Rugby

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Saturday, 18th March

Rugby v Sunningdale
U13          Lost 5 - 60    
          
U12          Won 30 - 15
Today we played our final match of the season away at Sunningdale ... and, at last, our first victory!  The opening exchanges were quite even, with both teams possessing several dangerous runners.  We scored first when Charlie shrugged off half their team on a surging run to the line.  Sunningdale hit back with two tries as we fell off too many tackles.  We looked threatening, but some careless passes and dropped balls plagued our attacks.  Jack powered over for a try despite being well held five metres out.  A few minutes later he scored his second, beating several defenders before accelerating away.  We were up 15-10 on the stroke of half-time, but unfortunately we conceded a soft try.  15-all at half-time and a stern team talk to get the boys to cut out the mistakes and play to their potential.  For 10 minutes play ebbed and flowed up and down the pitch.  We were tested near our line, but finally our defence showed some steel.  From a scrum near our line the ball went to Javier who skirted around four or five of their backs and then out-sprinted everyone for a brilliant length of the pitch try.  Shortly after, a wonderful team passing move finished with Lucas making a lovely run before off-loading to Charlie who wrong-footed plenty of defenders and ran 20 metres to score.  At 25-15 ahead we were not completely safe, but another good passage of inter-passing saw Jack race away for his third try.  The boys were very happy when the final whistle sounded.  A superb second half performance.  Javier, Tolu and Jack made the most tackles, with Lucas not far behind.  Charlie and Murray were excellent at the stand-up tackle and then ripping the ball off opponents.  Javier was electric with ball in hand.  Ludo ran hard with the ball and made some good hits, while Hari and Peter had their best games.  Zhangir, Louis and Tolly all continued to show signs of improving.  Well played to the whole team!  MH
          
U11          Lost 10 - 60
            
U10          Lost 10 - 35 
Our last game of the season saw us travelling to Sunningdale. In the first half, it seemed that the boys were still in the minibus and did not turn up. Sunningdale scored five tries without any real opposition. The second half was much better and we managed to stop them more often. Producing good rugby was difficult on the very small pitch we played on but Edward managed to score two in the second half. It was a good response from the boys who will feel disappointed with their first half performance.  SR
            
U9            Lost 35 - 40
This was a terrific display to finish our season. Though we lost, we put in comfortably our finest performance of the season. Our attack was structured and incisive. We defended with bravery and tenacity. Sunningdale was a fine side and deserved the victory but our boys should feel rightly proud of their efforts. It has been a fun season, played in all weathers and temperatures. I have thoroughly enjoyed coaching these young men and I hope they go onto enjoy playing rugby for many years to come. GdeM

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Wednesday, 15th March
1st VII  6th

The Under 13a played in the Brambletye tournament today. We opened against Brambletye who were once again too strong. We then went on to beat St Christopher's B before losing to Brighton College Prep School. We went through to play St Christopher's A and lost narrowly, scoring some good tries.  RC

Monday, 13 March 2017

Monday, 13th March

Ashdown House Under 13 A+B Rugby Sevens Festival
Ashdown A     3rd
Ashdown B      4th 

The Under 13a played in the Ashdown Sevens tournament on Monday. We drew with Hilden Grange in our first match before beating Imberhorne who we faced second. We then had an exciting match against St Ronan's which we lost narrowly. Finally we faced local rivals Brambletye who have a strong team and proved too much on the day. The team achieved third place overall.  RC

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Saturday, 11th March

Rugby v Brambletye
U13            Lost 10 - 60  
The under 13a came up against a strong Brambletye side for the return fixture, this time on our home pitch. Roland scored a couple of outstanding solo tries, however this was not enough against a team who had strength in depth and were able to move the ball through the hands fast. We now look forward to a week of sevens tournaments before our final fixture against Sunningdale next Saturday.   RC
            
U12            Lost 20 - 25     
A classic match of two halves in beautiful, sunny conditions.  We did not play well in the first half and could not reproduce our fine form from Wednesday's match.  We missed too many tackles, dropped passes and moved the ball sideways across the pitch far too often.  In short we were rather hesitant and indecisive.  Brambletye, on the other hand, moved the ball around nicely, rucked with purpose and tackled well, giving us no space.  They scored four good tries, giving them a 20-0 lead at half-time.  That lead became 25-0 when Brambletye waltzed in far too easily for a try in the first minute of the second half.  Just when a cricket score beckoned, our Ashdown boys decided to play with a bit of gusto!  Jack, having moved to scrum-half, sniped from a scrum on half way and beat four defenders as he sped down the right wing to score a fine individual try.  A few minutes later Charlie made a break near half way before floating a lovely pass out to Jack who raced 50 metres down the left wing for his second try.  We continued to compete well, with Ludo, Tolu and Murray all making ground with the ball in hand.  Charlie was everywhere and Javier made some brilliant runs from full-back, as he had done in the first half.  Jack was lively and had an astonishing tackle count.  With time virtually up Brambletye kicked into our half, perfect for one of Javier's counter-attacks from deep.  He raced wide around the first opponents, beat a couple more and then put the hammer down in a thrilling run to the corner with three defenders coming across.  Javier made it to the corner for a fantastic score.  We were down 15-25 as the referee called "last play".  Brambletye kicked deep down to our posts.where Javier, still getting his breath back, set off again.  He beat several defenders on a 20-metre run, before passing to Charlie.  With great determination Charlie ran all the way across to the left side of the pitch and then sprinted 50 metres up the left wing and around behind the posts for a superb try.  Full time sounded with Brambletye ahead 25-20.   A superb comeback by our boys!  The progress the team has made is highlighted by the fact that two weeks ago, we lost to the same side 60-5.  Man of the Match - Javier.  One game to go!  MH.               

U11            Lost 5 - 45                        

U10            Lost 5 - 40, Won 25 - 5      
We travelled to Brambletye and played two games against our hosts this afternoon. We kicked off with a game against Brambletye A and struggled in the first half when our opponents crossed the line six times. We struggled to switch one and did not put Brambletye in any kind of trouble offensively or defensively. The second half was better and Sami, Elias and Igui got more stuck in, applying good pressure, while Freddie and Edward threatened their try line. In the dying moment of the game, we managed to send Edward beyond the line for his first of the afternoon. Final score: 5-40.

The second match was against Brambletye B team. We were warm and caught them cold, Edward scored two tries quickly after two good runs to take the lead but it was a team effort in that game. Evryone joined in and we looked threatening when we had the ball, Khalel, Sasha, Sami and Elias forced many errors and we were able to capitalise on those mistakes. Freddie and Igui made some great runs but it was Elias who scored his first ever try just before half time. We conceded a try after a lost ball but Edward and Freddie replied quickly to make sure we finished the game with a win. It was a good effort from the boys who did not let the score of the first match damp their spirit. We played with a will and with character in the second match and it was very pleasing to see the boys rewarded for all their hard work.  SR
                  
U9              Lost 10 - 45 
In beautiful spring like conditions we played Brambletye for the third time this season. The first half was a terrific contest and a ding dong affair. They hit first and we hit back almost immediately. Our defence was excellent and knocked back their powerful runners time after time. We trailed 2 tries to 1 at the break and we were optimistic. Unfortunately our performance dropped off a little in the second half and we weren't quite as sharp as we had been. We started to drop off tackles and our attacks began to stagnate. However, we kept going right the way to the final whistle and the boys should be proud of their efforts- especially Hatt and Nolan who were superb today. GdeM                  

Wednesday, 08 March 2017

Wednesday, 8th March

Rugby v Hilden Grange

U13            Won 45 - 35          
It was a great pleasure to coach and referee the U13s today. Having not seen a lot of them this season I was tremendously impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment they play with. It was a cagey start to the match. Ashdown scored early on and then were immediately pegged back. The sides exchanged scores once more before the home side scored two quick tries before half time. In the half time team talk we knew the visitors would start the second half fast and so it proved. They came flying out of the traps like a scolded greyhound and quickly the scores were tied. This was a time to show character and Ashdown House had that in spades today. Some powerful, dynamic running yielded two late tries and a deserved win. Much credit must go to persistent attacking threats Duarte and Bourne. However in rugby, the ultimate team game, the boys doing the dirty work deserve some praise. Ellis and Holman in particular worked their socks off and hit ruck after ruck. Well done to all. GdeM  

U12            Drew 30 - 30     
Today we travelled to Tonbridge to play Hilden Grange and the U12s produced by far and away their best performance of the season.  The transformation from previous matches was sensational!  Our rucking and tackling were much better and there was some wonderful handling and support play.   Hilden Grange opened strongly and we had a lot of defending to do in the first five minutes.  Suddenly we sparked into life with ball in hand and Javier raced down the right wing to score a fine try.  A few minutes later we added a brilliant try.  Hilden Grange kicked deep behind us.  Javier ran back, collected the ball and then sprinted away on a superb counter-attack for 50 metres before passing to Charlie who ran thirty metres to score.  Hilden Grange had a couple of dangerous runners and scored twice to tie it up 10-all at half-time.  The second half was full of end-to-end rugby.  Our hosts scored two more to lead 20-10.  However, we showed some pleasing resilience to fight back.  Charlie scored a fine try in the left corner.  A few minutes later we stopped a promising opposition move near half-way, Charlie made the turnover at the ruck, ran a few metres and passed to Jack who scorched away 50 metres chased by four opponents to score a brilliant try.  At 20-all it was anyone's game.  We were soon back on the attack.  Charlie scored another, then Murray beat half their team to score and we led 30-20 with eight minutes to go.  Just when it seemed we might get our first win Hilden Grange rallied to score two late tries.  We had to settle for a draw, but everyone was on a high at the end.  Charlie had a terrific game, with a huge work-rate.  Javier and Jack were awesome, running well and both making numerous tackles.  Tolu and Ludo both played well in the backs.  Murray was excellent, with a lot of elusive runs and some clever decision-making.  Lucas played his best game and his courage in tackling bigger boys was outstanding.  Zhangir continues to show huge improvement.  Louis, Hari, Peter and Tolly all got stuck in today and played their best games.  We can now approach our last two matches with a good degree of confidence.  Well played to the whole team!  MH                                

U11             Lost 30 - 65   
We continue to improve and look more and more like a rugby team. We are still conceding far too many tries through weak tackling but our attacking play is going from strength to strength. We are passing the ball around with a greater degree of accuracy and confidence but we must work on our body positions when going into contact. At this point, I would like to take a moment to single out a few of the boys. Aanu has been our most potent attacking weapon this term and is finding ways of getting himself into the game more and more. He is also benefiting from the improvement in our passing game which is allowing him much more space in which to operate. Hamish has been another rapier sharp presence in attack with great wheels and a superb step. Will's tackling is vastly improved and he has made so many yards for us will ball in hand. He is very quick off the mark and also has sublime feet. The last word must go to Tommy 'The Gun' Chavasse who, along with Will, has been talismanic for this team! Whilst he hasn't scored the tries, he has been the engineer behind many of them. His passing game is fantastic and he has an outrageous dummy that somehow always seems to work! But most of all I want to pay tribute to his tackling. Last season he came to speak to me, nervous if not scared of tackling. He has worked and worked to improve and some of the hits he made against Hilden were staggering, against guys considerably larger than himself. Therein lies the secret to improvement in sport: he had the honesty to admit to both himself and to me that he was weak in that area and the work ethic and drive to turn it into a great strength. Awesome!  CS
        
U10             Lost 15 - 25
This was our last game of the season and we welcomed the  Hilden Grange Under 10B team. The pitch was quite muddy and the ball slippery but our instructions were to move the ball and think about our positioning on the field. We conceded a quick try but then Edward scored two good tries. We were excellent at the breakdowns and the ball possession was ours. Sadly we did not apply enough pressure and our opposition scored their second just before the half. We were creating space but not using it and the support was not sufficient; we need to work on better decision making to get a positive results. Hilden Grange came back strongly in the second half and put the ball down twice beyond our try line. Edward got his third of the game but the last try was scored by the visitors. The game ended with five tries from Hilden Grange and three from Ashdown. It was a good performance from our boys and an encouraging final result of the season.  SR
           

 

Saturday, 04 March 2017

Saturday, 4th March

Rugby v Woodcote House
U12           Lost 20 - 40   
A very entertaining game and some positive improvement from the U12s.  Woodcote scored two tries in the first two minutes and things looked ominous.  However, we bounced back with some excellent running and good support play.  Ter scored a good try and Charlie, Murray and Louis all went close in the first half.  Woodcote added three more before half-time, helped by some weak tackling on our part.  In the second half we continued to attack with good, aggressive running from Charlie, Murray, Gus, Ter, Tolu, Javier and Jack.  Zhangir continues to improve and made a superb 30 metre run up the touchline.  Tolu, Ter and Jack all scored tries and Woodcote added a couple of late ones.  Lots of positives today - Lucas made a great head-on tackle on the biggest boy on the pitch; Jack was back in action and scored a fine try and tackled bravely; our handling and off-loading were much better.  Things to work on:  more boys making more tackles more often; our rucking must be much better; we need to have more players in close support of the ball carrier.  Next game on Wednesday.  MH

Friday, 03 March 2017

Friday, 3rd March

Today we hosted our annual Under 11 rugby Sevens festival.  We had a different format this year, following the new guidelines from the RFU which meant we could have no knock-out play, no final, no overall winner, no medals and no cup.

We had twelve teams and they played in two pools of six.  Every team had five matches in a round-robin format.  There was some fantastic rugby and some keenly fought matches.  In Group A Yardley Court did very well to win all five matches.  Handcross Park were second and Cumnor House third.  In Group B  Hilden Grange came out on top, followed by Hazelwood and Great Walstead.

Many thanks to the catering department for all the refreshments and teas and to our four referees from Brighton College who officiated very well.  We look forward to seeing all the teams back next year.  MH

This was an extremely tough tournament and despite the results not looking particularly positive, I am delighted to report that the boys performed with real heart and produced some superb rugby.It has to be said that competing against very strong rugby schools such as St Christopher's and Yardley Court can be a bit daunting considering our run of results but the boys reminded me that in adversity, strength of character comes to the fore.

I wont go through every match but I would like to briefly mention our last two 'festival' matches. Rose Hill had put together a good run of results and beaten a couple of the group A teams by 30 points and more. We  pulled out a mighty performance and with seconds to go were drawing 10-10. Rose Hill clinched the game with a try at the death but far from feeling deflated, the boys realised they had played their best rugby of the season and were justifiably proud. Not half as proud as their coach!

Our final match was against St Cristopher's and you don't have far to scroll to see what they did to us in the regular season! After an inspiring team talk, the boys took the field, kicked off, St Christopher's caught it and scored! Not an ideal start and less than two minutes later they were in again courtesy of some sloppy tackling! Undeterred, we came roaring back and scored some blinding team tries as well a couple of solo efforts from Hamish and Aanu. The game finished 25-25 and had a few more decisions gone our way, I have absolutely no doubt we would have been comfortable winners. However, that is obviously not the point. At times I was unsure as to how much progress we were actually making and I am delighted to have this question so resoundingly answered. I am completely delighted by the way the boys have handled themselves and the strides they have taken.  CS

 

Wednesday, 01 March 2017

Wednesday, 1st March

Rugby v Copthorne
U12             Lost 20 - 50      
A cracking game of rugby today played in mild, dry conditions.  Both teams threw the ball around and provided plenty of entertaining rugby.  Ter and Gus joined us from the U13s, while Copthorne added one U13 player to their team.  There was a lot of even play in the first half, but some missed tackles cost us and Copthorne scored five tries before half-time.  They added another early in the second half, before we produced an excellent period of play.  Charlie broke through to score under the posts, then Ter scored, followed two minutes later by Gus.  Suddenly it was 15-30 and we were back in the game.  Unfortunately we then twice lost possession deep in the Copthorne half and two of their very quick boys raced the length of the pitch to score.  Charlie scored his second in the corner, after a fine run, but Copthorne had the last say with a couple of late tries. Outstanding performances today from Tolu, Javier, Murray, Charlie, Gus and Ter.  Well played, everyone!  MH   
 
   
U11             Lost 5 - 60
We were fast asleep at the first whistle and Copthorne had scored three tries in as many minutes before we had even realised where we were. We have made a bit of a habit of starting slowly! That having been said, whilst we were definitely not on top form, Copthorne were superb. They showed a fantastic blend of size, speed and skill and our lack of defensive positioning and weak tackling allowed them to run riot. Another tough afternoon.  CS
                
U10             Lost 5 - 60   
We had a difficult afternoon against a very strong Copthorne side. Wiith 12 tries conceded we didn't put on a very good display defensively with a succession of missed tackled and leaving too many gaps for the opposition to run into. To be fair, Copthorne was the strongest team we faced so far, they were well drilled and quick to spot the gaps left opened. The boys never gave up and Freddie's try after a nice dummy and a long run was the highlight of our game. We need to correct our defensive mistakes and be more disciplined in order to improve in our next match.  SR

U9               Lost 15 - 40    

The boys hosted copthorne today at home and  what a game it was! It was mainly end to end stuff with our boys having most of the ball throughout the game but unfortunately we didn't take a lot of the chances we created today. We made a few silly mistakes by giving away the ball and this resulted in gifting Copthorne a couple of tries.

Copthorne were a very good side but if our decision making was better (running into the space etc..) then I believe the score would of been different.
Overall, the boys should be very proud of the performance they gave today & we look forward to the next game.  JS
             
U8               Lost 30 - 70
On another rainy Wednesday, the boys faced Copthorne at home for a game of tag rugby. Copthorne put out a very strong team, with a couple of very tall and quick players; making it extremely difficult to prevent tries from being scored.
Our attacking play was brilliant throughout the game. We completed our 5 phases on a few occasions, passing the ball seamlessly throughout the entire game.  Teddy and George continued scoring for us; and Kit and Etienne each made an appearance on the scoresheet.  Although we played well, we sadly suffered another defeat.    WT
 

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Saturday, 25th February
Rugby v Brambletye
Under 13         Lost 5 - 50  
The Under 13a had a difficult afternoon against a strong Brambletye team. We showed a lot of determination in defence but the opposition were able to move the ball quickly around the pitch and get the better of us out wide.  had a superb match and scored a spectacular breakaway try. Fernando tackled well at inside centre and Theo did a good job as a last minute replacement in the second row, moving from his normal position in the backs.  RC
            
Under 12         Lost 5 - 60    
A tough afternoon for the U12s.  Brambletye played some very good running rugby and their rucking was excellent.  We conceded three tries before we had our moment of the match - a great run by Charlie who went nearly the length of the pitch to score.  We conceded two more to trail 25-5 at half-time, with the promise of a strong wind behind us in the second half.  However, Brambletye did not let us back in.  They scored seven tries as our tackling fell away.  Charlie had a brilliant game, running hard, tackling well and making some terrific turnovers at the breakdown.  Javier played superbly, making some excellent tackles and running elusively with the ball.  Murray and Tolu tried hard and it was very encouraging to see the improvement in tackling from Louis, Lucas and Zhangir.  Next match - Copthorne away on Wednesday.  MH   
 
     
Under 11         Lost 0 - 50  
Having had a reasonably competitive game against Brambletye in the pre-season, I had high hopes that we would display some of the skills we had been working on and produce an even closer result. Unfortunately we came across an opposition who tackled brilliantly and whilst we created space in the outside channels, our positioning did not allow us to exploit these gaps. We need to be a little bit better at thinking on our feet because every time we won the ball we cut back inside towards the traffic and got turned over. If I'm honest, rather a disappointing afternoon.  CS
            
Under 10         Lost 25 - 55       
We entertained Brambletye this afternoon for our scond match of the campaign. We work hard every afternoon to be able to test ourselves in matches and today was a big one against a strong Brambetye team. We started with the right intensity and the score was 2-2 after a few minutes with two tries from our captain Edward. Brambletye then went ahead and never gave up the lead. Toby added our third try and Edward our fourth before half time. The second half showed some great passing and movements from our boys with Edward, George and Freddie linking up well and it was great to see how much Khalel, Elias and Sasha are improving. It was a good team performance but we got beaten by speed with one of the Brambletye boy scoring 9 tries. Edwrd scored his fourth of the day at the very end of match to end what was a very entertaining match. Good effort boys!   SR
      
Under 9           Lost 20 - 35      
On a cold day we took part in a fine match against our neighbours Brambletye. We were down three of our troops but still put out a competitive side. The first half was a dream. We played some outstanding attacking rugby and scored three cracking tries. Daniel bulldozed over for our first, before Wilf  cut a beautiful line and accelerated onto a beautiful pass from Harvey. Our third try of the half was a thing of great beauty. We were on our last tackle and knew we needed to keep it alive. The ball went through five pairs of hands before Monty crashed over in the corner. We led 3-2 at the break.

The boys were then given a riveting, Oscar winning team talk. Despite this genius oratory, the boys came out a bit flat in the second half and promptly gave up three quick tries - so much for the inspirational monologue! We fought and fought but in the end lost to the better side. We had opportunities but just couldn't quite make them count. We did score a fantastic late try as Harvey floated a perfect wide pass into Wilf's waiting arms who then turned on the turbos to score in the corner.   This remains an exciting side and I look forward to us progressing further. GdeM

      F

Thursday, 09 February 2017

Thursday, 9th February

Rugby v Skippers Hill
Under 9           Won 20 - 5, Drew 15 - 15       

Under 8           Lost 25 - 60
The U8s played their second game of touch rugby on a freezing cold day. Captain George won the toss and the game was soon under way.

Kit and Thomas showed great defensive coverage, doing their best to stop Skippers from crossing the score line. Aidan and Etienne both made a couple of great runs; and Boris and Max made some beautiful passing moves throughout. Teddy and George provided the bulk of our attacks again, with Teddy scoring three tries and George two.

Our offence was good for the entire game, but our defence seemed to weaken as the game went on. A couple of the Skippers boys were able to break through our defences on multiple occasions.  Good effort but improvement needed.  WT



Wednesday, 01 February 2017

Wednesday, 1st February

Rugby v St Christopher's

U13            Lost 5 - 40  
          
U12            Lost 5 - 50     
At last - a game of rugby!  The U12s kicked off their season proper with an entertaining home match against St Christopher's from Hove.  We found ourselves up against a very useful side who played some attractive running rugby.  St Christopher's scored five tries in each half, while we managed a good try by Murray early in the second half.  The Ashdown boys never gave up and will have learnt a lot from today.  Charlie led from the front and took the game to the opposition with some good aggression. Tolu, Javier and Jack stood out for some brave tackling.  Murray and Charlie were our most dangerous players with ball in hand, but were well marked.  Tolu, Jack, Ludo and Javier all made some good runs, but we will need to improve our handling and support play as a team if we want to start racking up some tries.  Overall, a very pleasing effort today!  MH       

U11            Lost 15 - 55
The first half was a bit of a disaster with endless basic errors and very little in the way of defensive formation or tackling. The boys were very much still on the bus!

However in the second half, brains were engaged and resolve stiffened. There was much to be proud of.

The result was a bitter pill to swallow but the boys showed flashes of great rugby in very challenging conditions. We have plenty to work on but considering the fact that today's game was our first match of the term and contact training has been almost non existent, the boys should be proud their efforts.  CS

U10   Lost 15-40
We started our rugby season against St Christopher's after the first three games of the term were cancelled due to frost making the pitches unplayable. The weather was still horrible with rain falling this afternoon. Our boys lacked competitive games and we struggled defensively; all the tries we conceded were very similar and we will have work to do. The first two tries the Under 10 scored came from great set ups by Freddie, one for Ed and one for Sami. Ed added his second in the second half after a good interception. Despite the result, the boys gained some match experience and they will be able to test themselves again in the next few weeks when we host Brambletye.  SR

U9              Drew 30 - 30

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Wednesday, 18th January

Tag Rugby v Brambletye

 U8  Lost 25 - 55

The U8s had their first touch rugby match away at Brambletye. We strapped a belt and two tags to each player and then got underway. The game was mainly a show of pace and evasion, George being our speedster and Teddy showing great vision to dodge past the opposition. Thomas, Aidan, Etienne and Kit held the defence together, with perfect line structure allowing them to make the tackles.

Brambletye had already played a few games of touch and showed great game awareness which allowed them to run in several tries, utilising their faster players well. George scored 1 try and Teddy scored 4 to draw us close to Brambletye's score.

In the final moments of the game we showed great skill in producing 6 phases of play, which, although leading to a change in possession due to the rules, was a brilliant highlight of how hard the team have worked on their handling. Brambletye's more robust play was however more efficient in producing tries. WT

                                          

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Saturday, 26th November
U13A with Cottesmore
The U13A team started the rugby season with a practice match against Cottesmore. We played four 10 minute periods with the chance to offer the boys coaching and support in between. The opposition was a strong side with big, powerful runners and had started their season much earlier. After only two training sessions, however, I was pleased with how we performed. Much work is needed on positioning, shape and organisation, however there was plenty of Ashdown spirit: tackles were being made and the work rate was encouraging. We were especially strong at the breakdown and managed to stop them playing for long periods of time. Theo got the ball in space and showed the full extent of his pace, running in a fine try. Daniel was also impressive at fly half. The final score was a 25-5 Cottesmore win. There will be much to work on this week in training as we prepare for a second practice match next week, against Brambletye.  RC