Boys Rugby Report

15 Oct 2014

2nd XV

Witham Hall 2nd XV 20
Stamford U13C  15

Tries: W. Chandler (2), M. Moore (2)

This was a classic encounter that Witham just managed to win. The victory was thanks to some intelligent decision-making and the determination not to lose the slim advantage they maintained throughout the game; despite the home team drawing level twice they were never able to get ahead of Witham.

Stamford were certainly bigger than the Witham boys but they only managed to make that physical advantage count in the scrum once during the game; the front row of Will Pepper, Frankie Atkinson, Eshan Mehta were resolute and did much unglamorous but necessary “groundwork” during the game. In the second row Joey Robinson and Freddie Arlott worked well to ensure we kept possession in the contact areas. In the back row Ned Chatterton, Callum Wass and Max Moore were robust and ensured we were competitive; Max’s powerful carrying of the ball led to two tries for him, after excellent teamwork had got us into the twenty-two on both occasions.

Behind the scrum Will Chandler was agile and opportunistic, grabbing a brace of tries in the first half. At number ten, Max Shippey enjoyed a very progressive game, making ground, tackling hard and showing real aggression in the contact areas. The rest of the backs had plenty of opportunity to run and pass and between Freddie Dumbill, Toby Coulson, Noah Cooper, Isaac Barrow, Archie Smith-Maxwell and Ben Mackintosh the ball was only split a couple of times – a very competent afternoon’s work.

There were flashes of incisive running by Noah and Isaac during the game and a couple of scintillating outsides breaks by Archie, but in the final analysis it was character, grit and keeping possession that saw us home. Well-done seconds!

Colts A

Witham Hall  33
Grace Dieu Manor 0

The Colts A earned a morale-boosting victory over a determined Grace Dieu Manor side. Witham dominated from the kick-off, taking the game to the visitors with plenty of strong running and aggressive tackling. Our boys fully deserved their five tries – Felix Starkey and Robert Tombs each scored two and Oliver Rymer scored one. Witham can take heart from improving several areas of their play, most notably their defensive organisation and effectiveness at the breakdown. Well played everyone!

Witham Hall Colts A    12
S. Anselm's                49

The Colts A travelled to Ranby House for what we knew would be another stern test against a strong S. Anselm's team. Despite some brave defending, our opponents' superiority soon became apparent as they raced into an early lead. Although the final result was never in doubt, Witham can take heart from two impressive scores of their own: one from skipper Archie Bingham following some excellent pressure from our backline, and another from Felix Starkey after an intelligent kick into space. We thank Ranby for hosting this match.

Colts B

Witham Hall Colts B   14
Grace Dieu   28

The Colts B were unlucky to come away with a defeat today because they worked hard and dominated a lot of the first fifteen minutes of the game.  It was unfortunate not to score in the first half following some determined passing and rucking to recycle the ball.  The lack of tackling and losing the ball at set play such as scrums and lineouts resulted in the Colts B going 21 – 0 down by half time.

A motivational half time team talk and changes to allow bringing on the substitutes (Chris Bingham, Leon Steinbach and James Alford) meant the boys were ready to face the second half.  They started with the same determination as the first half and made every effort to recycle the ball once again.  Better control of set play and a desire to win their own ball as well as having self-belief resulted in the Colts B scoring their first try of the game through Christopher Bingham.  Pressure from the kick off to cause Grace Dieu to make a mistake was turned into a second try through the quick thinking of Finn Wass to pick up the ball and bulldoze forward over the try line.

The overall performance of the players was a huge improvement on the previous matches.  I was very proud of their determination and desire to do much better but most importantly apply what they have learnt during training. Well done boys, you are improving all the time.

Witham Hall    37
S. Anselm’s   22

The Colts B started the game with a level of determination matched only in training which was perfect.  They committed only a few to the ruck and made sure they passed the ball out wide to score in the corner – simple rugby because it is a simple game!  Tries were scored in this way and from other areas of the field due to strong running.  It was fabulous to see Alex Spragg, Harry Jones, Ewan Rodell and Finn Wass on the score sheet, all of whom deserved it.

The one player I was most impressed with was Ben Lee because he consistently kept his width and depth and always called loudly for the ball at the right time.

The colts B were 30 points in the lead by half time so some key players were taken off which evened up the game and meant some crucial tackling was required in the second half – the boys did not disappoint, particularly Sam Beattie who tackled boys twice his size as did Ludo Elbourne.  Moreover, Finn Wass and George Weaving stealing the ball in the tackle meant Witham were able to dominate possession once again which led to a couple more tries to secure victory.

I was most impressed with the Colts B resilience when S. Anselm’s started to come back. It is for that reason I am incredibly proud of each and every one of them – it made the journey to Ranby and back a pleasure. Well done, boys.

U9 Rugby

Witham Hall U9A  50
Grace Dieu  60

With a win and a draw under their belts, the Witham Hall U9A’s were ready to come up against what would be one of their hardest matches yet. The boys got off to a flying start, working the ball down using the width of the pitch. With help from Josh Clarke, Louis Batty and Charlie Rymer Witham were able to keep the pressure on Grace Dieu for most of the first half. At the end of the first half, Witham were in front (35-30). At the start of the second half, Grace Dieu picked at our defence and scored some quick fire tries to give them a healthy lead. Keeping the ball alive for Witham were Guy Hurst, Ben Price and James Wass. And when the going got tough Will Chatterton and Henry Herdman were able to run the ball up hard and fast. Towards the end of the match the boys were tiring, but Hugo Shippey kept it together and made some brilliant tackles to help win back the ball! But it was too little too late, as the final whistle blew the end score was (60-50) with Grace Dieu winning.

S. Anselm’s 25
Witham Hall U9A  10

On a wet and windy autumn afternoon the boys made the short trip up the A1 to play S. Anselm’s at Ranby. After an excellent warm up and a quick chat from Mr Wills they were raring to go.  

In the first half, Witham struggled to cope with the strong runners that S. Anselm’s had in their team. The boys were going into the tackle too high and were not going forward to defend. This led to a couple of well worked S. Anselm’s tries where they played some very impressive phase rugby. At half time, a little deflated and bewildered, the boys had a firm talking to from Mr Wills about the plan of action and how we were going to give it our all in the second half. Louis Batty started putting in some super tackles ably supported by Charlie Rymer and Hugo Shippey; knocking our opponents back and down. This in turn led to a few S. Anselm’s knock-ons. In possession of the ball, Will Chatterton made some very powerful runs and Josh Clarke used his speed to run in a couple of scores for Witham and get the boys back into the game. However, at the break down S. Anselm’s as they had done all game, continued to ruck furiously, winning quick ball and scoring the final try of the game. The final score was 25-10 to S. Anselm’s, who were deserved winners. The boys should not be disheartened by the result as they certainly came into the game in the second half. A big thank you must go to all the parents who made the trip up north to watch.

Witham Hall  U9B  7
Grace Dieu   8

The boys played with real heart in this fixture and with the new rules in play, there was some great rugby on show. The boys tackled well, often low round the knees to great effect. With ball in hand, it was clear the team were starting to understand the importance of running straight rather than across the pitch. The final five minutes were a truly exciting affair with George Vergerson-Rowley in particular running and tackling with real zest. Well done to all the boys and although a loss, it was a good team performance.