The block fixture against Abingdon School always brings a great spectacle of rugby for the final week of the season. However, it was a shame that some of our teams did not have the opportunity for a final flourish owing to many of the Abingdon players being absent through illness and injury. In fact, Bedford were in a similar position with the U14s, who just about managed to take 60 players for four teams even though they could boast an F team fixture earlier on in the season. However, as Albert Einstein famously said, ‘In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.’ The Rugby Club would like to congratulate all the boys who made the most of their opportunity playing for a higher team on Saturday. All U14 teams did as they have done all season and stood shoulder to shoulder while fighting to the bitter end, regardless of score.
The 1st XV played some of their best rugby of the season to finish on a high. It was not that they played any differently to how they had all season – high tempo, slick ball movement and committed defence – it was just that all the components seemed to fall together a little better for a more consistent performance. With good ball retention, the XV looked much more threatening in attack. They were patient in defence and were rewarded by turnovers rather than penalties against them, all of this leading to a refreshing amount of possession and momentum in their favour. All four tries were quite breath-taking and hopefully the Upper Sixth Formers, who were playing their final game for the school, had something quite special to remember and will look back and realise how good they actually were.
The 2nd XV, quite literally, followed suit. As the 1st XV were scoring their first try of the game after two minutes of play, so were the 2nd XV. Very satisfying cheers were heard across both pitches, echoing off the Main Building standing proudly in the background. In the words of Captain Joe Fordham (in the absence of Charlie Probyn who was playing for the 1st XV) the boys, ‘…had great fun and tore up!’ In fact, these boys ‘tore up’ all season, including against the 1st XV in training on many occasions. The C team also had a satisfying end to another positive campaign and should certainly be proud of their achievements this season.
Only the U15 A and B teams had fixtures on Saturday and, unfortunately, faced two Abingdon sides decimated by illness and injury and limping to the end of their season. However, in the true spirit of the game, they were highly committed and played commendably to give our boys a good game and a worthwhile send off for the season.
The U16 A team took new confidence into the Abingdon game having battled to a win against Harrow the week before. It was this confidence that had them fighting to the end of the game and for Stephen Simmons to score a try to win it with the last play. The boys had the endeavour to keep moving the ball into the spaces, which allowed Stephen the freedom out-wide to finish with class. The B and C team games were more comfortable for us on the scoreboard, but both teams finished the game feeling like they had been in a battle and were made to work hard for every point they scored.