3 November 2017

The Langley School Festival was a very good opportunity for us to play some top teams, that we would not normally play, from all around the country. The teams came from as far afield as Edinburgh and Newcastle in the North, and Sussex in the South. The squad for the tournament was as follows:

  1. Morgan Atkins
  2. James Daly
  3. Joshua Davies
  4. Tom Graham
  5. Gregor Hawkes
  6. Eliot Hyman
  7. Toby Hindley
  8. Roger Hobby
  9. Daniel McNamara
  10. Gregory Northwood
  11. Liam O'Hickey
  12. George Rich
  13. Jasper Rolls
  14. Freddie Rock
  15. Nick Skelton
  16. George Siriwardene
  17. Fergus Sweeting
  18. Freddie Smith
  19. Jasper Trilk
  20. Henry Wooding

The first game we played on the Saturday of the tournament was against Hurstpierpoint College, Sussex. Despite this being our first opportunity to show ourselves we did not play well as none of us had really got our heads into the game. The pre match prep was not up to speed. This meant that we missed too many tackles and did not organise quickly enough in both attack and defence. This led to us conceding and losing the ball in attack. The score at the end of the game was 33-7 to Hurstpierpoint, which we were all very disappointed with, as we did not feel it was an accurate representation of our ability. However, Hurstpierpoint did end up going on to win the tournament so this showed they were a very good side we were up against.

In the second game against St Peter’s High School, Gloucester we played much better and were much more focussed as we had warmed up properly and got our heads in the game with the help of Mr Gold, Mr Golding and Mr Bishop. We started strongly and worked hard defensively to keep them out, including a great try saving tackle by Jasper Rolls on the wing. We also implemented a new attacking pattern which let us open up defences and tried a new scrum move that Mr Gold told us before the game which led to Liam O'Hickey scoring a great try. The score ended 20-19 to St Peter’s.

On the second day we played our first game against Brighton College where we played the best game we had played all tournament. This performance was due to us all really wanting this game and having a great warm up. We started off really well as Eliot Hyman made a great tackle off the kick off and we turned over the ball giving us early possession. Again Jasper Rolls played brilliantly, scoring a great try to add to Morgan Atkins' decisive interception. This game ended 12-5 and gave us a strong platform for the next game.

Our final game was against Bedford School and we were all really looking to end the tournament on a high and take some silverware away with us. We played the best we had played all year in this final game and implemented everything that our coaches had told us to do over the course of the tournament and previously. This meant that we won 17-3 due to a couple of great tries from Freddie Smith and Fergus Sweeting as well as a good defensive effort.

Overall the tournament was very helpful for all of us as it was a chance for us to take responsibility for our own performances and to improve. Over the course of the two days we learnt a lot from other school 1st teams when we went to watch them play at St Joseph’s College Festival. We developed our game tactically and started to play one or two phases in close to squeeze the defence before going wide. It was also really good for the team as we had a slightly depleted squad. This meant that players who had not played much for the 15A team this season could have a chance and challenge for places come next half of term. All in all it was a great tour and very helpful for the team. We were particularly grateful for the staff Mr Gold, Mr Golding and Mr Bishop giving up their half term to come and help us whilst on tour.

Written by Toby Hindley, U15 A XV Captain

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