7 November 2019

On field report by Zach Broad

Our first set of tour rugby matches was against Loughborough Grammar. We were all looking forward to the matches as they are not a school we normally play on our circuit. The A team won 22-7 and the B team won 26-12. The teams played well together and showed how much depth there is in this season’s squad even missing a few players who could not come on the tour. Very strong performances from Charlie Ferret and Monty Bowles meant they received promotions to the A-team for match two. There were strong performances from Elliot Broadbent and Jimmy Ward in the A team.

Focuses for both teams were catch and pass plus rucking clear out. This was worked on during the training session at Loughborough on the middle day of the tour and was a huge improvement for both teams in match two.

Oakham were a much tougher outfit in the B team game having had a great start to their season, but our B team worked hard together and the focus around the contact area was a determining factor in Abingdon retaining possession and winning 22-7. The A team was impressive defending superbly well and not allowing Oakham to get around them. The pace and power of the team was the determining factor with some lovely continuity shown. A massive scoreline in the end with the A team winning 65-5.

The rugby was a great and has given confidence to every player that has gone on the tour to bring an improved level of performance to the big matches post half term.

Off field report by Jim Allen

The U14 As and Bs played Leicestershire on 15 October at around noon. The boys were raring to go although the songs on the minibuses left a lot to be desired. We had a varied range of songs on each minibus going from 80s music to rap in one song, yet this seemed to be the way we all got ready for the matches. And as you have heard from Zach, we did pretty well in them. That night we went out to a fine ten pin bowling establishment, where it was getting pretty heated among the Sirs. Mr Gold came out defeated and his reward was to serenade us with the song Country Roads.

Day two, we had an early start and headed off to a flooded outdoor leisure centre where we did high ropes and canoeing. Later on that day we trained at Loughborough University also managing to watch some of the seniors play in a league match before we headed off to Leicester Rugby Club, Welford Road for a tour around the Leicester Tigers stadium. Later that night we had a quiz created and led by Mr Moore before hitting the hay after an action packed day.

On the third and final day of tour we had another early start and headed towards Rutland Water for a country walk and competitive minigolf course, which proved to be far more nerve racking for many boys than the actual rugby matches. After the rugby match we left Leicestershire to arrive back in Oxford and as you can imagine the boys sang all the way. A great tour. Lots of fantastic memories. Looking forward to the big matches after half term!

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