Rugby Round Up Autumn 2017
155 fixtures later and finally a nice relaxing break over the Christmas period. Successful term?
How do we interpret success here in the rugby family? Ask around adult ‘Elite’ players and you won’t have to look far to find those that didn’t develop to their potential till they were 16 or older. Therefore our drive towards participation is not only important for our pastoral responsibility to the boys but also for the strength of sport at the Grammar School. On a typical Saturday we will field 14 teams, that’s around 200 boys participating in rugby on a Saturday morning/afternoon. However we are not ashamed further up the school to say we want to win. With the stated aim of winning their is inevitably loosing, and boy have there been some outstanding wins and some heart breaking defeats.
In the Lower School the U12’s have been on fire, beating the known powerhouses of rugby; Bromsgrove, Oakham and Bedford School to name a few. A great start to their rugby journey at the school and the annual tour to Blackpool awaits. The U13’s have been very similar, although the B team should take the plaudits here with an unbeaten term. The U14’s have battled hard throughout and recorded some fine wins. They are a determined lot and keep working hard to improve their game. They are no doubt looking forward to their Easter Tour.
In to the Middle School and our 15A team who have had a tremendous run in the Natwest Cup. Mr Thomas has brought some Spanish passion to the side line (as well as some of his Loughborough Students resilience) and they are through to the last 16 of the National Competition. Here they will meet Warwick or Bromsgrove in the Midlands final. They are very close knit group of boys, who play for each other and portray a fantastic attitude to their rugby. The U16’s however have found the going tough somewhat. Mr Sollars having to dig deep into his time at Bristol for ideas but they continue to train hard and I’m sure they will see the benefits in the new term as they merge with the year 12s and the planned tour next October.
The Seniors have had a very good season to date. Some very physical encounters have been played and we have given a very good account of ourselves throughout. Notable wins against Kings Worcester, a first since the fixture was introduced and a drawn out match with Sir Thomas Rich, again a first since the fixture was introduced.
The introduction of 2 more mobile floodlights has allowed us to be able to get all year groups out across the week no matter what team they play for. As well as our excellent GSAs, Mr Thomas, Mr. Mitchell and Mr Stephens we also have the starting scrum half for the Loughborough Students coaching a couple of afternoons a week. With Mr Gresham also having represented the Scotland 7’s team we can hopefully continue our recent success at Rosslyn Park. With his and the other position specific skills clinics proving to be a huge success with boys turning up on a regular basis allowing some very specific coaching for those looking for a future in the game.
Several boys from both Years 9 & 10 continue to be involved in the Leicester Tigers DPP programme, as well as county representation from several at U18 level. As we all saw on television, Will Yarnell became the youngest player this millennium to represent the Tigers 1XV and an old boy this week, Christophe Ridley, refereed his first Premier League Fixture.
I can’t thank the staff that help out enough. Without them, then we just wouldn’t be where we are, competing against some the best schools in the country. The catering staff, caretakers, matrons and ground staff continue to do a fantastic in looking after us and the players.
A big thank you also to the parents for your continued support on the touchlines and constant washing of the boys kit!