It was against the run of play but their kicker had a good range on him and slotted a penalty to level the scores. St John's were without doubt the better of the sides in this period and another Toby McRae try put the home side in front after a bust up the middle by Cameron Hyne and excellent vision and passing through Tom Lyons, Coughlan and Jordan Bond to find McRae out wind. Eastbourne were still fighting and kept within touching distance with another penalty. The score of 8-6 at half time did not reflect how good St John's had been at times but it most certainly did reflect the resolute Eastbourne defence.
Fresh from his call up to the England U17 training camp, Jack Musk was the next of the score sheet after quick tap off a penalty to bundle his way over. Coughlan added the conversion. It was then captain Kimball Klintworth who bulldozed his way over after a superbly executed manoeuvre. Coughlan again adding the points and another penalty soon after to stretch the lead to 25-9. With eighteen minutes left to play, this game was far from over and Eastbourne hit back with a superb solo try from their full back. With the seconds ticking down an Eastbourne error was pounced upon by Silas-Paul Johnson who raced forty metres to score in the corner. Coughlan struck the conversion from out wide exquisitely to end the game 32-14 to The Eagles.
As was said to the side afterwards, one should not underestimate how good a performance this was against an excellent side and gives us momentum over the half term break.