Year 7A: Southam 25 King Henry V111 30
Tenacious forward Zsombor Toth was Man of the Match for a crack(l)ing performance against our highly rated opponents. An early knock on the snout had led to a nose bleed and exhaustion, after rooting in around in the mud for an hour, left him grunting for breath at the end. In between, his strength powered Southam forward time and time again.
Captain Brendan Simms brought home the bacon with two powerful tries. Brendan takes the ball at pace and his penetrative runs troubled King Henry’s all afternoon. A delightful pass out of the back of the hand gave classy James Pelter a well taken try. Crucially, a penalty try was awarded to King Henry’s with the last play of the first half to reduce Southam’s lead to 15-10. James, steady on his trotters, glided over at pace for another great try at the start of the second half.
Southam made a pig’s ear of the next ten minutes, as poor tackling and slow line speed gave King Henry’s space to execute their excellent passing game and score the next four tries to go from ten points down to ten points up. A dangerous chop tackle, re-energised the Southam pack and Ben Davies, Thomas Werren and Cameron Black showed plenty of pork as they powered forward. Jake Gough deserves a special mention for an excellent debut, his athleticism led to a couple of great runs, one of which was stopped agonisingly close to the ‘loin’.
The filthy conditions made it difficult for Southam’s backs to flow and it made for a ‘boar-ing’ morning for talented wingers Max Shirley and Paul Hickey. Logan Morrison continued to impress with his penetrative running and Reni Bulyka had a fine game at scrum half. A sizzling rasher of a try from Callum Stewart gave Southam hope. Despite late pressure, Southam could not equalise and in extra time the Henry’s fly Half was able to ‘hock’ the ball out of play for the final whistle. The swine! I have always enjoyed coaching this team, they have always been a silk purse of a team.
Credit to our excellent hosts, for their fine passing and strong tackling. The Young Whistler Referee also had a fine game. Coincidentally, the post-game fayre was a sausage sandwich!
Year 7B: Southam 5 King Henry V111 35
This was always going to be a tough encounter with many Southam lads making their debut against more experienced opponents. Man of the Match went to the lovely Rory Spencer. His tenacious performance at Hooker inspired his team. Francis Chen had a strong game at prop whilst playing in my boots! Cole Crowther, Jake Haden and Oscar Wain played out of position in the forwards, but their speed around the pitch certainly helped to keep the score respectable. Indeed, it was Oscar Wain who scored a fine Southam try.
Agile winger Connor Barker had a fine game in the backs. Centres Jacob Goatley and James Byrne showed great spirit against much larger opponents. Half backs Toby Chambers and Charlie Cooke did particularly well with the limited possession they received. Charlie Andrews and Hudson Byatt both made good breaks and there were further fine debuts for Josko Panek and Oliver Cardwell.
A massive thank you to Mr Cooke and Mr Werren for looking after this team.
The Final Whistle!
So after 22 rugby seasons of having the privilege to coach Southam College students, I finish on Friday 26th January to start a new adventure as Headteacher at Danetre and Southbrook in Daventry. Saturday mornings have been the highlight of my job. I revel in the enthusiasm of the boys and the character and values this special game of rugby instils. I am indebted to the support of many PE Teachers over the years, but must single out the fantastic Mr Elkerton for his incredible commitment and companionship over two decades!
Thank you, good luck and goodbye.