U11 Rugby success

Rugby - U11 VII "7-a-side" National Schools' Tournament at Epsom College (A)
Sunday 6 February 2011

Following the victory at The Brentwood School Tournament before Christmas, the U11 Holmwood House team had very high expectations, despite being slightly rusty due to not having a game together for a long time.

After a long warm-up, Holmwood started to come together as a team again and showed some of the cohesion that had helped them win at Brentwood.

Game 1 vs Chinhurst

After watching Chinhurst win their first game, it was clear that they were well drilled, with solid structure and good defence. Holmwood started the game strongly and put pressure on Chinhurst from the start. Holmwood's tackling was superb and in attack the boys were very strong. Ben A converted his own try.

Final score: won 7-0.

Game 2 vs The Beacon

The Beacon players were a lot bigger than the Holmwood boys and this was evident with two early scores from The Beacon's backline.  Holmwood soon realised that this was their only game plan and stopped The Beacon's attacks quickly, with excellent tackling from Philipp C and Robert P. In the second half, Holmwood's attacks were strong, but could not  find their way through to score.

Final score:  lost 0-14

Game 3 vs Thomas’s, Clapham

Holmwood came out strong and had Thomas’s on the back foot from the off.  Despite a very strong Thomas's defence, Holmwood's relentless pressure paid off with 2 scores.

Final score:  won 14-7

Game 4 vs Milbourne Lodge

Holmwood were determined to show other teams how strong they are in defence and also in attack. Edward B spotted some space in front of him and scored in the corner after shrugging of the attention of three of the Milbourne defenders.  Philipp C came round the blind side after a scrum and, after being stopped just short of the tryline, offloaded to captain Oliver H to score.  Holmwood scored 4 tries in this game to gain the bonus point.

Final score:  won 28-0

Quarter Final vs Cumnor House

Holmwood were awarded a BYE.

Semi Final vs Barnardiston Hall

After a slight rest, Holmwood were up against old rivals, Barnardiston Hall. These two teams have always been very evenly matched and whenever they have met before, have put on a great display.  The last time these teams met was in the final of the Brentwood Tournament when a try in the last minute made Holmwood the winners.  This game was just as close, with Holmwood scoring in the first half, and Barnardiston scoring in the second half.  Both teams played a very hard game of rugby and, at the final whistle the score was 7-7, so it was decided that the winner would be decided by the team that had the highest average score in their group matches.  Barnardiston went through and Holmwood had to beat Chinthurst to gain a place in the finals.

Holmwood vs Chinthurst

Having met Chinthurst in the first game of the day so knew that this would be a close game.  However, throughout the day Holmwood had improved as a team and were playing excellent rugby at a very fast pace.  Holmwood gave everything in this game and did not let Chinthurst have any time with the ball, forcing the turnover or ripping the ball from the tackle or in the maul whenever Chinthurst were attacking.  Holmwood scored 4 tries with an excellent effort from all of the players.

Final score:  won 28-0

Holmwood were excellent throughout the day and their behaviour and sportsmanship was noticed by the event organisers and other coaches.  The team has now earned a place in the National Finals, to be held at Epsom College.

It would be impossible to pick out one or two players from this team as Holmwood's strength does not come from individuals but from the whole squad supporting each other and playing as a team.

Many thanks to all of the parents and supporters for coming to watch and helping out throughout the day!

Many congratulations to all of the boys - very well deserved!