Match Report
Sherborne School Boys-U15B vs  Radley College
On: Saturday, 17 Sep 2022
Venue: at Home

If passion and commitment were the criteria for victory the Junior Colts B would have walked all over Radley; as it was we tiptoed our way past them in a tightly contested arm wrestle.

We started energetically as Radley digested their coach journey and lunch. Ben B pulled the strings like a professional puppeteer and his superb kick behind the Radley defence led to our first try as Stanley H read the play expertly to dot down. Ben’s kick sadly hit the post but he continued to have a big impact on the game as did our pack with Lev A galloping like a startled giraffe forty meters through the Radley ranks until brought down by the pride of lions of their back line. Luckily the Radley backs were catching the ball like a pride of lions and any offensive opportunities died in a cascade of knock-ons. We were also culpable of incompetence, being too slow to the rucks and getting turned over regularly. Finally, the forwards strung together some possession and after a couple of pick and drives Stan ‘and deliver’ H was there for our second try which Ben B converted from a far harder spot.

At half time the coach suggested that it was vital we did not concede first. The team took him at his word and spent the next ten minutes defending. Perhaps next week a clearer message might be to score first. It was a moment of magic that inspired a change of attitude. Toby R put in the tackle of the match, followed up by Patrick R saying, ‘oh that’s how you do it’ and repeating the medicine. This almost literally knocked the stuffing out of Radley and we then took the ball up into Radley’s half and remained there for most of the game. By this time we had worked out Radley’s (admittedly unsophisticated) game plan of running straight and not passing much, while we began to hold onto our ball and allow runners like Charlie D who put in an all action performance from hooker to maraud around the field. Radley managed to hold us out, but we finished the stronger team. Other notable performances came from Will E in the arm wrestle, Jasper B in attack and George B and Will P in both attack and defence.

There was lots to applaud from the game, especially the team spirit shown and if we can add some game management, finesse and cutting edge to our performance we will be a hard team to beat.