A crisp and bright Wednesday afternoon played host to some beautiful and thrilling year 5 rugby. The boys had been working very hard in lessons and at clubs and with a fair proportion of the club players distributed amongst the houses, it didn't disappoint as a close and entertaining event.
The Saxons were many people's favourites to win with club players like Harry, Noah and Ronnie alongside boys who have shown a real aptitude to learn. With Ronnies potent ball carrying and Harry's ability to identify space it looked like they may be too much for the other houses. Izzak gave a good account of himself as did Archie who started to back himself more frequently and take players on. Alfie provided good go forward ball for his team. The Saxons certainly played well and with good spirit throughout. I think on reflection they will have noticed that perhaps they should have moved the ball to the players in space rather than relying on individual scores.
One of the reasons why individual scores were rare in this competition was down to the defensive work of Rory in the Celts. Sometimes House competitions can be dominated by powerful ball carriers who run through would be tacklers. Rory ensured this did not happen and must of easily made 20 dominant and technically correct tackles throughout the games. Often a player would attack the line and be thwarted by him on the gain line and sometimes behind it. He even showed the understanding to corner flag and make timely interventions. Whilst the Celts didn't win any of their games for me they were the stand out team as they did not ever make excuses or give in. They simply rolled their sleeves up and battled on pushing every team close. Jack also played well and showed a real feel for the game. A late break by him almost resulted in a key score but he was just desperately scrambled into touch. Tristan, Reuben and Jack also gave wholehearted displays. On another day the Celts could have won and that shows the competitive element of the games.
The Vikings were a credit to their title. Brave, physical and willing to take risks. Dillon and Xavier gave everything and made good space for Fynn to display his silky running. Over time Fynn has become very skilled, running straight and beating players with footwork. Oscar and Harry also played well with both players grabbing good scores.
In the end the Normans took first place. Inevitably Josh made a big difference with crucial scores and timely defensive interventions. Like a number of the boys he is a stand out player with some very good attributes. However the standard was so high that 1 player alone would not win it. Josh was supported throughout by Dylan. Dylan gave one of the most selfless performances I have seen in schools rugby. He tackled, offered himself as a carrier, passed to players in space and cleared rucks, and boy did he clear rucks. His ability to provided quick ball was the catalyst for the Normans play. It might not be seen by all the spectators but it is invaluable on a rugby pitch.
In short it was a great contest and thanks should also be extended to the staff who supported and Ollie and Will who helped as sport leaders. Will showing real quality as a referee.
1st - Normans
2nd - Saxons
3rd - Celts/Vikings
The tag-rugby house matches on Wednesday 21st November showed an amazing amount of sportsmanship and enthusiasm. The boys really showed off what they have learnt so far in rugby and continue to surprise themselves with what they can do. The skills really shone through in every game, even towards the end. They thoroughly enjoyed playing with children they don’t usually learn with.
The result of the tournament was a joint 1st position with Celts and Vikings, who took great pride in their achievements. The games were tough, yet the children persevered, especially in the cold weather!