Match Report
Sir Thomas Rich's School Boys-U14A vs  Dean Close School
On: Saturday, 07 Oct 2023
Venue: Away

Match Analysis vs Dean Close

A short trip down the Golden Valley to face local rivals Dean Close awaited Tommies for match 8 of the season. The Gloucester side kicked off and the early exchanges were well contested. Both sides were physical upfront and neither team were allowed to settle. The first score is often crucial in a tight contest and thankfully Tommies produced an exceptional team try to break the dead lock. Captain Byron stole the ball in midfield and offloaded smartly to Andrews. The Tommies 12 carried powerfully down the left-hand touchline before stepping infield. Harper was in support and exploded onto the ball from the resulting breakdown. Tommies were on the front foot and Fenton demanded the ball. Dean Close flew off the line to close down Fenton but he put in a beautifully weighted chip kick in behind the blitzing defence. O’Neill was in full flight down the touchline and gathered the ball superbly to dot down in the corner. An excellent team move and a try our 1st XV would be proud of!

Dean Close restarted the game and kick down the middle to Andrews. After a strong bump and quick fend, Andrews was away down the left touchline. Davidson was in support and Andrews supplied him with a well executed 2 v 1. The Tommies 13 applied the afterburners and shot down the touchline to score. Fenton added the extras and Tommies had scored twice in a minute. The Blue Army were full of confidence now and the forwards were rumbling upfront. Gain line carries from Leney and Satheeswaran put Tommies on the front. Harper continued the powerful game up front with a big carry up to the Dean Close 22 and Yemm was in support to take full advantage, scoring his third try in the last two games. Dean Close responded well and scored a try moments before the half time whistle. Tommies were caught extremely narrow in defence and Dean Close finished smartly. 7-19 the score at half time.

The next score would likely prove key, and Tommies started the second the second half brightly with that in mind. Harley continued to make numerous tackles in defence, whilst Cockbill and Staite carried powerfully upfront. The pack had progressed Tommies deep inside the Dean Close 22 and the backs demanded the ball. Warner supplied good quick ball to Fenton who in turn shifted the ball on to Andrews. The Tommies inside centre unselfishly fixed his man and put O’Neill in the corner for the simplest of scores.

Tommies were full of confidence and played at an excellent tempo. Captain Byron capitalised on some space down the blindside to score before Yemm cut a powerful line off Fenton to complete an excellent away win.

After an exceptional team performance, Man of the match was extremely tight this week. I thought the forwards were fantastic up front and really gave the backs a great platform to attack from. Andrews and Davidson were dangerous in the centres and carried exceptionally well but I have opted to go for fly half Fenton. He was instrumental in the Tommies attack; utilising set piece plays at the right time along with attacking from deep and exiting when needed.

Areas to Improve

Spacing in the defence – This mainly refers to our width. We frequently got too narrow at the breakdown, with a couple of passes taking out our entire defence. Yes, we are looking to defend from in to out, but we must look at our spacing to ensure we aren’t easily attacked out wide. Remember “heads up rugby” and “scanning” is key! Have a watch of the link below and look for the things that we do and potentially things we aren’t currently doing.

Rugby Analysis: Leinster's Defence System - YouTube

Quick ball – We are now starting to generate front foot ball and when we do, we must look to play quickly. When that ball is presented to play, we play!!


Backs – Quade “Super” Cooper

Quade Cooper - Making The Impossible Look Easy - YouTube

Forwards – Sam Underhill – Former Tommies boy!

Sam Underhill Tribute | Rock Defence - YouTube