Year 7 Rugby

Siege of Kenilworth had nothing on this!

Well what a game! Phew! First an apology .. no photos, it was a bit too intense to start taking them and those that were there were in the moment too much to take breath. The game started with a thunderous explosion of commitment and effort from the Southam lads. The challenge was to tackle and ruck hard based upon last weeks efforts, which although a great win, lacked in this area. Harry Lloyd and the starting forwards Mullen, Coulter, Sterry, McClay and  Pelter with an assistance of the backs, such as Will Machin, smashed hard and without hesitation. They put into training what we had discussed, punching down the middle, winning phase after phase. Credit to Kenilworth who matched as much as they could the Southam onslaught with great tackling.

We created amazing chances but failed then  to capitalise; once we have created the overlap we need to use it by running at spaces not faces in wide channels!  Lloyd made a couple of great breaks and Stephenson too showed power in support. James Etough stretched his legs and was nearly through on a couple of occasions. I was equally pleased by the efforts of the ‘3 Towers’ Mullen, Willis and Worsh. On a hot day these big lads did what was asked and put a hard shift in. Mullen is starting to smash rucks, Willis had a barnstorming run in the second 3rd and Worsh made a couple of great tackles. Big men can get low! keep it going lads.

Southam disrupted the Kenilworth forwards and prevented their strike runners from getting ball. That said it needed great tackles from many players to prevent the opposition from getting down the other end and scoring. The physicality was amazing! Sam Robinson played in numerous positions and showed a thought of mind to put in 2 great clearance kicks when we were under pressure. He also showed great body position in the ruck. The first 3rd was mainly Southam but the score remained 0-0.

The next 3rd of the game was again a tough battle of maybes. But a couple of great set rucks by Lewis Sterry, Jo  Coulter and the forwards, was sealed with a little touch of class when Joshy Bill Elkerton at scrum half ‘snuck around the ruck’ and danced down the side-line for the first try. This was nearly matched by a great charge down 3 minutes later, the ball landing agonisingly away from a Southam hand. Southam continued to strike hot with a ball collected by Spencer Brougham was  shipped out to Lloyd who set a ruck. The Kenilworth forwards after numerous infringement at the breakdown were rightly  pinged for ‘going over the top’. The ensuing penalty saw a ‘Nathan Hughes esq’ reach for the line from Charlie ‘Lomu’ Stephenson. Southam deserved this 10 – 0 lead. This score was kept by scrabbling tackles from Will Machin, Oli Godefry and a fantastic side line  tackle by Joe Coulter out wide. Oli should also be mentioned for the little touches that he has around the breakdown area – they do not go unnoticed.

The Kenilworth lads came fighting back in the last 3rd with equally great tackles from Lloyd to prevent a try from a penalty. Such a physical battle did start to take its toll on the Southam lads with injury and strength in depth of the Kenilworth squad seeing them go over, Tom Worsh unlucky to prevent a try with a great tackle on the line. Rucks that we were previously disrupting now set ball for fast men out wide. Another break saw the Kenilworth  wing go over. 10 -10 was about right as we did not take our chances when we were in the ascendancy and Kenilworth stretched the play better than us. Unfortunately the games last play saw the man of the match, (arguably for both teams), Harry Lloyd take a high knock to the shoulder /neck area, play was allowed to continue and Kenilworth scored out wide. With a few minutes to go the game was called. Harry has been checked out after a baffling wait for medical assistance and all seems good.

We deserved the draw and perhaps the win but we must take our chances and link better. With a few players to add and returns from illness – we will  get the strength in depth. The quality and ferociousness of the tackles and rucks were of another world. The lads should be commended for top quality Rugby.  Training only on Wednesday this week. Tournament on Oct 8th provisionally in with a chance to look at lots of lads and a game on the 10th v Coundon to come.

Mr Elkerton

Year 7 Rugby

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.

Final score Southam 60 Shipston 0. 

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