St John's School, Leatherhead Boys-U14C vs RGS, Guildford
On: Saturday, 08 Oct 2016
The morning kick-off at RGS Guildford started very brightly indeed. The forwards set up a fantastic sequence of picking and driving; Prince, Battershill and Young with strong rucking, Wright, Morgan and Edmunds making good carries. The pressure from St John’s eventually told when on 10 minutes, space opened up and a good passing move gave Baker space down the wing. He was tackled, the ball quickly recycled and Battershill, crowded by RGS players, somehow managed to stay in play and touch the ball down in the corner. St John’s kept a high pressure game, forcing RGS into mistakes and on 15 minutes, after a dropped pass by RGS deep in their 22, Baker kicked the ball forward and Twist ran behind to touch down, Tyson converting. Quick running and good tackling by Sumpter and Baker twice thwarted RGS’ attempts to utilise an overlap. Five minutes from half time, RGS made a clever move from the back of a 5 metre scrum, one of their bigger players powering his way through the backs on the blindside and scoring to put the score at 12-5 at half time.
The second half started in much the same vain as the first, powerful play from Morgan and Battershill and great rucking from Sumpter and Prince. This work led to a penalty 10 metres out, Zubaidi using his initiative for a quick tap-and-go, passing the ball straight to Battershill who, spotting a size advantage, ran intelligently towards the corner. The game opened up a little more after this third St John’s try; Twist, Baker and Reith all making good runs, Sumpter, Battershill and Prince racing out of scrums to kill the oppositions moves. St John’s defence was solid, even when RGS did manage to break through, the boys held the ball up over the line and came away unscathed. A hard battling game was clearly taking its toll on both teams in terms of energy levels and handling errors. St John’s twice not quite managing to capitalise on RGS mistakes and three minutes from full time, RGS made a good run, Reith brought the man down but after a passage of strong work from RGS’ big forwards, they managed to creep the ball over the line. The final few minutes played out and the smiles on the boy’s (and coaches’) faces at the full time whistle showed how much it meant. A brilliant and powerful performance by the team that they should be very proud of.