Match Report
Sherborne School Boys-U15B vs  Canford School
On: Saturday, 03 Dec 2022
Venue: Away

Won 24-7 (Tries Marc P, Charlie D, Lachy G, Lev A. Conversions Ben B 2)

The Junior Colts B team was champing on the bit for a match after Cheltenham’s B were deemed good enough (?) only to play our C team last week.

We started as a team on fire, with the forwards punching holes in the Canford midfield and then with space appearing wide Ben B’s kick was, in the modern way, caught by our prop Marc P for his first try (ever?). Such was his surprise at catching the ball that he nearly forgot to put it down. Canford replied almost immediately as for the only time in the game our defensive mantra of ‘nothing through’ became ‘nothing through except the large quick Canford centre oops’. After that moment the game settled down as a very even contest with Canford managing to counter-ruck us off the ball a couple of times and some of our attacking options lacking subtlety. We did, however, score one fine try just before half time where the ball moved from left to right and then left again where our hooker Charlie D outpaced their defence to sprint in from the 22. 12-5 at half time and we were aware that with home advantage, Canford would come back strongly and we had to score next.

As it was we turned into France of the 1990s playing with a sense of confidence and abandon that left Canford clutching at straws. The pack stepped up and in particular Jack H and Lev A made startling ground through the midfield; Patrick R was a huge presence at 8, often taking quick penalties and running at the spaces that Canford were increasingly allowing to form. The next try was another classic with another sublime symphony of passing putting Lachy G (our other reluctant hooker) away to score in the far left hand corner. Ben B was now choosing excellent options and then followed a highlight: Canford targeted him with a heavy tackle and he lay prone on the ground. On came the coach with the essential concussion protocol for fly-halves: ‘what’s your name?’ ‘Ben’. What’s the capital of Azerbaijan?’ To the amazement of the Canford forwards the instantaneous answer came back ‘Baku’. Coach satisfied departed with: ‘that’s a Sherborne education for you..’ while breathing a sigh of relief that some of the other players hadn’t been asked.

It was appropriate that Lev A scored the final try, again making a barnstorming run, the BFG securing the, as it now is, Player of the Match award. Amidst the magic we did manage to butcher a number of other good opportunities but Canford neve looked like scoring thanks to excellent midfield defence from Toby R and Adam S, the wealth of nations being exchanged for something more miserly. The backs also made yards with ball in hand notably Archie O and Ed H, but it typifies the versatility of the team that all four of our tries were scored out wide by tight five forwards (not just left over from previous rucks…).

It has been both a satisfying and frustrating season, with our three defeats against Millfield, Abingdon and Clifton all being by tight margins, bookended by a superb win against Radley and this fine victory, with the addenda of victories against The Gryphon and Gillingham A teams and a codicil of a draw with Marlborough. What has pleased me most is the team spirit and improvement of the team. Thanks go to Messrs Scott, Tatham, Howden and Smith for all their coaching and the loyal bunch of parents who have seen some great games of rugby.