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On a scorching Saturday morning at Wyeside, Hereford Cathedral School’s 1st XV rugby team got the 2023/24 season underway, fielding a youthful side including 11 debutants against Wrekin College.

In a tense, back-and-forth match, both teams had to deal with the heat, which undoubtedly contributed to the usual early-season mistakes.

A try for Wrekin was countered by superb solo tries from both George K and Louie O, and an excellent team effort eventually dotted down in the corner by Tom K, fly-half Harry M converting 2 of the 3. Wrekin grappled back momentum scoring two converted trys and kicking a penalty extending their lead to 24-19.

As the match reached its final minutes, it was HCS who dominated possession and willed on by the substantial home support saw Louie O rumble over for his second try. Tom K held his nerve to put the home team up 26-24. This was followed by a nervous last three minutes, but some staunch defending followed by an intercept by debutant Moyofoluwa M saw the boys hold on for the win.

Head Coach Mr Milsom commented: “Firstly, it was great to welcome so many boys into the 1st XV squad today, they all played an invaluable role in securing the victory. I thought the whole squad showed real character to stay in the fight and wrestle their way back into the game, in difficult playing conditions.

“It can be a steep learning curve for younger players, and as a coaching team we ask a lot of them. But they have a great attitude and are committed to getting better, and are showing improvement every session we have.”