HCJS U10 A&B Rugby v Monmouth
Wednesday 22 November 2017
HCJS U10 A 5 (Toby)
Conditions were miserable to say the least, but this did not prevent both teams from presenting a watchable spectacle. Monmouth had us under the cosh from the start, but we defended well and our rucking showed a lot more commitment than in previous matches. We made plenty of strong breaks with our strike runners, but our unwillingness to pass to a teammate made most of our efforts come to naught. And while we had great trouble catching or holding on to the ball, we could not blame the conditions, as Monmouth shipped the ball through hands effectively for most of the match, their passing game being suited to an incredibly wide pitch and bringing most of their tries in the corners. Some fantastic cover tackling by Toby saved our blushes several times, and the one time we were able to move the ball back and forth across the pitch Toby was rewarded with a try in the corner. While the score line did not reflect our doggedness in the tackle and our competitiveness in the ruck, our paltry total of tries did reflect our poor catching and lack of team play with ball in hand.
HCJS U10 B 30 (Jonathan x 4, Max P, Oliver S)
Despite the awful conditions, the B team put in an excellent performance full of courage and determination. The spine of the B team, led by Oliver S, tackled ferociously, causing Monmouth to drop the ball on many occasions. The first half was an end to end affair. Monmouth profiting from lots of good build up play to score their tries whilst HCJS took advantage of the space to race away untouched. Jonathan was the chief tormentor with a brace and Oliver S with scores that kept us in touch at the break, 5-3 down.
In the second half, although camped in our own ten metres for large parts, we somehow kept managing to steal the ball back and then race away. Jonathan scored two more tries and then a handling move involving five of our players saw Max score a try right out of any international coaching manual. Although we brought it back to 6-6, Monmouth snuck one more try into the corner for the win. This was a fantastic squad effort where everybody put a great shift in despite the conditions. The boys showed organisation, togetherness and desire and can be rightly proud of their effort even in defeat.
HCJS U10 B & U11 B Rugby v Moor Park
Wednesday 15 November 2017
HCJS U10 B 40 (Jonathan 3, Toby 2, Max P, Oliver S, Rob)
Moor Park U10 A 20
This was a very enjoyable match to watch, as both teams played with great determination and Moor Park had a couple of players who were both strong and skilful. We had trouble holding on to the ball at the start, but strong running from Toby and Oliver V gave us plenty of forward momentum. Max P opened our account and, as our handling improved, we began to find more openings. We went into the half at 20-15 and the target for the second half was to be more committed to the rucks. The boys responded extremely well, allowing us to put together some genuinely impressive passages of play. Rob scored a powerful individual try and Jonathan used the space his teammate made for him for a second half hat-trick. It was an real 'team' performance, punctuated by the excellent behaviour and attitude of the boys throughout the afternoon.
Moor Park U11A 30
5 HCJS U11B (Joseph U)
Although the scoreline suggests that the B team came rather unstuck, this was a close game with some fine margins deciding the outcome. The B's played really well for the first ten minutes and from a scrum, Joseph U used his pace to score in the corner. Moor Park grew into the game, dominating the scrum's and rucks and their passing was both accurate and at times flamboyant. Our tackling was excellent and it was only with the last play of the half that the home side squeezed over in the corner.
Moor Park came out of the blocks in the second half and their use of the dummy continued to bamboozle some of our players. Further domination at the breakdown enabled Moor Park to add to their tally of tries, yet we gamely pressed on, spending time in their 22 without having that clinical edge to get over. Stanley's tackling was incredible all day and there were many positives to take out of the game.
HCJS v RGS Worcester
HCJS U10 A 5 (Coenraad)
RGS Worcester 15
This was a frustrating loss, as the boys showed a significant improvement in their passing and our defending was generally rock solid. From the earliest moments we looked the better team and Coenraad scored after a sequence of passes. For the rest of the half we had RGS under constant pressure in their own half, but our refusal to ruck and some poor running choices made all of our fine attacking play come to nothing. RGS’ cover tackling was excellent and they had a speedster who scored two long-distance tries against the run of play.
In the second half we were much more competitive in the ruck but, in spite of some very strong running from Monty and Hugo, we could not capitalise on the chances we created. One missed tackle was all it took for RGS to score another try from deep in their own half. It was a wonderfully competitive encounter that, with a few better decisions with ball in hand, could have gone our way.
HCJS U10 B 55 (Toby 6, Jonathan 5)
RGS Worcester U10 B 35
The U10 B team had an emphatic win against RGS Worcester in a game where the momentum swung back and forth between the two teams. There was an excellent attacking display with multiple line-breaks from the likes of Toby and Jonathan, followed up by marvellous offloading and rucking support. Hamish made sure to organise the players around the pitch and Thomas helped to straighten our attacking threat with some hard carries which left multiple defenders hanging on to him.
There was also great work from the wider players, including Max P, with some great footwork around opposition defenders, and also Nishant, who showed determination to get around the outside of his opposite man on multiple occasions.
All the boys in the squad gave a tremendous effort against a well-drilled RGS squad, particularly in their desire to win the ball back from the opposition. The RGS coach was most impressed with the fact that this was every boy in the year group playing, as every player showed a desire to do their best.
HCJS v RGS The Grange, Wednesday 8 November
HCJS U11A 35 (Harry C 4, Bobby 3)
RGS U11A 35
This was a thrilling afternoon of U11 rugby with the result in doubt right up until the final whistle. RGS demonstrated excellent handling and realignment and quickly took a two try lead. Bobby barged his way through for our opening try which seemed to give the side confidence and we had our best spell, scoring further tries through Bobby and a brace from Harry C, who used his searing pace to exploit hesitation in the RGS defence. RGS came back strongly in the second half and it looked for a while that they may overwhelm us with their quick ball from the breakdown. However, our boys showed great resilience and used our scramble defence to good effect, particularly when closing down their wingers out wide. Charlie and Samuel linked effectively and our front trio of Xeni, Leon and Ralph, contested the ruck with determination. Further tries for Bobby and another two from Harry C secured the draw - no mean feat against the best opposition we have played this term.
The Downs Festival - Tuesday 19 September 2017
HCJS U9 25 (Finlay H 2, Charlie B 3)
The Downs 5
We started the day extremely well, keeping a very strong defensive line, featuring several outstanding tackles by Freddie. Finlay showed great pace to score twice and Charlie was rampant in the second half. Our excellent defending stifled The Downs nearly every time they had the ball.
HCJS U9 15 (Huw P, Charlie B 2)
The Elms 20
The Elms had a couple of strong runners and tacklers, and our team lost a bit of their concentration to allow a couple of soft tries which let the opposition off the hook at the death. Huw opened his account with a powerful finish and Devon contributed with several strong tackles.
HCJS U9 25 (Finlay 4, Charlie)
The Downs 25
We faced another Downs team who also ran very well and the lead moved back and forth. Finlay's running kept us in the game and we put together one of our best passing moves for Charlie to score on the last play of the game.
The boys played extremely well as a team throughout the festival and our defending at times was most impressive. With just a little more consistency and concentration they look like they can be a very successful unit.
The Elms 7s Tournament - Saturday 9 September 2017
The U11 A team began their season with a 7s tournament at The Elms. As we warmed up the heavens opened and the start was delayed by 5 minutes as the autumnal weather did its worst! We began with a scrappy draw against the hosts, showing some attacking threat with our pace out wide, but also some defensive naivety. Harry C scored two tries from deep using his scorching pace to good effect. Our second game against Winterfold was our best performance of the afternoon winning by 3 tries to 1, the highlights being Charlie G's brace, one showing his pace out wide and the other his acrobatic skills to get over in the corner. The next two games proved difficult as the size of the pitches and the inclement conditions began to take their toll on the squad. Despite taking the lead against St John's, they came back strongly in the second half to beat us and then RGS produced an extremely disciplined performance to defeat us by 3 tries to 1. The final game against King's St Alban's was all about pride and the boys responded well at the end of a hard afternoon. Bobby was in rampaging form and scored with a barnstorming run to seal a comfortable victory.
Whilst there are some areas to work on in the coming weeks, the boys showed that they have the individual skill and pace to become an effective attacking threat against any opposition.