It was a busy weekends rugby with lots of excellent wins. Here are the match reports from the Bandits, U17s, U15s and U14s, and a roundup of the Minis trip to Richmond
Saturday 9th March 2019
Bandits 64 v Beccehamians 0
This ‘Top of the Table’ class was always poised to be a great game and it certainly did not disappoint.
After a disappointing loss at home to Darfordians, which we gave away cheaply, our team were ready and prepared to put things right and unfortunately for Beccehamians that’s exactly what happened.
I would like to say that the score line does not reflect the game but on this occasion I can’t!!
Our philosophy all season has been to ‘Do The Basics Well’ and on this occasion we did this. In fact, for the majority of the match we ‘Did The Basics Excellently’. Every player in the squad performed at their very best, we executed the game plan really well and the players looked extremely match fit. That is down to the players’ commitment, turning up for training and working hard.
Everybody played so well that it was too difficult to select a ‘Player of the Match’ award. Therefore a Chups Chup was awarded to every player!!
Next week is a rest with no league match. We will however be training hard every Wednesday to be prepared for our last three league games on 23rd, 30th March and the final game on 6th April against Beckenham. Our end of season bash and presentation night is at the club is on that very evening – it should be a good one.
By Michael ‘Chappers’ Chapman (Coach)
Sunday 10th March
The Club U17’s Kent Colts Semi final away against Old Alleynians was in wet, muddy and blustery conditions. The question was could they manage the conditions and more importantly their hosts?
The early exchanges with Club choosing to play into the “slight” 45 mph breeze were in the home sides half and Club were determined to keep OA’s penned back and close down the easy kicking option that would see 60 metres conceded without any trouble.
Club looked determined, very solid and well organised from the whistle and the hosts simply could not cope with the accuracy of the visitors in all aspects of play. The scrum dominance was a significant factor and Club pack were able to control the ball even on opposition ball which ultimately led to the first of the visitors 6 tries of which 4 were in the first half and against the ferocious wind and in the worst of the wet conditions.
So it was that Club turned at half time 20-0 to the good and with the strong wind behind them hopes were high and again with the packs continuing dominance and the backs exciting inter play the scores continued to come and at 32-0 the visitors looked home and dry and so it proved ultimately but the home side never gave up and began to get the better of the exchanges in the last 15 minutes but with the game very much decided.
So on to the final but against which side remains unknown at the time of this report.
Good luck to Old Alleynians for the rest of the season.
By Russell Ticehurst
U15s 2nd XV
It was on a Rectory Field so windswept that the posts were bowing considerably and the corner flags were almost horizontal that the U15s 2nd XV played Vigo RFC for the first time ever.
Club were on the front foot very quickly with the deft passing of Fergus at Fly Half and Ed at Inside Centre unlocking the rest of the backs. Unsurprisingly it was Fransean, using his pace after a break from Alex, who scored first. After this score and some powerful runs we soon realised that we outgunned Vigo in terms of sheer speed so a challenge was set to the boys to see what they could do running moves and bringing the wings back in to look for offloads.
Vigo were struggling from an issue that had hampered the Club side earlier in the season – poor line speed, especially defending a set piece, which had cost us games and were costing them points. Not so the Club backline that shut down every attack by their backs before they made the gain line – clearly the boys were determined to put right past mistakes!
It was also quickly apparent that Vigo, an eager and hard working team, had its strength in its pack as that was where most of their attacking play came from. For the most part Club countered this with an aggressive defence. Led from the front by Theo the forwards tackled for the full hour as if they were defending a 2 point lead in the closing minutes. From 1 – 15 the tackling forced a lot of errors and with Monty and Felix securing the turnover ball, we were able to turn defence into attack very quickly.
Club do have a lot to work on however around the breakdown as more and more penalties were given away for not releasing and going off the feet as the game went on.
Credit to Vigo as, with the scoreline considerably against them, they continued to carry the ball at a ferocious defence and, forcing the Club into a series of penalties, were camped on Clubs 5m line. After a series of pick & goes had sucked in the Clubs defence the ball went through the hands to put the full back in at the corner.
Final score: 64-5
The demeanour of the Vigo was commendable as they never once gave up and were quick to congratulate the Club players for the way they had performed. We wish them well and look forward to playing them again in a more balanced fixture next season. In the meantime the Club side will continue to prepare for their Final in the Kent Development Cup on 7th April, where they will play alongside the 1st XV in the main Cup Final.
By Tim Brindle
You find out the strength of the wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down’ C.S Lewis!
Blackheath U14s were up and running on a windswept Well Hall to the delight of an enthusiastic crowd. Against a Beckenham squad, Blackheath looked visually lighter and previous encounters had been bruising affairs. Captain Elias Calogeras won the toss and elected to play with the wind. With the wind Blackheath played a ball-in-hand running game and soon opened up Beckenham’s defence with a well worked try finished by Tom Speed. Jack Hartland then scored after a great passing move. Half time 10-0. Blackheath then, facing the gale, played some of the best rugby of the season. Isaac Chhabra scored a brilliant solo try from inside his own 22 and then kicked the conversion. Next it was Jack Hartland’s turn to run and although he did not make the line, Tom Speed was there to drive him over for the score. Isaac Chhabra then kicked the conversion. Having dominated, Blackheath continued to ruck and run and the ever running 7, Jack Kelly, scored in the corner and put an end to the game. Full time score 29-0. There were some great individual performances but the victory was down to an excellent team performance. Special mention to Lewis Stone who seemed to always carry the ball forward when there was a wall of Beckenham in front of him and to Josh Watson for excellent team play, earning him the Man of the Match award.
It was then the turn of Blackheath’s second team. Bolstered with some players from the first game, Blackheath engaged Beckenham’s second team. Conditions had not changed but the high tempo running game continued and Jack Kelly scored and converted in the first half. Half-time 7-0. Beckenham, tired of the one-way traffic, bullied their way into the game and scored a well-deserved try but failed to convert. Blackheath refused to let Beckenham get the upper hand and fought their way to the line. Josh Watson crashed over the line to end the game. 12-5. Special mention to Jake Barlow Mullen for hauling down some of the big boys with excellent tackling and Noah Fields, playing at scrum half, full of go-forward and earning him man of the match for the second game.
Teamwork with high-tempo and adaptability encapsulated how the Blackheath U14’s played and it was a great result for players, coaches and parents. All the players and Beckenham and Blackheath enjoyed a well-earned sausage roll.
By Andy “The Gaffa” Gowing
Minis Update: 10th March 2019
Written by Graham Colledge. Contributions from Ross Attmere, Ian Colley, Tony Marnham, Steve Ravenscroft, David Holmes, Steve Sleddon.
The continuation of the oldest fixture in club rugby saw Blackheath minis travel to Richmond for their annual spring festival on what was undoubtedly some of the windiest conditions experienced since Michael Fish foretold the weather on the BBC.
The festival was, as always run very well by our hosts, welcoming clubs from clubs across South West London, Surrey and beyond to their main ground close to Twickenham.
U7s sent over 2 teams who coped incredibly well with the conditions.
“Great team play by our U7s at Richmond today. We coped well with very windy conditions, scored some fantastic tries by supporting each break closely and made some flying tag tackles particularly against some of the speedy Richmond team.” Reported coach Steve Ravenscroft.
U8s also sent 2 teams and despite a lack of coaches available, Ian and the parent group did exceptionally well in gathering the children together and playing some fantastic rugby.
“Both U8s teams played very well throughout the festival. They all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.” Reported Ian Colley, coach of u8s.
U9s sent teams along and although had a shortage of substitutes played really well all day, winning more games than losing against some very well drilled opposition.
“The children had a great day out in some of the windiest conditions we’ve seen. Passing kept short and tidy by all of the Blackheath players to overcome. Plenty of dominant tackles held the opposition back whilst it was great to see a mixture of outstanding individual tries and true 20+ phase team efforts.” Said Coach Ross Attmere.
U10s enjoyed a great day, with both the teams sent putting in some exceptional tackles, making countless forward breaks and overcoming some significant pressure in rucks. The support play and general team spirit amongst all those who played was exceptional. Across the 2 teams, only 1 game was lost and this was more down to fatigue than anything else.
“That was as good a team performance as I’ve seen at this level. The Club can be very proud of our players, both for the quality of the rugby today and the spirit in which they played. Well done all.” Commented coach Steve Sleddon.
A fantastic day out for all those involved. Superbly hosted by our friends at Richmond with good rugby in great spirit played by ever