Match Report
Oakham School Boys-U18C vs  Rugby School
On: Thursday, 20 Sep 2018
Venue: at Home

Rugby School

A tough test after a short week which included 5 changes to the starting XV and a couple of changes of positions resulted in our first loss of the season. The boys were disappointed to finish such a close game empty handed but were pleased with the heart they showed in the second half. The game did start well, however, with Oakham taking a 5 point lead early on thanks to a hard worked try from the forwards touched down by Gareth Davies. Unfortunately, this was closely followed by two injuries on Will Foster-Collier (Scrum-half), and and Aaron Mistry (left wing) resulting in further changes in the form of Harry Cornes and Freddie Skelton from the 4th XV. We then conceded a converted try, putting the away side 2 points and taking us to half time with a very different back line to the week before.

The boys suffered another try from the away side shortly after half time, but instead of letting this take their momentum, Oakham showed some proper grit and got straight back into form. After a hard push up into their 22, the backs shipped the ball simply and clinically to Peter Hensen on the right wing who ran the ball over the line and scored to get our foothold back in the game. Around halfway through the second half, we were unlucky after a few defensive errors to concede again putting Rugby back in the lead. However, with 10 minutes to go we managed to scrape a try in loose play to give us our last chance to win. By this point, everybody on the pitch had taken hits and bumps and had been working extremely hard, but every single Oakham boy dug in and fought out the last few plays after losing a lock Harry Peacock to the second team, replaced by Dominic Bailie. We didn’t manage another try against the away side made up of some strong defenders and heavy runners, so we were all very disappointed when the final whistle blew.

Rugby School had been our toughest opponent yet, and it was very interesting to see how our boys coped against a team of a fairly equal skillset. Despite some frustrating errors across the board, Oakham did show serious strength in attack and in the breakdown. When we were in possession we fought well to maintain it, and when some big lads came at us, a number of exceptional tackles were made. Of course, we were all very disappointed to lose after two very comfortable wins, but it has given us a clear view of what we need to improve and an even stronger drive to train harder and perform in coming matches.

Felix Abbott