Admm8h | 24 January 2022

It was fantastic news for our U16 As last week as they proudly won the Hampshire County Cup!


Their coach and House Parent of School House, Mr Fisher had this to say:


An awesome effort by all the team to get us here this season. In many respects the hurdle of having to beat Priestlands in the semi-final, a team who had already beaten us, was a brilliant moment in the sporting career of the boys – although clearly last night was a must and by far from being a given too, it just goes to show what a great journey of dedication and achievement the boys have put in.


With 12 minutes in the start of the first half, jitters, no score and slew of penalties against us for silly stuff, it certainly did not feel like a shoe in – far from it. But a well worked team try and Andrews T in the corner put us on the board. 5-0. 14 agonising minutes later, some hard defensive work and we got back down into their end again, Baidoo goes over, Meek converts. 12-0. 3 minutes from half time and Ryde strike with a thundering run under the posts and convert. 12-7, only 5 points in it. We kick off, they catch, a thumping tackle and Dallyn comes out with it to go all the way and arms spread, flies under the sticks, Meek converts again, all less than 30 seconds after they scored – that’s the way to ensure you don’t let your heads go down. They kick to us, Meek catches and a minute later he is on the edge putting it down for another try, 24-7 at half time.


Boys are fired up and ready to put Ryde to the sword, no let up, no foot off the gas, it needs to be put to bed now. But with Meek fumbling a sure try and damaging his hand in the first 5 minutes of the new half, we are without our usual fly half as he comes off for attention. Williams S steps up to the 10 shirt and we keep them pinned in their half. Meek is back on and scores and converts the try he should have got 10 minutes ago. 31-7. 4 minutes later some hard work from the forwards, some awesome hands and Dallyn breaks through 2/3 players for a another one under the posts and we convert. 38-7.


Then we get pinned back 5 metres off our try line. 8 minutes we spend defending, as one after another of giant Ryde forwards try to batter their way over, until Keeling gets a yellow. Man down for 7 minutes, 6 of which we spend in our 22, but with no try for them, Keeling is brought back on and with a team back to full strength we go over for another Dallyn finished try, converted. We finish 45-7 – Hampshire County Cup Champions!


This doesn’t tell the whole story of the match fully or the season for that matter. Overton’s wheels are another level (and the tries he has put in for us have been extraordinary at times). The scrum decimated them, if we didn’t have the 2 metre rule we’d have marched them over their own try line countless times. Hands in the backs this season have been silky and sublime, fast, accurate, out the back door, under the nose, just champagne stuff at times – awesome work! And all of this through the season has been due to boys putting their bodies on the line: Meek – head (& hand last night), Andrews S – shoulder, Umbers – shoulder & knee, Fisher – hip (current), Williams S – thumb & leg, BP – thumb, Locke – name it, what didn’t you damage?! (Plus a multitude of other knocks and bangs with all of the boys). It is a tough game and not only a physical one, but a mental one, the boys have tested themselves to the very limit and been rewarded with what they put on the line.


So in short: Well done gents.


Mr Battison and I have been proud and grateful to coach you this season and look forward to hearing and seeing your exploits over the coming 7s season and next year.


Back on College grounds at 10pm by coach and it was very touching to see a group of the L6th rugby boys, who visiting Gosden House, stood at the window, both girls and boys and clap the boys back in. I think they are looking forward to playing with you next season.


Parents & families – thank you too, without your support and dedication to turning up, often outnumbering the opposition spectators at away fixtures even, putting up with the countless muddy shirts, boots, socks, trips to the doc, vast quantities of food inhaled, etc. they could not have done it.


Thanks must also go to Mr Rayner and team for organising lights, buses, catering, video and all the other paraphernalia that goes with scheduling 13 odd matches in a term. The team is always bigger than just the 15 guys on the field at that moment, so please do take comfort in considering the extraordinary efforts everyone has put in to ensure the U16As are County Cup Champions – and do just savour that word for a moment – Champions.

  1. Micah B

  2. Harrison B

  3. James L

  4. Max M

  5. George M

  6. Tate M

  7. Ted U

  8. William M

  9. Alex W

  10. Harvey K

  11. Alex O

  12. Ben F

  13. Sam W

  14. Toby A

  15. Sam A

  16. Ned B

  17. Jake D

  18. Charlie L

  19. Casper L

  20. William M