Caldicott Rugby Season – Autumn 2017

14 December 2017

 

It has been a fantastic season for the Caldicott Rugby Club.  All boys have worked hard on their rugby and game skills and have been improving at every match.

For this year, each teacher has awarded three individual awards, for the following categories:

  • Creativity award - “It’s the skill to come up with different solutions to the same problem”
  • Resilience award - “It’s a skill to adapt to pressure”
  • Decision Maker award - “It’s the skill to select an effective action in all situations”

We feel that these skills are crucial, and have impact across numerous other areas of school life. 

Click here to see the prize winners and top try scorers for the season.

 

Below are the season reviews from each team.  Click the team to go directly to the review, or scroll to read them all.

U13A | U13B | U13C | U13D | U12A | U12B | U12C | U12D | U11A | U11B | U11C | U11D | U11E | U10A | U10B | U10C | U10D | U10E

 

You can also watch a special report from the Caldi Sport newsdesk (password to access is in the weekly newsletter).

 

U13A

 

It all started for the U13A squad back in August with the France pre-season tour.  This really helped with squad bonding and laid some great foundations for the season ahead. It was evident from the very outset that the team had some real depth and an enormous team spirit; both of which would be key elements to a successful season.

The progression from U12 to U13 rugby is a fairly large one, as boys mature and their adolescent stages begin, they are able to develop a scrum that can push, wheel and contest for possession.

The team without a doubt had a “never say die attitude” and this was clear as they won very close matches against some tough opposition. The win at home, 25 - 20 against Bromsgrove, really typified the grit and will to win. In some ways, this was the result and performance that really encapsulated the season as a whole.

Some superb results and performances continued to gather momentum as the boys built on their skills and game play.  One of the best performances was against Millfield at Marlborough College. The team that day played some superb rugby, winning 30 - 10, and whilst the result was pleasing, it was more the standard of play which was most satisfying.

On the other side, which is so often the way in sport, the match against St. Paul’s was probably the most disappointing performance. Having eased to a 25 - 10 half-time score, the team lost concentration and focus in the second half and learnt a valuable lesson.  They were lucky in many ways to escape with a 25 - 25 draw. This proved that the team still had a long way to go in terms of its development and learning.

This learning continued into the next game, away against the outstanding team on the 2017 circuit, Dragon. That day the opposition simply had too much power and speed, but the Caldicott team dug in, carried on fighting and picked each other up with their never say die attitude that was truly brilliant to see. It sounds like a ridiculous thing to say, but we were very proud of the boys that day. They lived the team values and learnt what it felt like to lose. A truly valuable lesson.

After victories against Bishops Stortford and Abingdon either side of half-term, the team really “kicked-on”. This period from early November through to the end of December, the boys were unbeatable and played some lovely rugby, learnt how to adapt their game play to suit the weather and mix up styles of play. Super wins followed against Moulsford and Dulwich Prep, along with an outstanding team performance at the Wellington Festival with the team not conceding a point in their four matches.

Further victories came against Shrewsbury House, Taunton Prep and Danes Hill which led nicely into a 25 - 15 victory over Warwick at home. The team then finished off the season in style against RGS High Wycombe under floodlights, at Aylesbury Rugby Club. Having gone down 10 - 0 and then 20 - 15 at half-time, the team eventually runout 40 - 20 victors. Again, this performance probably typified the mentality and resilience of the team and boys, not to mention that yet again, the team had to come from behind to win! Good luck to all the boys with their rugby at their senior schools.

MJH/JSR

 

U13B

The U13B team had a good season winning most of their fixtures against other Prep School B teams. A close loss away to the Dragon, draws against Warwick and Dulwich Prep, and a last second victory at Warwick again were the tightest of these games.

The Hampton A team proved just one try too strong on match day and the Ludgrove A team were also capable, but the team played some great rugby against both sides and never gave up.

The final game of the season was against Northcote Lodge A team and was another close affair with the visitors just winning by one score.

The team has worked solidly all term to provide plenty of possession for a talented back line and it was pleasing to see the progress of the whole team.

TJAC

 

U13C

When you look at the results, you can see that it has been a very successful season for the U13C team this year. Two of the three losses were against two A teams and the third loss was against a school that has more than double the number of boys in the year.

Results aside, the improvements that the team have made over the course of the term has been delightful to watch. All the boys have developed their handling skills, running lines, positional play and rucking technique, the list could go on.

However, there are two areas that these improvements have been key to the team’s successes, especially in those close matches. I always say to the boys that to score a try and put the ball down over the line is easy but to make a tackle when someone is charging straight at you takes real courage and determination. The boys in the team have really developed in this area and as the season has gone on, the tackling has got better and better. Confidence has a key part to play here but so does technique and, most of all, a real desire not to let the opposition cross the try line. The second area that has made the difference is team spirit. The boys have had a wonderful team spirit this term; they never gave up, supported each other and kept going until the final whistle.

The last game of the season summed up the term for me. Northcote Lodge B were a big team, had some strong runners, tackled well, and were very competitive at the break down. At half-time Caldicott were losing 15 – 5 and this was increased to 20 – 5 straight after the half-time whistle, a hammer blow. However, Caldicott rallied and scored the next try, only to see the big Northcote winger crash over to make it 25 – 10 with 15 minutes to go.  However, heads did not drop and next came an exhilarating 12 minutes of rugby. A mistake off the kick off left Caldicott with a scrum on the five-yard line, which led to George H crashing over to make it 25 - 15, the comeback had started. Within 10 minutes, the scores were level and Caldicott were in the ascendancy. The Caldicott team could sense victory, you could see everyone believing that they could win and they got jolly close to doing just that; that team spirit, the desire to win for each other was clear to see.

What a game, what a season and what a very special team. All the players can look back proudly on all they have achieved this season and I am sure that many of the boys have very exciting rugby careers ahead of them.

CWL

 

U13D

The U13D team should be very proud of the progress that they have made this season. The greatest evidence of their progress could be seen in the two results against Warwick. At the start of the season, they beat the team comfortably by nine tries, but in the penultimate game it was a much closer contest that could have easily gone either way, but Warwick edged it on the day with a win of 30 – 25.

Most teams will look back at the season and wonder “what if”, this was no different for the U13D team, with some notable long-term injuries to key players who returned with impact towards the end of the season. Some excellent late performances from Henry M and Guillermo M. Honourable mentions go to Adarsh G as the top try scorer and to Daniel B and Jack H for relentless tackling. A final mention too, to Bertie W who acted as the assistant coach all season and helped with match day preparations.

LSQ/JT

 

U12A

It has been an impressive season for the U12A team, they have grown into an excellent side under the great leadership of Filip E. Only losing two regular fixtures on an impressive fixture list is a huge accomplishment by any teams’ standards. A main highlight must surely be winning the Barnard Castle 10s. Heading north, as a group of unknowns, the boys played some brilliant rugby and went unbeaten against some big northern rugby institutions.

The team has a great blend of skill provided by Filip E and Freddie H; gas to burn ignited by Haydn L, Buster R and Matthew D; flair in the form of Benjy T, Max T and Horatio Y; and the obligatory Hutchings grunt directed by Hunter DJ, Horatio Y, Oliver J, Gustav P, Oliver C and Oliver T; with just a sprinkling of intelligence imparted by Luke H and Jonah P, which, when combined together, makes this side one to watch under the masterful eye of Hutchings and Robinson next year.

GTW/HKS

 

U12B

The U12B team has had a season of two halves this year with some outstanding results early in the season.  They won seven of the first eight matches against Felsted, Dragon, The Beacon, Bedford and Millfield, with the only loss coming against Hampton U12A team.

With a tough fixture list and injuries to a number of star players, the team was in for a tough few weeks at the end of the season. The likes of Solihull, Bromsgrove and Warwick proved too strong and they had to dig deep to ensure the spirit remained high within the squad. In these tough times, it was fantastic to see which boys put their hands up and showed the temperament to stick to the task of turning the season around and finishing it on a high.

The match of the season was a fantastic team performance against Moulsford, where the team demolished them 40 - 5 on Top Field.

The boys scored numerous tries this year and this has certainly said something about how capable the team are.  Always exciting to watch and I look forward to following the progress next year.

TZ

 

U12C

It has been a busy and rewarding season for the U12C team, who have had some excellent performances this year. The victories over the Dragon and Moulsford are probably most memorable, however, the best game of the season came from a narrow loss against St Paul’s Juniors. An excellent team performance, which showed true Caldicott rugby.

Notable improvers include Felipe O, Nikolai T and Qais AZ who had all played very little, or no, rugby before this term and finished the season having run out for the B team. Max B side step and kicking ability have also been stand out in the closing stages of this season. The partnership between Christian LA and Maxim K also deserves a special mention with their support running and tackling making real progress.

In summary, the U12C team developed into a fast and threatening attacking squad who liked to play quick ball and keep play alive. Real progress was made in the breakdown but the tackle area remains a target. A very good season and I have every confidence that some of the boys will go on to represent the top teams in their final year. Every player in this team has made significant progress.

RJVW

 

U12D

Although this has undoubtedly been a difficult season for the U12D team, there has been remarkable progress made. Not only in the standard of rugby played but also in the grit and determination that showed on the field.

There have been two very noteworthy performances; one a gutsy draw against a strong Bedford team. All boys gave their all but no more than Zain M who, despite his size, flew into every tackle putting his body on the line for his team.

The other a great win was against St John’s Beaumont. Running in six tries, Dominic S really displayed his attacking ability, demonstrating a good range of passing and quick feet.

Although not always on the right side of the end result, all boys should be proud of their improvements, for some this was their first ever term playing rugby so they should be proud.

HJW

 

U11A

It has been an outstanding season for the Colts A this year and to go unbeaten has been a deserved reward for the boys who have demonstrated skill, commitment, resilience and spirit in abundance.

Highlights were, doing the double over the Dragon, beating a very talented Moulsford team and putting 50 points on Dulwich Prep, which was undoubtedly the performance of the season.

Captain and talisman, Albert S, has led the team brilliantly, his commitment and desire to win was reflected throughout the whole team.

The boys have played an exciting brand of fast, running rugby, and the likes of Sebastian E and Oliver R have been truly devastating with their finishing ability, power and pace. It is hard to single out individuals because I have been so pleased and impressed with them all.

It has been a pleasure coaching a group who truly love all aspects of the game, especially tackling, and who have improved hugely as a group.  They are a very exciting prospect for Caldicott Rugby for years to come.

PJF

 

U11B

The Colts B team have gone from strength to strength this season and have adapted well to an ever-changing team.

Standout moments have been convincing wins against the Dragon, St Paul’s and Dulwich Prep where the outstanding defence had its hardest test.

As individuals, the boys have grown in confidence and have begun to play an expansive style of rugby where they are making the correct decisions in the right areas of the pitch.

They have been a pleasure to coach and I hope that they all continue to enjoy their rugby as much as they have done so this year.

Standout performers have included Hugo E, Kit H and the “Try-Machine” Timmy DH.

GJL

 

U11C

This season the Colts C have shown a tremendous desire to win, even when the chances of victory looked bleak.

Notable improvers include James C, Beau G and Steven W – these boys made Mr Hoade’s job as a coach very enjoyable and rewarding.

Standout performers include Hugh W, Archibald S and Archie B for their sparks of individual brilliance when the team needed it most.

The team’s most notable victory was their 15 - 10 win over St John’s Beaumont where Michael M scored in the dying seconds of the match to snatch victory, after being 10 - 0 down. However, the most memorable performance was the most recent match against the Dragon.  It took a “Man of the Match” performance from Henry G, among others, to set the team up for a thumping 60 - 15 victory over their biggest rivals.

KDH/JWB

 

U11D

It was a fantastic season for the U11D team, who transformed from a group of individuals into a tight unit and performed better with each match thanks to their hard work in training. Although they had several excellent wins, the match of the season was against a strong Dragon side towards the end of term, which was a hugely physical battle, and ended in a 40 - 40 draw.  It was full of great team tries as well as the best defence all season.

The player of the season, and captain, was Vikrant K who always tackled brilliantly and created many tries too. Will S was the most improved player, winning countless rucks and developing his skills beyond recognition from the start of the season. Speed demons Lucas O and Sacha G also deserve a special mention for the enormous amount of tries they scored between them, proving to be the team’s main attacking threats in most games we played.

DGWL

 

U11E

This season, the U11E team have had some excellent results with every individual player showing signs of improvement.

Most improved players were Maximilian C, Mark M and Sasha G, with all three continuously working hard for the team.

The team’s most notable victory was the away fixture hosted by Chesham Prep.  The team scored 14 fantastic tries and only conceded three.

Overall, it has been an enjoyable season and great pleasure witnessing the boys develop into confident rugby players.

AC

 

U10A

This has been a season of stunning development for the U10A team. Starting as a collective of talented individuals who had a habit of watching each other take turns attempting to win the game alone, by the end of the season they had formed into a cohesive unit with every boy contributing to the success of the team. They are an excellent “jigsaw”, with each boy bringing something special to the game.

The season really got going with a tough win away at Donhead, where debutant Alexander C made his mark with some dazzling footwork and solid defence - you could certainly spot his ice hockey background as he staked around the opposition. Over the season, every boy contributed in various ways. Arthur H’s defence was fantastic and no more evident when he scored a try against Oratory Prep having tackled his opposite man on their own try line. Giacomo R scored an incredible 43 tries across the season, most notably, nearly single handed, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat by scoring four tries in the team’s only regular season loss away at Bedford. This attitude and determination seemed to rub off on his fellow flyer, Torin T, who began to run in tries for fun and scored four against London rivals St Paul’s Juniors.

However, the “wheels” on the wings could only work if the engine was running smoothly. Newcomer Benjamin J and old hands Nico R and Alfie M provided this horsepower. All three of these powerful runners added some subtlety to their game by developing their offloading game to keep the ball alive having sucked in the tacklers. Their work at the breakdown (a new skill for the U10s) was truly remarkable over the season, with Benjamin J, in particular, proving adept at stealing the ball at ruck time. Of course, a powerful engine and fast wheels are no good without a steering wheel to point them in the right direction, and this guidance was provided by the little generals: Harry J and Dario H. These two were adept at moving the ball wide when it was needed or attacking through the middle. They will form a fantastic partnership as they move on through the school. Acting as the gearbox, the link between the engine and the wheels, Dylan G provided some fantastic breaks and incredible tackling, especially in the second half of the season.

There were some fantastic performances throughout the season, but the final match showed just how far the team have come: some exhilarating attacking play producing some candidates for tries of the season, incredible defence against some huge runners and great determination to fight back from one try down to draw in the final minute.

There is some serious talent in this team, but it was the guts and determination that they showed in the final minutes of the last game that will define them as they move on up the school.

HF

 

U10B

The U10B team have come a long way this season; they started the year with a lot of potential when going forward.

The team have some real speedsters in the shape of Theo S, Sonny A and Stanley N who have dug the boys out of some tough situations. They lost their first game against Claire’s Court by one try and then they beat them three tries to one the second time around with the help of their speed.

As a team, their defence has improved drastically, early on the boys were letting in some soft tries, but throughout the term, the likes of Zain P, Wilfred M and Leo F have improved ten-fold and kept out some of the toughest competition.  The last match of the season against Berkhamsted could have gone either way without some big hits from these three.

The return fixture against the Dragon brought the team a revenge driven victory in the last play of the game. This match let the boys show off the hard work they have done on running onto the ball.  Some of the powerhouses: Will G, Henry C, and Hugo S, have proved to be unstoppable when in sight of the try line.

Rucking has been a new skill this year for the U10B team; Louis M and Charlie C have taken to it like ducks to water.

The emphatic win over Moulsford indicated how good the team have become at retaining the ball in possession. This victory coming four days after a disappointing loss to the Dragon and set the team in good stead for their fixture against Dulwich Prep where they won by one try.

Resilience is very much the term that one would use to describe the U10B team this year, they have bounced back on many occasions and finished the season on a run of good form. I am very much looking forward to seeing what they can do next year as Colts.

HRL

 

U10C

It has been a super season for the U10C team and all of the boys have learnt a great deal about themselves.

At the beginning of term, the team struggled to defend the try line and lost matches against seemingly easy opposition. Thankfully, the boys really stepped up from these defeats; they saw the positives in their failings and showed a tremendous amount of determination to improve further. This improved work ethic was apparent in their cataclysmic destruction of Moulsford (beating them 60 - 10). After this emphatic win, they were able to move the ball well, hit the rucks hard, secured the ball when necessary and intimidated their opponents. They did let things slip against St. Paul’s Juniors and whilst the team secured a draw against the Dragon, they were capable of playing better rugby. That said Shrewsbury House were firmly in their sights as being a tough fixture. On a frosty Saturday morning, the team were a try down early on in the match. Thankfully, after some monstrous hits, the boys managed to peg them back and were drawing 15 - 15 at half-time. After a fiery team talk, the boys showed a tremendous amount of spirit and eventually won the match 50 - 15; a superb effort. Felix T was an absolute rock in defence and made tackle upon tackle. Abbas A also created some punishing support lines to break over the try line.

There have also been many other notable performances this term. Arthur D has been the record try scorer (scoring 20 tries) but this has only happened with excellent tackling from Blake P and the ball being secured by Charlie N and Luca HD.

It has been a very enjoyable season and all of the boys have come on leaps and bounds.

ERJH

 

U10D

I think that the stats speak for themselves.  The U10D team have lost only two games this season, which is an amazing achievement in its self. The boys have progressed rapidly since the start of the season and have pulled some amazing performances out of the bag. I have been particularly impressed with the boys’ skills and how they are always willing to try something new.

Special mention must go the captain Oliver C, his knowledge of the game and his creativity has led to many tries being scored.  Further mentions go to the terrible twosome Leo T and Samuel G, together they provided smashing hits and bruising runs, their physicality has often-battered teams into submission.

A highlight of the season was the Bedford game; it ended 35 a piece with Bingham D making a spectacular try saving tackle in the last minute to keep the game level.

JCF

 

U10E

I have been stunned by the quality of rugby from the U10E team this season. They have been fearless about going into contact, resilient when taking on higher teams and ultimately successful when pushing forward for the try. It has been a pleasure to see so much upwards movement, with many boys earning and keeping their places in higher teams. What has most impressed me is the committed attitude and sportsmanlike approach they have shown, even since the early games of the season.

It was before our away match at St John’s Beaumont in September, when I gathered the boys for a talk before the match: that was when I first realised that this was a team that wanted to make its mark. The focus I saw that day set the standard for the rest of the term. All the boys should be very proud of their success.

DCE/WJ

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