Southam sink Shipston in a 12 try thriller.
A new season and a new crop of budding heroes don the shirt for Southam College.
On a windy dreary day the squad lit up the field with a display of gallic style running rugby on a large pitch. Ably led by Charlie Stephenson as captain who went over for his first of 3 tries with a scintillating run showing power and pace, the team never looked back. I was delighted with many players athleticism in open play, no more so than Harry Lloyd who in his first game of Rugby went over for 3 tries.
I was just as impressed with his aggressive tackling and desire to take it to the opposition. James Eatough was also excellent in the tackle and a charge down from Charlie saw James fully rewarded for his work. with a try. Even though the ball was slippy both Thomas Hannay and Sam Robinson linked well playing in various positions in the backs. Thomas showing a turn of pace to score 2 tries and Sam after a counter ruck from Southam broke hard around t,he side of the ruck to score. Spencer Brough at full back showed a turn of speed to go around the defence and score another. The best try of the game however was a great team try with individual flair to finish. Southam kept the ball alive and went through the phases for Lewis Sterry a quick powerful and well coordinated prop, to score in the corner beating three players off. Aly McClay battled well in the forwards alongside the likes of Tom Worsh, Callum Mullen and Hayden Willis. Josh Elkerton was a live wire at scrum half, winning ball, tackling hard and linking well with his forwards, creating great opportunities, many of which were scored off. Joe Coulter battled in every position winning rucks and tackling hard, the rucks definitely improved when he went into the forwards but he showed awareness in the backs as well. George Pelter played a superb role on both wing and full back role to prevent Shipston from appearing on the score sheet. Owen Barker had several runs on the wing and nearly broke through for a great try in the last third of the game. Will Machin did not miss a tackle on his wing. Oli Godfrey showed versatility in his positions on the pitch, whilst Tommy Bolster showed strength in depth with a hard grafting shift in the forwards. Oscar Duggleby, did not allow a an injury to limit his day with good passing and fast work to get the breakdown. When your side wins 12 tries to 0 it is hard to complain, the lads were lovely and a credit to themselves, the school and their parents.
That said there is much to work on – Rucks – something we had worked on became better in the last 3rd of the game but were not up to acceptable standards with not enough aggression to secure the ball and hesitation at times by some players. It will cost us if we do not secure or turn over ball. Learning where to stand will come with effort, concentration and a desire to improve, ( this team has that I can tell already), and fitness for many players will need to improve if they are to keep or force their way into a starting line -up. Handling was however excellent and what seemed to be several knock ons was actually limited by the boys impressive handling in difficult circumstances. Outstanding running Rugby boys.
This team does not rely upon 2 or 3 boys making all the tackles – there will be bigger challenges but what a win! If you know someone who may add to the squad – bring them to training. A mention to Shipston who battled hard and fought bravely after only a few training sessions. Southam squad was given man of the match for a team performance. keep it up lads!
A very Proud Mr Elkerton.