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2014/15 Season

London Welsh Match Report – 7/12

London Welsh 12- 19 OA’s C  

A Herculean effort from the boys at Old Deer Park in Richmond today.

London Welsh came out hungry for the game and subsequently two soft tries were let in by the C team, who appeared to be just waking up from a hard night of GTA5….

Some words of encouragement under the posts from the coaches whilst the Welsh kicker was teeing up, saw the A’s return to the game with vigour renewed. Sustained pressure from the A’s with some brilliant rucking saw Ali almost breach the line, but the ball was spilled backwards and Andrew Kelly gratefully picked up the ball and touched down adjacent to the posts. Cameron dutifully saw the ball through the posts and we went into the break with the score London Welsh 12 – OA’s 7.

The second half saw some truly great rugby from both sides but the better exponents were the OA’s by a country mile. We are always guilty of winning great ball taking it into a ruck and losing possession, not today …. Not only were the boys retaining possession but they were routinely stealing the ball away from the Welsh and passing down the line. On more than one occasion, but for a knock on, a pass just to far in front of the hands or just sheer desire to do well, tries went begging as the A’s continued to breach the Welsh defences.

This sustained pressure was rewarded by a typical sniping run from Conor through the Welsh defences and squeeze a try in. The angle and the wind robbed Cameron of the extra 2 points.

Now into the final quarter of the game the Welsh were still determined to hit back at the A’s but again the blitz defence and the sheer work rate of the forwards either forced the error from the Welsh or just stole the ball away and surged forward.

Again after an intense period of shelling on the Welsh, Lucas scythed through their back line to score by the posts ensuring that the extra 2 points were there for the taking by Cameron, which he duely complied.

There was no further score after this but some continued pressure by the A’s on the Welsh defence, until the ref blew up for full time.

This was a great game of rugby today against a quality side, who earlier in the season had put 85 points over on Rusilip and a great scalp for the boys to take.

 

Saracens Match Report – 16/11

OA’s C 19-24 Saracens 

OA Cs took on Saracens Bs today on a misty damp morning, having had a tough warm up session against the caged tigers from OA Bs which should have given the boys the intense platform to start the game the boys started slowly from the ko and OAs looked a little nervy but strong cover tackling kept Sarries at bay. The quick passing from the opposition started to open up gaps in the OAs defence,their 12 galloped to the line only to be scythed down by a fantastic cover tackle from Matt but soon their overlaps enabled Sarries to score the first try and it was to be the same again in fairly quick succession a further 2 tries were scored 17 -0 down and OAs staring at a heavy defeat.

However their heads did not drop and with OAs rucking with intensity and quick ball to the backs Ben broke free and scored a fine try under the posts converted by Cameron, game on. Heads well and truly up OAs attacked again with a fine surging run by Lucas stopped short 5 metres from the line the ball recycled quickly and Conor burrowed in for OAs second try, superbly converted by Cameron to make it 17-14 at half time, was the comeback on?

OAs started the second half where they left off and camped in Sarries half but the pressure could not be converted to a score and after losing possession cheaply the Sarries galloping 12 broke free from 2 tackles and was bearing down on the line with just Cameron to beat who set himself and put in a wonderful crunching try saving tackle that resulted in the 12 leaving the field injured or was it his pride that was injured?

More OAs possession still couldn’t secure the try they deserved and Sarries broke and a mazy run saw them score under the posts duly converted with 15 minutes left. Not downhearted back came OAs not willing to give up and more pressure with the dangerous Sarries 10 sin binned OAs were on top, from a line out a beautiful try was set up with James passing high to Mahendra who leapt like a salmon caught the ball shipping it out to the overlapping Jack who ran to the line despite being tackled he stretched and scored, 19-24 down. 3 minutes left could the come back be completed? More OAs pressure could not turn into a score but what a performance from the team against strong opponents.
Final score 19-24

Coaches Verdict
A fabulous team performance that didn’t quite get the result it fully deserved. As always there are a few areas to work on, notably maintaining a disciplined defensive back line watching for opponents overlaps and providing support when our strong runners make breaks especially from attacking penalties.

 

2013-14 Season

Haringey Rhino’s Match Report – 23/2

Haringey 14 – 19 OA’s

On a blustery but thankfully mainly dry morning in North London OA Cs resumed their league campaign, welcoming back long term injured boys  Harry O and Mahendra against previously unknown opposition Haringey Rhinos. Judging by the size of some of the opponents a morning in the searing heat of the Serengeti may have been a more preferable option,there was the usual trepidation from the boys about their foes size but it was to prove unfounded.

Kicking off OAs soon began to exert sustained pressure on HR,forcing numerous errors which enabled OAs scrum to dominate by its superior technique. The backs began to enjoy plenty of possession but in the windy conditions clean ball was proving difficult and opportunities went begging. another OA attack was thwarted just inside the HR half,losing possession but up came the defence tackled the carrier and Charlie I expertly jackaled and the ball was quickly shipped out wide to an over lapping Oli who pinned back his ears and out sprinted 3 covering defenders to put down under the posts. Robbie stepped up for the conversion,undaunted by the wind blowing the ball from the tee he elected to drop kick, job done 7 points up and no less than OAs deserved.

OAs pressure continued for the remainder of the half, tackling and scrummaging their opponents into the ground but without any further score,however there were signs that Haringey could easily get back into the game, especially if their big runners or their jinking full back who wouldn’t have looked out of place in Strictly Come Dancing were given a sniff of a chance. HR kicked off the 2nd half and enjoyed a brief period in OAs half but some tenacious tackling from all the OA boys saw defence turn into attack however some ambitious passing in the windy conditions saw OAs lose position cheaply, giving the HR fullback the chance to exhibit moves that Len Goodman would have been proud of to score under the posts and with the conversion made game on 7-7.

With heads not dropped it was time for OAs to go again,despite equality the outstanding scrummaging and tackling meant OAs deserved more but could they turn supremacy into points advantage?

Sustained OAs pressure both in the loose and tight meant HR were firmly on the back foot, typically sniping runs from Conor, intelligent breaks from Robbie, great hands from Jack, powerful surges from Ben and lighting strikes from Josh gave OAs ground ably supported by the forwards all putting in yards that  gave OAs territorial advantage. Ben took the ball to within striking distance of the HR line, the forwards swarmed over protecting the ball with Andrew, Tom and Jack clearing out yet again, a cumbersome HR forward trundled in at the side giving away a cheap penalty, here we go OAs have a chance. Cometh the hour Cometh the man, 10 metres out Conor called on Rob M to take the ball on, he powered through desperate HR tackles and with one last crunching hand off he scored in the corner. With a tricky conversion  from the touchline in prospect Robbie listened to some expert advice from OAs answer to Dave Alred, Ev “the boot” Richards,just missing the conversion by inches having allowed for the fierce cross wind, great effort that deserved better, OAs ahead by 5 points.Straight from the re start OAs were back in HR half, powerful runs again by Ben and in particular James, keen not to be outdone by his fellow backs making several gain lime breaks from full back advanced OAs to another attacking position. James was offered another opportunity and this time burst through to score and with the conversion OAs were 19-7 up with only minutes remaining.
Having the bulk of the territory in the last few minutes OAs continued to pressurise but lost possession deep in the HR  22 the ball was passed out to ‘twinkle toes’ who waltzed the length of the pitch to score and with the conversion 19-14, with coaches nerves frayed expecting a nervy last minute the ref thankfully blew time as the kick was converted.
Final Score – OA’s 19 -14 HR
 
Coaches Verdict
OAs played fantastic game against a”big” opponents who played the game in a fine spirit, we can beat a team that is bigger than us! The referee (also the Haringey Coach) was exemplary in his decision making as was his welfare of the boys who received injuries during the match. During breaks in play he spoke to boys who had been injured asking if they were ok having taken a note of their names earlier.
The scrummaging was by far the best of the season, there were between 15 and 20 scrums of which we won all bar 2,superior technique and great hooking against the head. If we can take all the positives of which there were many to our next game we have every chance of progressing in the cup.
Excellent work well done boys.

Ruislip Match Report – 3/11

OA’s B/C 19-17 Ruislip

A re match of the league game a few weeks ago resulted in a much more even contest with the combined OAs team eventually coming out on top, Ruislip kicked off into the sun and very quickly pinned OAs into their own 22 and recycling the ball several times only to be thwarted by a series of excellent tackles from an unflinching OAs defence. Eventually OAs managed to see some possession and some very slick passing soon put pressure upon the Ruislip line, one of those slick passing moves saw Josh Hillier score to the right of the posts. Charlie R who was on kicking duty today had his work cut out as the coaches had forgotten a kicking tee or cone however against the odds in windy conditions over went the kick, well done Charlie.

More OAs possession and territorial advantage saw some chances come and go, including a 3 on 1, arrghhhh the coaches groaned. Late in the half one of the Ruislip forwards rumbled through to score under the posts, note for training next week more tackle practice needed! The Ruislip kicker chose to take the kick very close to the posts and some quick thinking by Alex Cox saw him hands aloft charge the kick down, an OAs first?

7-5 at Half Time  Despite the late score from Ruislip OAs came out for the second half fired up and were soon in the ascendency. Alex Cox powered over under the posts and took the resulting conversion himself (Charlie R was off the field) expertly slotting over, 14-5 to OAs. It was Ruislips turn to come back fired up and scored two tries very quickly through their fast and mazy winger who was able to wriggle through twice, the first try was unconverted. The second was also missed but some unsporting behaviour by OAs as they attempted to charge the kick down saw the referee order a retake which was converted.

From being in control OAs were now facing defeat going into the final few minutes 17-14 down. A few encouraging words from the coaches and OAs upped their commitment in the final few minutes and after some sustained pressure the Ruislip defence crumpled, a determined run form Josh  saw him score under the posts. Unfortunately the kick went wide. 19-17 OAs, noses back in front. A nervy couple of minutes saw OAs hold Ruislip at bay.

Final Score 19-17 

Coaches Verdict

Before the game we set various targets for the boys and delighted to say most were accomplished. Whilst winning is always good playing to a game plan and winning is even better especially as we made five player changes four times during the game which makes continuity difficult. For those wondering what the unsporting behaviour was that enabled Ruislip to re take their conversion it was some shouting as the kicker ran up, lesson learned we won’t do that again. Although the try scorers and kicker have been mentioned in the report all the boys involved today should take great credit for playing to instructions. Well done boys.

Drifter’s Match Report 20/10

OA’s 10-42 Drifters

On a day that started with pouring with rain the C team hopes were high,unbeaten in competitive matches in the season so far and as the boys took to the field in now bright sunshine those hopes began to fade when they saw their opponents, Drifters (from Farnham Common) not quite the R&B crooners from the 60s And 70s the parents might have expected but more like a collection of Barry White impersonators.

OAs kicked off and very soon realised that a hard day was ahead as one of the Barry’s came rumbling through but  Jamie and Ben put in two early tackles to take the ball barriers down. At the first scrum we were pushed back and with quick ball one of their big boys bundled through as several tackles were missed, try scored under the posts and conversion made. 0-7 From the re start OAs won a scrum which was recycled superbly and Cameron kicked for touch, the resulting line out won by Drifters enabled them to run several phases before passing to one of their large boys and in he went under the posts as several tackles were missed ( or dare I say avoided!) 0-12 Tough day but the boys stuck at it with some stronger tackling, Skywalker (Luke C) bringing down their strong midfield runners several times,the boys held up an almost certain try and managed to win a penalty that was kicked to touch but from the line out the Drifters ran straight through, breaking three tackles to score their third try. 0-19.

Still under pressure from the strong Drifter runs OAs started to play some rugby, with Conor  starting to create quicker  ball Oli was able to break the gain line and enjoy a visit into Drifters half, however in the build up Jamie who had been putting everything into his tackles had to leave the field winded, in the next phase Ben stuck his body on the line again and clashed heads with Drifters uncompromising centre which meant he left the field a touch worse for wear. After an unfortunate knock on OAs lost the scrum and in waltzed Drifters again through three missed tackles to make it 0-24 at half time.

Half time saw some ‘encouraging’ words from John and some positional changes that saw Sam Atkinson our very own’ Barry’ join the fray up front, those words saw a different OAs take the field and some wonderful running rugby saw the ball played down the line and the forwards started to ruck with real purpose providing clean ball for Conor to create an attacking platform. Early in the second half Jackie Boy started to scythe through the Drifters back line and created  chances for our forwards to gain some clean ball, at one of the first rucks The Poacher( Conor) ran down the blindside evaded the first tackle but was tackled a metre from the line, undaunted OAs recycled passed down the line to the opposite side of the field ,won a line out and from that line out in rumbled Rhino( Sam A) to register our first score, against a strong wind Cameron was only just short missing the conversion. 5-24.

Tails up the boys started to play some fantastic rugby, the forwards putting in the tackles and rucking over against some big lads that previously were in the ascendency and the backs flinging it down the line, Charlie I running some fantastic lines,champagne rugby? Off the boys went again, some wonderful phases resulted in a penalty and Rhino barges through their lumps and draws the penalty, over to Jamie as he collects and crashes through!Game on, Cameron misses another tricky kick against the wind but only just! 10-24

With hopes running high of an incredible comeback  the rest of the half failed to see any further scores for OAs,unfortunately the boys conceded three more trys to make the final score 10- 42. Several boys weren’t mentioned in the match report but all the forwards kept at it today, special mention to Tom S who played flanker today for the first time ever and Will W who tackled like  a demon. The backs always tried to play running rugby and Rocket Man ( Josh H ) picked up some difficult passes and always threatened.

Coaches Verdict 

The boys stuck at it and the second half they really stepped up to the plate. Tackling is so important at any level but today we missed too many, big boys do go crashing down! Believe in yourselves and they will be felled. We won’t be kissing in the back row of the movies any time soon but their names will be more than a number in our little red book for a re match in the New Year.

 

Ruislip Match Report – 13/10

OA’s 22 – 12 Ruislip

A hearty congratulations to the C team for a 22 – 12 point win over Ruislip B. A great effort by every single one of the boys. First half tries were scored by Conor, Alex Powdrell and Josh, the last one converted by Charlie. Ruislip responded with one unconverted try. The second half saw Alex Powdrell go over for his second unconverted try and Ruislip had a converted try. oau14c0913finch 027cThanks to Joel McKinnon and Oli Nicholson who, although both injured, braved the wet and windy conditions to cheer on their team mates. And a special thanks to Caroline Nicholson who still took the shirts home to wash even though Oli was not playing today.. The coaches were particularly pleased with the scrums, which made very short work of the opposition with Mr Giggins not giving the opposite hooker any opportunity to strike. Some brilliant back line moves orchestrated by Charlie and Conor, saw our power houses storm through the Ruislip back line. Tackling was first rate with the big lads of Ruislip electing to kick penalties and not keen on running into our forwards and backs, who were chopping them down and stopping any real continuity. It was pleasing to see the ball being taken at pace and the frequent change of offensive tactics saw Ruislip trying to second guess all the time and coming up short. Objectives going forwards are to watch the number of penalties we give away, need to ensure we keep our hands off the ball in the rucks, make sure we enter through the gate and watch the offside …… certainly something we need to look at. We also have to ensure that we retain ball after we work so hard steal in the rucks, need to increase the sense of urgency. However, a win is a win and bearing in mind Ruislip beat us convincingly last season, the victory was that much sweeter. Well done to all.

2012/13 Season

Hertford Match Report – 21/4

Hertford B 7 – OA C 26

So just as the sun comes out and the ground gets horribly hard the C s have taken their collective tackle pill – and their tackling was what won the game . Jacob and Reece lead the backs by example with some big hits Straff_EOS650_4054After some early pressure on the Hertford team, Tom Stewart sniped over the line to score the first try after 6 minutes . After 16 minutes of intense rugby, where the OA’s pack were all over the Hertford pack, a pass popped from the base of a maul saw Ollie Toon going over for the second try. With Hertford under pressure they infringed at a scrum where the resulting tap penalty saw William Webster storm through the Hertford defence, off loading to Alex Meredith who grasped the opportunity of going over for a try after 21 minutes . Then straight from the kick off a clean take and pass from Alex Stilwell put Alex Meredith in for our fourth try, his second, under the posts. With Jacob Winfield converting all bar the first try we went in at half time leading 26 -0.

The second half was a different story with the forwards unable to get any momentum and so possession was in short supply . That meant the boys had to defend for virtually all the remainder of the game, barely making it out of their own half . Straff_EOS650_4070 After some great last ditch tackling Hertford went over for a converted try after 15 minutes of the second half . It was backs to the wall stuff for the rest of the match with Conor Browne making a try saving tackle, but that proved to be the final score of Hertford 7 OA’s 26 A very good result , with all fifteen showing real character and setting the mighty C’s up for a great game of rugby at Ruislip next week. Coaches verdict The boys played out of their skins today and justly beat a team who are in the league above us. They all showed their strengh of character as we unexpectedly only had a squad of 15 on the day. It had been noted by the coaches and the boys that tackling had been our downfall over the last few games we have played and each and every one of the boys stepped up to the plate today and made hit after hit. We struggled a little in the scrums, but still managed to get some good ball out to our rampaging scrum half Conor Thompson. It was great to see the ball being passed down the line resulting in a try on the wing. Indiscipline got the better of us in a few situations ending up with unnecessary penalties awarded against us and this will be an area of focus before then Ruislip game next Sunday.

Brentwood Match Report – 7/4

OA’s B/C  38 – Brentwood B 21

Well done to everyone on a great result in yesterday’s game.Straff_EOS650_3626 1st half 3 tries by Alex Powdrell A try by Sam Wilbraham 2 successful conversions by Charlie Ringland Brentwood responded with one converted try Score at half time OA’s 24 Brentwood 7 2nd half Alex Powdrell went over for his 4th try of the game Alex Meredith also scored a try Charlie Ringland converted both tries Brentwood responded with a further 2 converted tries resulting in the final scoreline. Straff_EOS650_3666It was a rather warm day and the ground was firm underfoot and dusty and it looked as if the boys had maybe enjoyed too many Easter eggs at the start of the game, as there was a slight lethargy in our activity levels. However, after the first 5 minutes all the boys started performing to their potential. The back row of Stilwell, McKinnon and Powdrell worked very well in the loose resulting in Alex’s hat trick in the first half.

The second row of Head and Meredith brought some gravitas into the line outs and scrums, ensuring OA’s won good ball on our own line outs and made scrappy delivery to the Brentwood Scrum Half on their ball. The front row of Davies, Osbourne and Webster, quietly got on with their job giving no quarter with the Brentwood front row, as well as some excellent play by all 3 in the loose. Thompson and Ringland reprised their roles from days gone by and worked well linking forwards and backs, with Thompson at his sniping best and Ringland looking like he had’t been away from his old position. The back line of Irish, Wibraham, Barrett, Dyrda and Watson, ensured that the Brentwood team would have to fight if they wanted a sniff of our try line, with some very tough tackles being put in.

Half time saw Naylor, Lewis, Browne and Stewart entering the fray and each set about making their mark in the game. Lewis slotting in at Hooker ensured that we won every OA scrum and nabbed a couple against the head, thanks to some excellent work from our 2nd row. Naylor and Browne carrying and tackling well and Stewart linking in with the rest of the 3 quarters. None of the B team squad looked out of place at all during the game with the C squad performing at their usual high standard with a cohesive performance from all.

Ealing Match Report – 24/2

OAs 17 – 20 Ealing

In arctic conditions (there were flakes of snow and a wind chill of, apparently, -10 C) the OAs put on a brave fight at Woolams against Ealing B team. Ealing kicked-off and within 5 minutes they were awarded a penalty and were only just pushed into touch by OAs to prevent an early try. 10 minutes later (and with most of the play in the OAs half), Ealing had scored their first (and, unfortunately, not last) try. The try was unconverted. Only two minutes later and Ealing had another try under their belt (again, unconverted).EOS 650D1955 For the remainder of the first half, Ealing kept the pressure on. Three times they were pushed into touch just metres away from the OAs try line. A lucky break allowed OAs into Ealing’s half and a penalty enabled OAs to push through for a try by Alex Cox right at the end of the first half. Cameron made a great (but unsuccessful) attempt at converting the try. First half score: OAs 5 – 10 Ealing.

The wind picked up for the second half (making it even colder) and the OAs were playing into the wind. Again, within 5 minutes after kick-off Ealing had been awarded a penalty on the halfway line, but a great steal and break by Alex Cox prevented another Ealing try. However, 5 minutes later the Ealing wing managed to punch through the OAs defence to make another (unconverted) try for Ealing. From the re-start, Ealing made good territory but OAs defended well to recover, and a superb run by Connor lead to a scrum on the Ealing 22.

An injury to the Ealing Tight Head prop saw him leave the field and as a result non-contested scrums were called by the referee. From the reset of the scrum, some good passing lead to a well-deserved try under the posts from Alex Cox for OAs. This time, Cameron managed to convert it to bring the score to within 3 points. Soon after the restart Ealing managed to gain a penalty on the OAs 22, but a good run from Ben, some strong forward presence in a ruck for OAs, and another great run from Alex pushed Ealing back into their own 22. A penalty to OAs later followed by a 5 metre scrum, and Alex Cox stormed through the Ealing forward to put OAs ahead (17 – 15). EOS 650D1977

A valiant (but, ultimately unsuccessful) conversion attempt from kicker Cameron into a strong headwind, and with less than 5 minutes left on the clock, the game appeared to be all over. However, with only 2 minutes to go, Ealing made a desperate long run through the centre of the pitch to touchdown make the score17 – 20 to Ealing. Seeing an opportunity for a quick restart Cameron hoisted the ball from teh half way line into teh waiting arms of Alex Cox who tore through the Ealing defence and was on for a sure try, but cruelly pulled up by the referee who ajudged that the restart did not cross the 10 metre line and a scrum on the halfway line was called. The ball was kicked into touch by the Ealing scrum half and the game was over.

Final score OA’s 17 – Ealing 20

Coaches verdict

It was a bitterly cold day on Sunday and the boys played with a great deal of heart. The first half of the game saw the OA’s on the back foot in our own 22, and valiantly fought off sortie’s by the Ealing team. The boys played cohesively and passed the ball well down the line. Tackling was ferocious and it was good to see some support play. The coaches were very pleased with the performance. There are a few areas that we need to focus on prior to our game against Watford this coming Sunday, which we will look at prior to the game.

 

Hampstead Match Report – 13/1

Hampstead 17 – OA’s 39

A cold wet pitch greeted the OA’s in the heart of Hampstead Heath. Both sides struggled to get a full team out to play but in the end a full 15 a side game took place. Having won the toss, the OA’s elected to kick off. Cameron dropp kicked the ball giving the opportunity for the OA’s to apply pressure on the Hampstead backs, this they did and forced a knock on. Playing the advantage the ball was passed out to Alex Cox who tore through the Hampstead back line opening the scoring for the OA’s, the try was unconverted.

The rest of half saw the OA’s continue to apply pressure on the Hampstead team through both open and tight play. The OA’s were passing the ball down the line and gaining advantage into the Hampstead territory. The back row of McKinnon, Cox and Stilwell were all over the park and harrying the Hamspead defence at all opportunities, which resulted in a number of tries being scored from ball retention in the tackles. Conor Thompson opened his account with a well worked try down the left wing, again not converted, followed by another by Alex Cox, whose size and momentum saw him almost unstoppable in moving forward. Having left the field for a few minutes as a result of an epic try saving tackle, Charlie Irish returned to the field of play and set about scoring his own try, which came as a result of a well worked three quarters move, started by Cameron, pass out to Jacob, who sold a dummy to the Hampstead back line and released Charlie to score after wriggling through a couple of tackles. The try was converted. Oliver Toon had to leave the field due to an injury, taking the OA’s down to 14 and Hampstead used the overlap to score their first unconverted try of the game. With the return of Mr Toon and the OA’s back up to full strength, another well worked pick and go from the base of the scrum saw Alex Cox go over for his third try of the game, which again was converted. Score at the end of the first half was OA’s 29 – Hampstead 5

The second half saw Hampstead return with a new purpose, and they saw an opportunity to kick the ball passed our Full Back and charge through to score a try, which wasn’t converted. There followed a period of sustained pressure from both sides determined to gain the advantage, but after some great work by Sam Bayliffe charging up the field, the ball was set back and the ubiquitous Mr Cox once again saw himself in possession and charged over the line for his 4th try of the game. The restart saw the OA’s still celebrating as the Hampstead fly half hoofed a long kick which got behind our team, the resulting charge by the Hampstead team saw them gain possession and the fly half take the ball between our posts and score a try, which he then converted himself. The last few minutes of the game saw relentless pressure by the OA’s on the Hampstead team, which was finally rewarded after a sniping run by Conor Thompson in his scoring his second try of the game. The final score was OA’s 39 – Hampsetad 17 Coaches verdict A really well worked game, with all the boys playing for each other. The passing was exemplary in the backs and the forwards. The back row were at every breakdown in numbers, the front row made short work of a large Hampstead front row, wit Harry gaining at least two against the head. Tackling was fierce and the rucking saw us retain possession of the ball whenever we took it in. All in all a very polished performance by the boys, who should all feel very proud of themselves.

 

Amersham Match Report – 17/11 (Home match)

On a bright but frosty morning at Woollams, the Under 13’s C team gathered for some last minute drills. As a result of injuries and other commitments, we only had a starting line up of 14, but Lewis Butterworth stepped in to help and played the whole game for the C’s, even after just playing a full game earlier.

Winning a scrum

With memories of the last time that we had played against Amersham still fresh in the mind, the team took to the field. Amersham kicked off and Joel received the ball, making a few metres before being tackled. The C’s forwards were in the ensuing ruck to help Joel, but an Amersham foot got to the ball, which was pushed down the line to their large centre, who managed to slip through our tackles and scored. The try was successfully converted and the score was 7 nil. At the restart Cameron hoisted a kick into the Amersham half which was chased down by our forwards. The maul which ensued was untidy and although it looked as if the OA’s had turned the ball over, it popped out on the Amersham Side and was swiftly passed to their tight head prop who proceeded to try to steamroll the OA’s in his path. He was brought down by a tackle from Andrew Oliver and the ball was knocked on by an OA hand.

The Amersham scrum was tight and the OA scrum was wiry, no quarter was going to be given or taken. The ball was fed in, OA’s had the snap and it looked like we had one against the head, but a nudge from the Amersham pack, saw the ball return on the Amersham side and was fed to the centres and Amersham were over for an un-converted try. Score now 12 nil. A few words of encouragement from Paul and David under our posts as the ball was being kicked, clearly showed that the boys had not lost any heart and were determined to get back into the game. A blood substitution was made, when Jacob took a knock to the nose and Haydn Kemp-Robertson came on while Jacob was off the field. The restart kick, which Barnes Wallace would have been proud of, danced around the Amersham 10 metre line, making it very difficult for them to gather. Conor Browne seeing an opportunity pounced and secured the ball for the OA’s, some great ruck play saw the OA’s retain possession and the ball was gathered by Conor Thompson, who was having a superb game controlling the committment of forwards into the tight play, and passed to Cameron who completed a lovely show and go to the opposition 10 and passed out to Andrew, who was tackled before the offload could be made. The OA’s drove the Amersham forwards off the ball, which was unfortunately kicked forward and quickly recycled by the Amersham backs resulting in their 3rd un-converted try. The score at half time was 17 nil. The mood in the half time huddle was electric, as although the OA’s were 17 points adrift, they knew that they had exposed weaknesses in the Amersham defence.

Kick off

The second half, seeing the OA,s running from left to right started fiercely. A great kick by Cameron at the restart, saw the OA’s forwards rampaging through the Amersham defence, the ball was knocked on and an OA’s scrum was awarded. Alex Lewis made short work of the feed and it was spun out to the OA’s backs. Swiftly passing the ball from Andrew to Jacob and out to Lewis on the wing. Lewis stepped on the gas and scythed down the wing, almost making it to the line, but the ball was knocked into touch. The ensuing line out saw Olly Moody, who had come on as a temporary placement for William whilst he received treatment, bulldozing through the line out and over the try line for the OA’s first try. The conversion, which was near the touch line and a difficult kick was not converted, the score now 5 – 17.

The restart by Amersham, landed in the arms of the OA’s forwards who capitalised on the dent they had just made in the Amersham defence. Conor Browne took the ball and with his head down drove on for 15 metres, the supporting forwards saw the ball passed out to the backs who using the power of Olly Toon, who strategically placed himself in the 3 quarters, tore through the Amersham back line. A quick pop up saw Olly Moody carry the ball over the line by sheer momentum. This try, again in a difficult position, was unconverted, the score now was 10-17. Having recovered from the knock he suffered earlier, William came back onto the pitch and Olly Moody left the field, with the thunderous applause of the OA’s ringing in his ears. Amersham were determined to strike back at the OA’s, who weren’t having any of it and tackle after tackle by the OA’s saw possession come once again to Andrew Oliver. Andrew, making 10 metres was tackled but had the ball recycled by the forwards who again were making ground in the tackle zone. The ball being retrieved by Conor Thompson was spun wide to the waiting hands of Lewis Butterworth who raced down the wing and crossed the line. Lewis converted his own try from the touchline and the score was now 17 all. The restart saw scenes reminiscent of the Somme with players from both sides strewn on the ground as a result of some fierce forward play from rucks and mauls.  Olly Toon, who again acted a the extra man in the 3 quarters, took the ball into contact recycled to Andrew Oliver who also took contact and recycled again out to Cameron. Charlie Irish crashed the line from FUll back and after making significant headway passed out to Jacob, who delayed his pass till he had drawn his man and passed to Lewis who ran in evading a tackle and scored under the posts.

The score was now 24 – 17 in favour of the OA’s. Amersham, not to be outdone, put together some very tight play from the the restart which resulted in a an infringement by OA’s being off their feet in a ruck. The penalty was taken quickly, however OA’s had not retreated 10 metres, the penalty was moved closer to the OA’s line, and again the OA’s were penalised for not being 10. Having gained 20 metres the ball was shipped out to the Amersham crash centre who burst through some OA’s tackles falling over the line to score. The try was unconverted making the score 24-22. Time and time again Amersham tried to break through the OA’s defence, but were thwarted by brave tackling from every member of the team, with Charlie Irish making more than 1 try saving tackle during the game. The last move of the match was a break into the OA’s 22, which saw Amersham spill the ball forward in a tackle. The ref blew up for full time.

Coaches verdict of the game

Although the tries scored today were from two players we had loaned from the A team, these tries came as the result of concerted effort of the regular C team players who played out of their skins during the match. This provides an enormous confidence boost to go into next weeks league game. A couple of elements that we do need to look at are indiscipline in penalties, 3 times we gave 10 metres in the game, making life difficult for ourselves and also looking at our drift defence. All the coaches were very pleased with the way in which we kept possession and drove over the rucks and especially in the way that the boys kept their heads resulting in a win, a great platform to work from. Well done to all the boys in today’s game.

 

Amersham Match Report – 21/10

Heading South to Amersham on a weekend close to the anniversary of Agincourt, OAs C team quickly launched into battle with a formidable Amersham B team. Within the first few minutes, and despite an early rumbustous tackle from Andrew Oliver, we succumbed to relentless pressure to concede two tries in the corner of the pitch. OAs then put together a series of great sequences particularly involving Jamie, Conor and Andrew and were unlucky not to break through the Amersham defence. As usual Charlie Irish and James Watson demonstrated fearless tackling, bringing down players who would otherwise doubtless have scored. A similarly spirited and score-saving tackle by Jamie left him winded and bloodied, but in typical OAs spirit he was back on his feet within minutes and keen to re-join the battle. Amersham continued to be fast on the wings, but as the first half progressed, OAs became stronger and more confident, regularly repelling attacks and launching our own advances.

Our first half No 8, Connor Browne, made a great break, single-handedly gaining 30 yards; likewise our No 4, Joel McKinnon, drove forward, forcing the opposition into retreat. Unfortunately Charlie took an injury whilst tackling in his typically heroic style but Andrew Oliver, Andrew Kelly, James Naylor and Louis Free, playing at No 14, continued to deliver hard tackles throughout.

After half-time Jamie Head made a break ‘like Frankel’ (according to the OA supporters) but was ultimately overcome, with the opposition then gaining possession to make a 50 yard run to score. At every re-start OAs made strong charges, with some particularly excellent play from Connor. The second half saw amazing defence against repeated waves of attack, especially by our No 6, Alex Stilwell, with one particular sequence of at least a dozen phases of play, which looked like an inevitable score, being held back on our try-line and finally cleared to touch by our backs.

By the second half our forwards had the measure of the Amersham scrum, with notable good work from Joe Davies and Rob Mills. Other achievements in the second half were William Webster’s drive forward like a rampaging rhino and No 8 Rob Mills,  bringing an Amersham charge to a sudden stop. Throughout the game the OAs player held their heads high, delivered spirited tackles, and on multiple occasions were unlucky not to break through and score.

Half-time OA 0 – Amersham 25

Full-time OA 0 – Amersham 44

Unfortunately whilst the outcome wasn’t quite as positive as the original Battle of Agincourt, the good people of Woollams can feel very proud of their brave troops today The C team coaches would like to thank James Naylor and Andrew Kelly from the Bs for stepping in and helping us.

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