Match Report
Sir Thomas Rich's School Boys-U14A vs  Churchdown School
On: Wednesday, 15 Nov 2023
Venue: Away

Match Analysis vs Pates and Churchdown

The Blue Army have started the second half term well, recording a good win away at Pates before defeating Churchdown in the County Cup.

The Pates game was a physical affair, with our hosts particularly powerful upfront. The breakdown was hotly contested, and we didn’t quite click in attack. Davidson finished smartly to give us the lead before Pates bounced back after a driving maul took them to within inches of the Tommies line.

Tommies were stronger at the breakdown in the second half and things started to click a little better outside ten. We looked dangerous in the wider channels and the second half saw some exceptional carries from Staite, Miller and Satheeswaran. Harper smashed his way over from a quick penalty before the play of the game lead to the Tommies number 8’s second. The pack worked hard upfront and secured the ball down the left-hand side. Whitelock demanded quick ball and fizzed a nice pass to Fenton who in turn found Davidson in a wide channel. The Tommies thirteen moved the ball on nicely to Miller who shot down the right touchline. Harper was in support and Miller offloaded superbly. Harper powered over the last man to secure the win.

Tommies were quick out the blocks against Churchdown and looked sharp in attack, both upfront and out wide. Harper opened the scoring from a well worked line out before O’Neill doubled the lead moments later with an excellent line back against the grain. Tommies continued to pile on the pressure and Harper smashed his way over from a scrum before an incredible finish from another well worked lineout move.

Tommies lead 24-0 at half time and continued to play some excellent rugby in the second half. Harper scored his fourth of the game before Davidson, Yemm and Dunnage completed a fine cup win.

Man of the match against Pates was Davidson. The Tommies centre was instrumental in attack and in a scrappy game provided his team with front foot ball on numerous occasions.

Man of the match vs Churchdown was Harper. The rampaging number 8 put on a ball carrying masterclass, scoring 4 tries, including one of the most destructive finishes I have seen in my time coaching.

Areas to Improve

Breakdown clear out – We did some work on this at training on Monday and it definitely improved against Churchdown but we can still be better. I still think we are entering the breakdown too high on occasions and getting lower will allow us to execute a more dynamic and powerful clear out. This will help massively with generating quick ball. Watch the below clip where of the greatest to ever play the game talks about the breakdown, both clearing out and stealing the ball!

BREAKDOWN 101 with Richie McCaw | SKY TV - YouTube

Over committing at the breakdown in attack – On the odd occasion in the cup game, we had a few bodies join breakdowns that had already been won.

Depth off third and fourth phase – Our depth in attack is improving but we still get very flat in attack after a couple of phases. It is vital that we make a conscious effort to realign and keep injecting pace into our attack.

Skills/Inspiration

Rugby is awesome!

Rugby Is Awesome | A Showcase Of Big Hits, Speed & Skills - YouTube