Rugby School versus Pocklington School
Wednesday 13 November 2013, kick off 2.30pm
Pocklington School 1st XV travelled down to Warwickshire for an invitational fixture against Rugby School as part of Pocklington’s quincentenary year of celebrations. The match took place at the School Close, the playing field where in 1823, according to legend, William Webb Ellis first ran with the ball and invented the game of rugby football.
The team was hosted by Simon Brown, Director of Sport at Rugby School, who made everyone feel very welcome and explained some of the history behind the school’s sporting past over a cup of tea in the pavilion while the boys got changed. With the sun shining and only a light breeze in the air, conditions were perfect for a good game of rugby and Pock did not disappoint.
A gritty and determined 1st XV took on the ‘might’ of a gigantic Rugby School side. Despite being dwarfed by their opponents and in some cases giving away at least a stone a man, Pocklington tore into their much vaunted opponents with relish, dominating the breakdown and scrummage. This meant plenty of turn over ball and an end to end first half. Unfortunately, the boys were unable to capitalise on their opportunities and went into half time down 3-0.
Despite an early score from both teams, the 2nd half saw a lift in tempo from Rugby and a desire to play a more expansive game. This was facilitated by their 9 and 10 (both U18 England Internationals), who started to make inroads and dictate the terms of play on the back of greater forward urgency at the breakdown. Pocklington spent long passages without the ball in their own half soaking up alot of pressure. This eventually told and Rugby were able to convert a number of opportunities to take a comfortable lead. In reply, Pocklington lifted their game, managed to get hold of the ball and pressure the Rugby line for the remaining 10 minutes, scoring a fine try and closely missing out on 2 other opportunities.
The final score of 29-12 doesn’t reflect how entertaining the game was – spectators from both schools were very impressed with the calibre and quality of rugby that was played. Many OPs and former colleagues were incredibly proud of the effort and technical nous the Pocklington boys showed. It most definately was a game and experience that will live on with all those involved for the rest of their days.
Try scorers: Sayer, Bedford