Match Report
Sir Thomas Rich's School Boys-U14A vs  Clifton College
On: Saturday, 25 Nov 2023
Venue: Away

Match analysis vs Millfield and Clifton

After a long journey down, and a quick walk around the campus, the Blue Army faced our hosts, Millfield, in the first game.

Having conceded a soft try early on, I was extremely happy with the way we bounced back. Yemm carried hard around the fringes of the breakdown and there were some textbook shots from Leney and Glazier on powerful Millfield ball carriers. Fly Half Fenton executed some smart kicks in behind the Millfield defence and Tommies were able to pile on some pressure and force mistakes.

Unfortunately, we went to sleep in the second half and our tackling was poor. Credit to Millfield, they were clinical in attack and scored some excellent tries, but I do believe the scoreline flatters them.

Looking to write a few wrongs, the blue army exploded out the blocks against Clifton and went 7 points up after Harper rampaged over from a free kick. Our defence was excellent, Satheeswaren, Haq and Harley made some big hits and captain Byron was instrumental in the organisation of the side. Despite this, Clifton bounced back just before the break, steam rolling over from a driving maul.

Tommies started the second half well and centres Andrews and Davidson carried explosively, bumping off plenty of defenders. Whitelock orchestrated the pack upfront and Tommies were able to punch holes in the Clifton defence. Credit to Clifton they hung in there and fought hard, often poaching at the breakdown before kicking long. Miller and Griffin did well in wide areas, but fatigue was starting to kick in. Deep into added on time, Clifton kicked to the corner and set up a driving maul. Tommies fought hard but Clifton powered over the Tommies line. After much deliberation the ref awarded the score and blew for full time. A cruel way to end the day, but another step in the right direction and three halves of very good rugby.

Man of the match against Millfield was Leney. He put on an exhibition in the textbook chop tackle and cut some nice lines outside ten. Harper was man of the match against Clifton. The Tommies number 8 was brutal upfront and put in a huge shift with ball in hand.

I would also like to thank all the parents for your continued support, whether that be on the touchline or enabling boys to play/train all time!

Areas to Improve

Midfield scrums and penalty moves – We have addressed this at training and should have a few more options for a variety of different situations. I want to see us try these in Saturday’s game!

Runners off nine – We utilise “Munsters” really well now but occasionally we are guilty of overusing them. Once we get onto the front foot, we must look to move the ball quickly or if there is a broken defence close to the breakdown, we can run a hard line off nine “Lion”.

Tackling – Our defence is improving all the time and I thought we were good for 3 of our 4 halves at the weekend. Unfortunately, against sides on our fixture list, we cannot afford to switch off and slip off too many tackles. Millfield punished us, and we only went to sleep on the tackling front for a few minutes!


Backs – Brian O’Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll - Making The Impossible Look Easy - YouTube

Forwards – Sergio Parisse

Sergio Parisse is a legend of rugby. - YouTube