Saturday, 04 March 2017

Saturday, 4th March

Rugby v Woodcote House
U12           Lost 20 - 40   
A very entertaining game and some positive improvement from the U12s.  Woodcote scored two tries in the first two minutes and things looked ominous.  However, we bounced back with some excellent running and good support play.  Ter scored a good try and Charlie, Murray and Louis all went close in the first half.  Woodcote added three more before half-time, helped by some weak tackling on our part.  In the second half we continued to attack with good, aggressive running from Charlie, Murray, Gus, Ter, Tolu, Javier and Jack.  Zhangir continues to improve and made a superb 30 metre run up the touchline.  Tolu, Ter and Jack all scored tries and Woodcote added a couple of late ones.  Lots of positives today - Lucas made a great head-on tackle on the biggest boy on the pitch; Jack was back in action and scored a fine try and tackled bravely; our handling and off-loading were much better.  Things to work on:  more boys making more tackles more often; our rucking must be much better; we need to have more players in close support of the ball carrier.  Next game on Wednesday.  MH

Friday, 03 March 2017

Friday, 3rd March

Today we hosted our annual Under 11 rugby Sevens festival.  We had a different format this year, following the new guidelines from the RFU which meant we could have no knock-out play, no final, no overall winner, no medals and no cup.

We had twelve teams and they played in two pools of six.  Every team had five matches in a round-robin format.  There was some fantastic rugby and some keenly fought matches.  In Group A Yardley Court did very well to win all five matches.  Handcross Park were second and Cumnor House third.  In Group B  Hilden Grange came out on top, followed by Hazelwood and Great Walstead.

Many thanks to the catering department for all the refreshments and teas and to our four referees from Brighton College who officiated very well.  We look forward to seeing all the teams back next year.  MH

This was an extremely tough tournament and despite the results not looking particularly positive, I am delighted to report that the boys performed with real heart and produced some superb rugby.It has to be said that competing against very strong rugby schools such as St Christopher's and Yardley Court can be a bit daunting considering our run of results but the boys reminded me that in adversity, strength of character comes to the fore.

I wont go through every match but I would like to briefly mention our last two 'festival' matches. Rose Hill had put together a good run of results and beaten a couple of the group A teams by 30 points and more. We  pulled out a mighty performance and with seconds to go were drawing 10-10. Rose Hill clinched the game with a try at the death but far from feeling deflated, the boys realised they had played their best rugby of the season and were justifiably proud. Not half as proud as their coach!

Our final match was against St Cristopher's and you don't have far to scroll to see what they did to us in the regular season! After an inspiring team talk, the boys took the field, kicked off, St Christopher's caught it and scored! Not an ideal start and less than two minutes later they were in again courtesy of some sloppy tackling! Undeterred, we came roaring back and scored some blinding team tries as well a couple of solo efforts from Hamish and Aanu. The game finished 25-25 and had a few more decisions gone our way, I have absolutely no doubt we would have been comfortable winners. However, that is obviously not the point. At times I was unsure as to how much progress we were actually making and I am delighted to have this question so resoundingly answered. I am completely delighted by the way the boys have handled themselves and the strides they have taken.  CS


Wednesday, 01 March 2017

Wednesday, 1st March

Rugby v Copthorne
U12             Lost 20 - 50      
A cracking game of rugby today played in mild, dry conditions.  Both teams threw the ball around and provided plenty of entertaining rugby.  Ter and Gus joined us from the U13s, while Copthorne added one U13 player to their team.  There was a lot of even play in the first half, but some missed tackles cost us and Copthorne scored five tries before half-time.  They added another early in the second half, before we produced an excellent period of play.  Charlie broke through to score under the posts, then Ter scored, followed two minutes later by Gus.  Suddenly it was 15-30 and we were back in the game.  Unfortunately we then twice lost possession deep in the Copthorne half and two of their very quick boys raced the length of the pitch to score.  Charlie scored his second in the corner, after a fine run, but Copthorne had the last say with a couple of late tries. Outstanding performances today from Tolu, Javier, Murray, Charlie, Gus and Ter.  Well played, everyone!  MH   
U11             Lost 5 - 60
We were fast asleep at the first whistle and Copthorne had scored three tries in as many minutes before we had even realised where we were. We have made a bit of a habit of starting slowly! That having been said, whilst we were definitely not on top form, Copthorne were superb. They showed a fantastic blend of size, speed and skill and our lack of defensive positioning and weak tackling allowed them to run riot. Another tough afternoon.  CS
U10             Lost 5 - 60   
We had a difficult afternoon against a very strong Copthorne side. Wiith 12 tries conceded we didn't put on a very good display defensively with a succession of missed tackled and leaving too many gaps for the opposition to run into. To be fair, Copthorne was the strongest team we faced so far, they were well drilled and quick to spot the gaps left opened. The boys never gave up and Freddie's try after a nice dummy and a long run was the highlight of our game. We need to correct our defensive mistakes and be more disciplined in order to improve in our next match.  SR

U9               Lost 15 - 40    

The boys hosted copthorne today at home and  what a game it was! It was mainly end to end stuff with our boys having most of the ball throughout the game but unfortunately we didn't take a lot of the chances we created today. We made a few silly mistakes by giving away the ball and this resulted in gifting Copthorne a couple of tries.

Copthorne were a very good side but if our decision making was better (running into the space etc..) then I believe the score would of been different.
Overall, the boys should be very proud of the performance they gave today & we look forward to the next game.  JS
U8               Lost 30 - 70
On another rainy Wednesday, the boys faced Copthorne at home for a game of tag rugby. Copthorne put out a very strong team, with a couple of very tall and quick players; making it extremely difficult to prevent tries from being scored.
Our attacking play was brilliant throughout the game. We completed our 5 phases on a few occasions, passing the ball seamlessly throughout the entire game.  Teddy and George continued scoring for us; and Kit and Etienne each made an appearance on the scoresheet.  Although we played well, we sadly suffered another defeat.    WT

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Saturday, 25th February
Rugby v Brambletye
Under 13         Lost 5 - 50  
The Under 13a had a difficult afternoon against a strong Brambletye team. We showed a lot of determination in defence but the opposition were able to move the ball quickly around the pitch and get the better of us out wide.  had a superb match and scored a spectacular breakaway try. Fernando tackled well at inside centre and Theo did a good job as a last minute replacement in the second row, moving from his normal position in the backs.  RC
Under 12         Lost 5 - 60    
A tough afternoon for the U12s.  Brambletye played some very good running rugby and their rucking was excellent.  We conceded three tries before we had our moment of the match - a great run by Charlie who went nearly the length of the pitch to score.  We conceded two more to trail 25-5 at half-time, with the promise of a strong wind behind us in the second half.  However, Brambletye did not let us back in.  They scored seven tries as our tackling fell away.  Charlie had a brilliant game, running hard, tackling well and making some terrific turnovers at the breakdown.  Javier played superbly, making some excellent tackles and running elusively with the ball.  Murray and Tolu tried hard and it was very encouraging to see the improvement in tackling from Louis, Lucas and Zhangir.  Next match - Copthorne away on Wednesday.  MH   
Under 11         Lost 0 - 50  
Having had a reasonably competitive game against Brambletye in the pre-season, I had high hopes that we would display some of the skills we had been working on and produce an even closer result. Unfortunately we came across an opposition who tackled brilliantly and whilst we created space in the outside channels, our positioning did not allow us to exploit these gaps. We need to be a little bit better at thinking on our feet because every time we won the ball we cut back inside towards the traffic and got turned over. If I'm honest, rather a disappointing afternoon.  CS
Under 10         Lost 25 - 55       
We entertained Brambletye this afternoon for our scond match of the campaign. We work hard every afternoon to be able to test ourselves in matches and today was a big one against a strong Brambetye team. We started with the right intensity and the score was 2-2 after a few minutes with two tries from our captain Edward. Brambletye then went ahead and never gave up the lead. Toby added our third try and Edward our fourth before half time. The second half showed some great passing and movements from our boys with Edward, George and Freddie linking up well and it was great to see how much Khalel, Elias and Sasha are improving. It was a good team performance but we got beaten by speed with one of the Brambletye boy scoring 9 tries. Edwrd scored his fourth of the day at the very end of match to end what was a very entertaining match. Good effort boys!   SR
Under 9           Lost 20 - 35      
On a cold day we took part in a fine match against our neighbours Brambletye. We were down three of our troops but still put out a competitive side. The first half was a dream. We played some outstanding attacking rugby and scored three cracking tries. Daniel bulldozed over for our first, before Wilf  cut a beautiful line and accelerated onto a beautiful pass from Harvey. Our third try of the half was a thing of great beauty. We were on our last tackle and knew we needed to keep it alive. The ball went through five pairs of hands before Monty crashed over in the corner. We led 3-2 at the break.

The boys were then given a riveting, Oscar winning team talk. Despite this genius oratory, the boys came out a bit flat in the second half and promptly gave up three quick tries - so much for the inspirational monologue! We fought and fought but in the end lost to the better side. We had opportunities but just couldn't quite make them count. We did score a fantastic late try as Harvey floated a perfect wide pass into Wilf's waiting arms who then turned on the turbos to score in the corner.   This remains an exciting side and I look forward to us progressing further. GdeM


Thursday, 09 February 2017

Thursday, 9th February

Rugby v Skippers Hill
Under 9           Won 20 - 5, Drew 15 - 15       

Under 8           Lost 25 - 60
The U8s played their second game of touch rugby on a freezing cold day. Captain George won the toss and the game was soon under way.

Kit and Thomas showed great defensive coverage, doing their best to stop Skippers from crossing the score line. Aidan and Etienne both made a couple of great runs; and Boris and Max made some beautiful passing moves throughout. Teddy and George provided the bulk of our attacks again, with Teddy scoring three tries and George two.

Our offence was good for the entire game, but our defence seemed to weaken as the game went on. A couple of the Skippers boys were able to break through our defences on multiple occasions.  Good effort but improvement needed.  WT

Wednesday, 01 February 2017

Wednesday, 1st February

Rugby v St Christopher's

U13            Lost 5 - 40  
U12            Lost 5 - 50     
At last - a game of rugby!  The U12s kicked off their season proper with an entertaining home match against St Christopher's from Hove.  We found ourselves up against a very useful side who played some attractive running rugby.  St Christopher's scored five tries in each half, while we managed a good try by Murray early in the second half.  The Ashdown boys never gave up and will have learnt a lot from today.  Charlie led from the front and took the game to the opposition with some good aggression. Tolu, Javier and Jack stood out for some brave tackling.  Murray and Charlie were our most dangerous players with ball in hand, but were well marked.  Tolu, Jack, Ludo and Javier all made some good runs, but we will need to improve our handling and support play as a team if we want to start racking up some tries.  Overall, a very pleasing effort today!  MH       

U11            Lost 15 - 55
The first half was a bit of a disaster with endless basic errors and very little in the way of defensive formation or tackling. The boys were very much still on the bus!

However in the second half, brains were engaged and resolve stiffened. There was much to be proud of.

The result was a bitter pill to swallow but the boys showed flashes of great rugby in very challenging conditions. We have plenty to work on but considering the fact that today's game was our first match of the term and contact training has been almost non existent, the boys should be proud their efforts.  CS

U10   Lost 15-40
We started our rugby season against St Christopher's after the first three games of the term were cancelled due to frost making the pitches unplayable. The weather was still horrible with rain falling this afternoon. Our boys lacked competitive games and we struggled defensively; all the tries we conceded were very similar and we will have work to do. The first two tries the Under 10 scored came from great set ups by Freddie, one for Ed and one for Sami. Ed added his second in the second half after a good interception. Despite the result, the boys gained some match experience and they will be able to test themselves again in the next few weeks when we host Brambletye.  SR

U9              Drew 30 - 30

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Wednesday, 18th January

Tag Rugby v Brambletye

 U8  Lost 25 - 55

The U8s had their first touch rugby match away at Brambletye. We strapped a belt and two tags to each player and then got underway. The game was mainly a show of pace and evasion, George being our speedster and Teddy showing great vision to dodge past the opposition. Thomas, Aidan, Etienne and Kit held the defence together, with perfect line structure allowing them to make the tackles.

Brambletye had already played a few games of touch and showed great game awareness which allowed them to run in several tries, utilising their faster players well. George scored 1 try and Teddy scored 4 to draw us close to Brambletye's score.

In the final moments of the game we showed great skill in producing 6 phases of play, which, although leading to a change in possession due to the rules, was a brilliant highlight of how hard the team have worked on their handling. Brambletye's more robust play was however more efficient in producing tries. WT


Saturday, 26 November 2016

Saturday, 26th November
U13A with Cottesmore
The U13A team started the rugby season with a practice match against Cottesmore. We played four 10 minute periods with the chance to offer the boys coaching and support in between. The opposition was a strong side with big, powerful runners and had started their season much earlier. After only two training sessions, however, I was pleased with how we performed. Much work is needed on positioning, shape and organisation, however there was plenty of Ashdown spirit: tackles were being made and the work rate was encouraging. We were especially strong at the breakdown and managed to stop them playing for long periods of time. Theo got the ball in space and showed the full extent of his pace, running in a fine try. Daniel was also impressive at fly half. The final score was a 25-5 Cottesmore win. There will be much to work on this week in training as we prepare for a second practice match next week, against Brambletye.  RC

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