Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Wednesday, 14th March

Brambletye U13 Rugby Sevens
U13 A             4th in group                

Rugby v Skippers Hill
U13 B             Drew 30-30  
A very enjoyable match this afternoon and a hard-fought draw for the U13 Bs.  Both teams looked to run the ball and play flowed from end to end.  Our tackling was poor in the first ten minutes and Skippers Hill scored three tries to lead 15-0.  Eventually we started to spread the ball wide and look for space and Hamish scored a fine try on the left wing.  Skippers scored another, but we hit back before half-time with two more tries, by Nikita and Oliver, who both had to work hard to reach the line ahead of the cover defence.  Another try for our visitors meant that we trailed  15-25 at half-time. 

In the second half we tackled better, rucked well and put the opposition under more pressure when they had the ball.  When we attacked wide we looked dangerous.  Tries to Kent and Hamish tied the scores at 25-25.   Skippers broke away to score with just a few minutes left.  We attacked wide with the last play of the game and Hamish raced away down the left-wing to score with full-time on the clock.  It was a very good fightback by the whole team and therefore difficult to single out individuals.  All the boys should be proud of their efforts today, particularly in the second half.  A special thanks to Mr G de Moraville, who refereed beautifully and allowed play to flow.  MH     
Under 11         Won 45-5  
The boys managed another win today but, to be honest, it was a little bit of a mismatch. Skippers Hill had a couple of strong players and all of their team relished the contact, but owing to the poor weather and clay based pitches, they have found it hard to do any contact training. As a result, they were very green around the break down and there were too many tackles missed. However, they never gave up and certainly left us with a number of questions that will need to be answered sharpish.

On Saturday we face a very strong Sunningdale side. If we fall off tackles and lose defensive shape like we did at times today, we will be in for a torrid time. We must be prepared for a real battle. It would be great to finish the season with a huge team performance.  CS               

Under 10         Won 20-10    
We played Skippers Hill on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. The boys were well up for a victory and they did not disappoint! We started strongly, hitting the ruck hard and winning lots of ball. We began to pass the ball nicely and Daniel managed to break through and score the first try. After that, we dominated the break down and managed to get our second try just before half time with Wilf intercepting close to the line and dotting it down.

After half time we continued to dominate the game with Miles weaving his way through for two tries. Skippers Hill scored two tries as the game came to an end but we left the field happy with our performance. Well done to all the boys!  TG
Rugby v Copthorne
Under 9            Lost 13 tries to 19    
Today we played our first game in what feels like forever because of the weather conditions. We made the short trip to Copthorne, the team eager for the match.

The game was played in three quarters, with 10 minutes of play for each quarter.The first quarter we started the strongest with our low tackling and spatial awareness on point for most of the first half. Copthorne had some big tough players which caused us a lot of problems physically, but we managed to prevent a few tries. Harvey’s lightning pace and quick movement scored us 5 tries. But, it was a overall team effort and the first quarter finished 5-4 to Ashdown.
In the second quarter a few things were mixed around. The idea for this half was to pressurise Copthorne straight from the off and to move the ball a lot quicker when in possession. In some areas we were very effective with this. We passed the ball down the line excellently which opened up the space numerous times for Kit, Teddy & William F to grab themselves a try each. Sadly, the only point that let us lose 8 tries was giving away possession. Yes, our passing was excellent but at times it wasn’t fast enough to get to the next player and was intercepted by the other team a lot of the time. But, some superb play from both sides. Second quarter finished 8-3 to Copthorne.
Now for our final 10 minutes. The last quarter was very much end to end stuff with both teams losing the ball very cheaply. Saying that, our movement and supporting runs were a lot sharper and effective in this half. With us scoring 5 tries, yet again, we couldn’t hold on to the lead at all and let slip 7 tries to Copthorne. Even though this quarter we lost, the rugby aspect was a lot better to watch with some lovely play being made.
All the boys should be very pleased with their efforts today and we’ll be looking forward to our final game of the season against Sunningdale on Saturday. Well done gents!  JS
Under 8            Lost 14 tries to 15
The U8s travelled to Copthorne on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. The match started at a quick pace, with Torsten and Charlie both scoring early tries. Our passing and support running was extremely pleasing to watch. Copthorne played the game at a similar pace, turning the game into a try fest. At half time, the scores were level at 7-7.
During the second half, Captain Charlie organised our defensive line well, making it much more difficult for Copthorne to break the gain line. Felix scores a couple of awesome tries just when it seemed like the game was slipping away from us. The two Williams made countless tag tackles, ensuring that we were able to keep Copthorne in their own half as much as possible. During the last minute of the game, Archie scored an awesome try in the corner to draw the scores level. Sadly for us, Copthorne managed to score one last try in the dying seconds of the game.  Final score: Copthorne 15, Ashdown 14.
We may have lost today, but the rugby that we played was of a quality much higher than expected at that age. Well played today boys!   WT

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Saturday, 24th February 

Rugby v Brambletye

Under 13A Won 25-10  
The U13A enjoyed a superb victory over local rivals Brambletye. It was a scrappy, hard-fought match typical of a local derby. Both teams started nervously but we managed to score first and get the upper hand. We went 3-1 up and spent a long period in the second half defending this lead with the opposition edging closer and closer to our try line. Late tries from Lachlan, Jack and Charlie put the game to bed. The whole team are deserving of huge congratulations for a committed, physical game: prep school rugby at its best.   RC

Under 13B Lost 10-45  
A tough match for the U13B on a bitterly cold day at Brambletye.  We played a lot better than the scoreline suggests.  Brambletye had some big runners who galloped away for a number of tries and some indifferent tackling on our part allowed our hosts to score some tries too easily.  We scored two excellent tries by our wingers, Hamish and Dahiru.  Hamish made several superb runs and could easily have scored two or three more.  Juan was our outstanding player.  He made some fine runs with the ball and made a huge number of tackles.  Will had a very good game, working hard in attack and defence.  Kent and Kieran also played well in the backs, along with Dahiru.  In the forwards Remy tackled well, while Nikita, Hari and Luis all showed some good touches and battled hard.  Rocco came on at half-time and got stuck in.  A pleasing effort from the boys!  MH

Under 11A Won 45-10 
Having lost 35-10 against Brambletye at the beginning of the season, I was worried that there would be a certain amount of trepidation going into this game. It is a testament to this group of players that they approached it with an air of quiet confidence and determination.

The first half was characterised by plenty of effort and endeavour but very little in the way of finesse. Put simply, whenever we managed to put together a few phases and looked dangerous, at the crucial moment everything would come unstuck.

Quiet words were had at half time...

The boys were encouraged to implement the game plan in as uncomplicated a way as possible.

The second half showed greater cohesion: fewer dropped passes, more dynamic rucking and much more rigid structure. Entirely courtesy of the ability and focus of the boys, we took control and played brilliantly. It is no exaggeration to say that what I witnessed in the second half was one of the most promising and exciting displays of rugby I’ve seen at Ashdown in the last 13 years.

As you will doubtless have noticed, I have mentioned no names thus far and deliberately so; this was a truly wonderful team performance and an emotional moment for a very soppy coach!!  CS

Under 11B Lost 25-35

Under 10 Lost 0-35 

Under 9 Drew 45-45
What a glorious sunny day for some rugby. Paul, our captain today, won the toss and we started the game with possession, scoring our first try within the first 10 seconds. Our passing and movement was brilliant and we were 3-0 up within the first eight minutes with Harvey scoring all 3. After the third try we sat back for some reason and absorbed the pressure from Brambletye. They countered our decision and we gave four cheap tries away going into the second half.

In the second half the game was very much end to end. Finding the space to exploit was very challenging for both sides, but we found our way a couple of times with two excellent tries from Teddy and George to get themselves on the score sheet. With the scores at 9-8 to Brambletye and with 10 seconds left on the clock... Harvey picked up the loose ball and sprinted the length of the pitch to secure a well derserved draw.

Well done today to the following players; Harvey (7), Teddy (1), George (1), Paul, Aidan, William, Kit, Demeyan, Thomas, Jonathan and Etienne   JS


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Wednesday, 21st February

Rugby v Lancing Prep Hove

Under 9 Lost 30-50
The boys travelled down to Lancing Prep on a cold and murky winter's day. We started well, usually winning our tackles. Within the first phase of play Harvey scored our first try of the game. Lancing responded excellently with a superb team move to score the next. It was very much an end to end game with players from both sides determined to get a result.

Half-time approached and the score was tied at 4-4. The boys were told to run at the opposition when they had possession so as to prevent them from gaining speed.

The second half got under way and the advice at half term proved to have been taken on board! We scored two further tries and broke them down more consistently leading to a few knock ons in our favour. With the game drawing to a close and a draw looking on the cards, we sadly feel asleep at the last hurdle. We just couldn’t hold on to our tackles which led to us giving away four further tries. However, a fantastic effort from all the boys today, well done!  JS 

Thursday, 08 February 2018

Thursday, 8th February

Rugby v Skippers Hill
Under 9        Lost 40-55   
The boys started well with the first few minutes of the game in a quite literal uphill battle which the boys did well to hold out. Sadly the stalemate was broken and a flurry of tries were scored at both ends of the pitch, George F-K scoring an impressive first half hat trick. At half time the score was 6-4 to Skippers Hill.

In the second half there was a fantastic try from the youngest player in the Skippers team which kicked the second half off well. Some impressive tackling from George F-K and Teddy  was sadly not enough to stop the strong Skippers ball carriers who won the game 11-8. Well done to both sides.  WB

Under 8        Won 45-40
The U8s faced Skippers Hill on a frosty Thursday afternoon. Skippers scored a try within 20 seconds of the match starting and it quickly became clear that this was going to be a high scoring game. Torsten swiftly made the scores level, using his fancy footwork to skip past the opposition and score in the corner. With every try we scored, we seemed to concede one working the next couple of minutes. Archie’s tenacious tagging made sure that Skippers Hill weren’t able to take the lead going into half time. Both teams went into half time with five tries on the board.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with William D, Felix, Archie and William Q all scoring tries to keep the scores level with 30 seconds remaining in the match. Ashdown had one play of the ball left and the scores were tied at 8-8. The ball fell into Captain Torsten’s hands, who made one final sprint down the line before touching the ball down over the opposition try line.
Final score: 9-8 to Ashdown. Well played today boys; what a great win.  WT

Saturday, 3rd February 

Rugby v Dorset House

U13A XV    Won 45-30
The U13A enjoyed an excellent win against Dorset House. The first half was hard-fought and looked very even; at half time the score was tied at 15-15. The second half could have gone either way but we grew and grew in confidence, eventually proving too much for the opposition. The game ended 45-30. The whole team were superb today; Charlie had another outstanding game, scoring a bag of tries. Lachlan, Jack and Zhangir also scored, and special mention must go to Ludo  who was at every ruck and maul; a true back-row forward.  RC

Under 11               Lost 10-35  
The team started well, dominating the first five minutes of the game. We kept the pressure on the Dorset House defence and, with some great rucking and passing, Ed squeezed through the defence to score our first. A quick penalty to the opposition on the five meter line resulted in their first try of the game. Disappointingly, our heads went down and they quickly scored another couple.

The second half started with some powerful tackling and rucking, especially from George. However, we could not stop their relentless attacks. Late on, we constructed a few decent phases and managed to score a last minute try from Huberto to finish the game. We will learn from this experience and start with a clean slate for our next game.  JD


Rugby v Brambletye
Under 10               Won 45-25
On Saturday, our U10s travelled to Brambletye to play their U10 Bs. It was wet and cold, but that did not stop our boys. We started strongly and dominated possession, but we couldn't seem to make the break. However, we continued to work hard and Ed F broke away down the wing to score the first try of the game, Brambletye scored soon after but after that we didn't give them a sniff.

The boys starting ripping the ball off the opposition in most the rucks and hardly gave them the ball. We controlled the rest of the game, the tries being shared out between six children, Harrison, Wilf, Monty, Ed (3), Daniel and Hunter the scorers. However, it was the whole team performance that was fantastic and we stayed humble in victory despite being very excited to win! Well done to all the boys and thanks to the hardy supporters for cheering on the side lines.   TG

Wednesday, 31st January

Rugby v St Christopher's
Under 13A          Lost 10-25 
On Wednesday the U13A played St Christopher's. This is traditionally a difficult fixture, and we conceded two tries very early on. The outlook was, at this stage, bleak. However, we then found some fantastic form and put our training into practice, keeping the ball for long periods and going through phases with strong technique. We got the score back to 2-2, however the second half did not quite go our way. We really did play well against a strong opposition; captain Charlie had a magnificent game. We look forward to taking this good form into the weekend.   RC
Under 11             Won 35-15        
Rugby Triangulars v St Christopher's and Brambletye
Under 9               Lost 10-35, Lost 35-40    
Today we hosted our under 9 triangular with Brambletye and St Christopher’s. We faced a strong Brambletye outfit for our first game and we played very well. The game was end to end with strong tackles being made by both teams. Our movement going forward was brilliant, dodging in and out of players, but sadly the game finished with a win to Brambletye.

Ashdown took a break while the others played each other and at this point the cold was starting to hit a few players despite their best efforts to keep warm.

Our second game was slightly one sided. We tried our best to push up the pitch, but we were shut down instantly. Our passing and receiving was superb with players running onto the ball, but unfortunately we suffered another defeat (7-2 to St Christopher’s).
Well done to all who participated.   JS
Under 8               Lost 20-65, Drew 40- 40 
 The U8s played matches against both Brambletye and St. Christopher’s on a freezing Wednesday afternoon.

Our first game was against Brambletye, and Torsten quickly set the tone by running in a number of early tries. Archie almost found himself on the scoreboard in the first half, but dropped the ball over the line to deny his first try. Early on in the second half, Archie learnt from his previous error and scored a superb try in the opposition corner. Brambletye made a comeback towards the end of the game, but some smart tagging from William D  and William Q  prevented Brambletye from running away with the game. With one minute remaining, we managed to score a brilliant try to make the final score 8-8.

In our second game, we faced a very strong St Christopher’s side who had just beaten Brambletye convincingly. St Christopher’s had a couple of extremely quick players who proved impossible to contain. The boys tried their hardest not to concede any tries, but to no avail. The highlight of the game was Felix diving for the corner of the pitch to score an awesome try during the dying moments of the game. Despite our courageous efforts, the final score was 13-4 to St. Christopher’s.

Well played today boys; let’s do even better in our next match.  WT

Saturday, 20th January

Rugby v Cottesmore
Under 13A Lost 0-15 

This was a superb game of rugby; evenly matched and closely fought, with all players fully committed. The hard work we have done on defence proved worth it and we kept them at bay for long periods. Deep in the second half we were losing 5-10 and it could have gone either way, however a late breakaway try secured victory for the opposition. Charlie R-T is commended for his strong leadership, which was commented upon by the referee. Jack also put in another epic display of tackling.  RC

Under 13B Lost 15-30
The U13B team played their second match of the season today at home to Cottesmore. Despite the wet ground conditions both teams threw the ball around and it was a very entertaining game. Cottesmore started strongly and scored two tries to go 10-0 up. We responded with some good handling and Dahiru raced away for a try. Unfortunately we lost possession of the greasy ball near our line twice and Cottesmore were gifted two simple tries. Down 5-20 at half-time we fought back with an excellent second half performance. Cottesmore scored again, but we replied with two excellent tries to Juan and Hamish. We showed some spirited defence near our own line, although our visitors scored the last try of the game. Hamish was outstanding on the left wing and his pacy running lit up the game. He scored one try, but could easily have had three or four. Juan was superb at inside centre with some superb runs and excellent tackling. Will was the pick of the forwards with some elusive running and super work at the breakdown. Dahiru, Oliver, Kent, Kieran and Diego all tried hard in the backs. Nikita, Remy, Jim and Luis all battled away in the forwards and will have learnt a lot from today's game. Well played, everyone!    MH


Under 11 Won 30-5 
What a great afternoon! In grim conditions, the boys really fronted up and played some superb rugby. The spirit was epitomised by Toby who, having been hit hard in the tackle, was winded. When asked if he’d like to come off for a breather he instantly said no and got straight back into the game. I was hugely proud of all the boys.

George set the tone from the kick off by catching the ball cleanly and setting off on a solo run that took him close to Cottesmore’s line, beating several defenders on the way.

Whilst that particular attack didn’t result in a try, we did manage to cross the line twice in the first half courtesy of an Ed Nolan double and kept a clean sheet ourselves.

Despite leading 10-0 at the half and having had the majority of possession, I felt that the game was still fairly evenly poised. The message was to put the match to bed in the first five minutes of the second half by scoring first and suffocating them in defence. The boys achieved both these targets, scoring an early try and giving Cottesmore absolutely no space or time when in possession.

Cottesmore did get on the score sheet with a well worked and thoroughly deserved try and started to get more possession. Twice they got to within 5 yards of our line but on both occasions the ball was turned over, one resulting in a length of the field try and the other, a large territorial gain.

By the time we reached the remaining minutes of the game, Ashdown had regained control and scored a couple more tries.

Whilst the scoring was not spread throughout the team (Ed 4, Huberto 2), it was most certainly a team performance. Absolutely everyone played their part and I was especially thrilled because we lost 10-20 to Cottesmore last term. To turn that into 30-5 victory was a wonderful achievement by the boys.  CS

Under 10 Lost 15-30
We didn't start well. Cottesmore managing to score two very quick tries. From that point on we were under the cosh. We picked up our game and managed to stop them for the next 10 minutes However, their pressure paid off and we went into half time, 0-4 down. 

We came back much stronger after half time, 'hitting' the rucks well and managing to keep the ball for longer periods. This paid dividends and Ed F zoomed down the wing to score our first try. After that we dominated the game and Miles touched down twice. We continued to work hard but Cottesmore re-established their dominance and finished the game with two more tries. All in all we performed well and the boys gave thier best.  TG

Under 9 Lost 45-60
Yet again, some ruthless British winter weather over Ashdown today for our first home fixture this term against Cottesmore. (Earlier on last term we hosted a practise match against Cottesmore and it was a very tight game, so, going into this today we all knew what to expect.)

The game was end to end for most of it. With just under a minute played, Harvey blasted forward with his lightning pace and scored the first try of the game. Cottesmore instantly came straight back at us from the halfway line and scored. I think we were still half asleep!

Teddy and George made brilliant darting runs forward with the ball while dodging side to side to get round the defence. Johnathan, William, Aidan and Demeyan were also solid at retaining the ball when it was loose on the floor. They all protected it nicely so we could keep possession. Paul and Kit also played a crucial part in making 6/7 important runs and making important passes to their teammates. These helped our attacking flow going forward.

With so many tries in today’s game, it came down to who wanted it most and unfortunately it wasn’t us. Lastly, a special well done today to all the boys for their efforts in terrible playing conditions today. Going forward, we shall train hard and be looking forward to our next fixture.  JS

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Wednesday, 17th January

Rugby v St Ronan's
U13A Lost 5-35 
The U13A had a trying match against a strong St Ronan’s side. Several injuries stopped us from fielding a full strength squad and the boys had to defend hard against a physical opposition with some particularly big players. Jack put on his usual display of superb tackling, and Javier put in some strong tackles at Full Back. Well done in particular to Louis and Lachlan on playing well on their debuts.   RC

U13B Won 40-25
The U13B side had their first game of the term today, away at St Ronan's, and it was a terrific match.  There was a lot to enjoy as both teams threw the ball around and played end-to-end rugby.  It was 20-20 at half time, but we managed to pull away in the second half, scoring four tries to one, to win 40-25.  Hamish showed tremendous pace on the wing to score three tries, Dahiru and Will both scored two, while Hari scored one.  Every player in our team made at least one good run with the ball, which was great to see.  The forwards did well in the rucks and our tackling showed potential.  Juan led the way with the tackling, stopping several tries and was well supported by Dahiru, Kent, Will, Nikita, Hamish, Jim and Luis.  Kieran did very well at scrum-half and provided good ball for the backs.  Hari was prominent at the rucks and Remy showed moments of fine play.  A promising start and the boys are looking forward to the next match.  MH

U11 Won 30-10 
The first match of the season is usually lacking in structure and such proved to be the case away at St Ronan’s yesterday. Whilst our rucking was vastly improved and at times our tackling showed some aggression, the overall positioning of the players in both attack and defence was poor. This was especially evident when realigning in open play and as a result, we were unable to get our passing game going. There was no depth or width so we spent most of the afternoon passing behind each other or dropping the ball.

All that having been said, the boys ran the ball with grit and determination and as a result we saw six very pleasing individual scores: Cod x2, Ed x2, Toby and Huberto.

Well done all on a good start to the season. CS

U10 Won 45-40
We came up against a a decent St Ronan's side with a couple of 'big' boys. We ran hard with the ball and worked well at the breakdown, however St Ronan's took advantage when they had the ball and managed to score four well made tries before the end of the first half. But they did not have Miles, the whizz kid! He zoomed around the opposition as if they were not there, finishing with four tries! He was well supported by Ed F, on his debut, scoring three with Wilf and Daniel going over the whitewash once each. Despite a late flurry of tries from St Ronan's we hung on for our first victory of the term! Well done to the whole squad.  TG

Rugby v Cumnor House

U9           Won 10-5
The boys made the short trip across to Cumnor House today. This was typical rugby playing conditions today which didn’t help! We played in three thirds with seven minutes each way.

We started off the better team by making positive forward runs and keeping the pressure on. The first third we won 4-2. The second we relaxed too much which resulted in Cumnor scoring a few tries. The positive attitude from a few encouraged the team to be a bit more physical in places. This all resulted in another win ( 3-2).

The last third was a tough one with the cold getting to a few of the boys which resulted in a lack of teamwork and effort across the pitch. However, a few individual performances gave us the win. (2-1)

Overall score: 10-5 to Ashdown.

Well done to all today!  JS    

U8               Won 20-10, Won 25-15, Won 15-5      
The U8s travelled to Cumnor House on what was a bitterly cold day. After a quick warm up and revision of the rules, the boys lined up to play the first of three mini games (as Cumnor had three U8 teams).

It took us a few minutes to warm up and remember what we had practised in games; but once we got going there was no stopping us. Torsten quickly announced himself as our main attacking threat, making the opposition look silly at times with his silky footwork. William D and William Q made a number of try saving tags, preventing Cumnor from clawing back our lead. The final score of our first game was 4-2 to Ashdown.

After a quick break, we set up for our second game of the day. Charlie F took it upon himself to get the boys set up and ready for play. Charlie and Felix passed the ball around beautifully, setting up tries for almost everyone in the team. The final score of our second game was 5-3 to Ashdown.

A strong defensive effort was needed in our final game to maintain our 100% record. Archie decided that he would make 90% of our tackles himself. Archie’s tenacity eventually led to a turnover which was quickly converted into a try by Torsten. We managed to keep our defensive structure until the final whistle, meaning Ashdown won the final game 3-1.   WT

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


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