On Wednesday 18th October The Grove U8 boys participated in an annual Tag Rugby festival held at Akeley Wood School. Every year it is always great fun and a great experience for the kids. This was only the second time the boys had played a fixture/fixtures together. Following on from their previous win over Quinton House their confidence was high and they couldn’t wait to get involved once more.
The festival consisted of 5 teams including The Grove, all playing each other once and the overall results based on tries scored and matches won, lost or drawn. Out of the 4 matches played, The Grove won 2, drew 1 and lost 1. Unfortunately, the loss and the draw were incredibly close matches and even though the result did not quite go exactly as the boys would want, it meant that overall they finished the afternoon in 2nd place!!
To achieve such a feat with such a small amount of experience is absolutely fantastic and each and every one of them should be so proud of themselves. The parents who came to watch and support the boys were just as an important factor to the day as they provided constant encouragement when the boys needed it most, and for this I thank you all.
Every single one of the Year 3 boys participated in each of the matches and every single one of them played a vital part in the team’s success on the day. This is a big step in their overall development and character which is priceless and can only get better. Although more tries were scored by different people, not 1 child stood out amongst the rest, the boys worked together as a team, showed encouragement to each other and helped each other out with every aspect of the afternoon.
We look forward to the next fixture and are positive that the boys can continue to improve on their fantastic performances.
Akeley Wood School 'A': 8
The Grove: 6
O. Whittam (2), M. Malanda, G. Alvarez-Custodio, S. Okesola, T. Coles
Man of the Match: Toby Coles
The Grove: 6
T. Coles (3), O. Whittam (2), S. Okesola
Swanbourne House 'B': 2
Man of the Match: Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio
The Grove: 2
T. Coles, G. Alvarez-Custodio
Swanbourne House 'A': 2
Man of the Match: Kyle Dissanayake
The Grove: 7
O. Whittam (4), T. Coles, S. Okesola, G Alvarez-Custodio
Akeley Wood School 'B': 2
Man of the Match: Oliver Whittam
With excitement and anticipation from players, staff and parents alike our annual rugby festival was upon us again. We welcomed Akeley Wood, Bedford Modern and Quinton House to our pitches for what was to be a fantastic afternoon of rugby.
With each team playing each other once there were plenty of opportunities for everyone to show off their skills. The top two teams would then play again in a final, that was everyone’s aim.
The Grove started against Quinton House and went behind early, but fought back with tries from Giannis Rigas and Elijah Martey. The game was end to end with the points there for the taking but unfortunately The Grove came up two tries short and fell to defeat, although it was a promising start.
Next up were last year’s victors, Bedford Modern who put on a defensive masterclass, hardly missing a tackle. The Grove’s defence improved in this game but eventually was broken down from a determined opposition. We couldn’t find a way through at the other end and failed to score, not trough lack of trying though!
Finally, we met Akeley Wood, who had won their previous two matches with ease, making the matches look very easy whilst doing so. Akeley started the match well and full of attacking intent and ran in many tries, rucking quickly and shipping the ball wide at good pace. Elijah Martey had a moment of magic, jinking his way through the defence to score the only try Akeley Wood conceded in the whole group stage but that wasn’t enough to force a comeback.
Akeley Wood and Bedford Modern met in the final and treated the spectators to a very entertaining match. In a very tense affair with the scores at a try apiece Akeley Wood crossed the line with moments to spare to secure victory. Congratulations to them and all the boys who took part, a good afternoon was had by all.
The Grove: 20
Quinton House School: 30
Akeley Wood School: 25
Bedford Modern School: 0
Quinton House School: 0
Akeley Wood School: 40
Bedford Modern School: 25
The Grove: 0
The Grove: 5
Akeley Wood School :70
Quinton House School: 0
Bedford Modern School :35
Akeley Wood School: 10
Bedford Modern School: 5
Friday 29th September saw The Grove Under 8 Boys play their first Tag Rugby fixture of the academic year at home to Quinton House. This was the first time all of the boys had ever competed in tag rugby and had only had 4 training sessions to prepare for it. Due to the anticipation and the excitement of it all, the boys did not show any signs of nervousness and turned up raring to go!
The match started well for The Grove as they took a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, due to a lapse in concentration Quinton House were able to pull the match back level. The match consisted of four 7 minute quarters and throughout the entire game the scores stayed extremely close with only 1 or 2 points difference at any time. Finally, as fatigue started to kick in it was The Grove showed their second wind and managed to pull away in the dying few minutes of the match to record their first victory with a score of 10-8.
Every single one of the boys played extremely well and should be proud of their performance and efforts. Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio captained the team well, he showed great leadership skills and great sportsmanship to Quinton House. Toby Coles stood out also with his penetrating runs and excellent pace through the heart of the Quinton House defence, causing them all kinds of trouble!
Thank you for all of the support from parents who turned up to watch, it is greatly appreciated by everyone.
The Grove now look forward to their next matches at the Akeley Wood festival in a few weeks’ time, hoping to build on their current success.
The Grove: 10
Quinton House: 8
Man of the Match: Toby Coles
With the rugby season well and truly underway we travelled to Quinton House full of anticipation after last week’s win against Asfhold. We knew we still had areas to improve on though and the game was never going to be easy.
We started sloppily with some missed tackles and went behind early. Sadly, we never recovered and poor mistakes in important areas and at crucial times meant we couldn’t stop conceding tries. When we were on the attack we showed promise but couldn’t quite string that final pass together or break through the defensive line. We did get on the score sheet when Findlay Hovell reacted quickest to a loose ball and pounced to score but our attacks were far too infrequent.
More missed tackles meant the score was mounting higher but one highlight did come when Elijah Martey picked up and ball and used his pace to break through Quinton House’s defences to score. Soon after Kwaku Malanda picked up his first try of the season, running home into the corner. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to mount a comeback and we ended a tough game with a 50-15 defeat.
Our next fixtures come on October 11th as we host our annual rugby festival, plenty of practise will be taking place between now and then to ensure our ‘A game’ is present then.
The Grove: 15
F. Hovell, E. Martey, K. Malanda
Quinton House School: 50
Man of the Match: Findlay Hovell
The Grove vs Akeley Wood School
After only two practise sessions our Colts Boys travelled to Akeley Wood for two matches against our hosts and then Ashfold.
We started well with Elijah Martey running in a superb solo try, showing his blistering pace. The game then ebbed and flowed with the action quickly moving from one end to another. The Grove were unable to convert their chances on a regular enough basis and weren’t as clinical as our opponents. Another try for Elijah made it close but we sadly lost, 10-20.
The Grove: 10
E. Martey (2)
Akeley Wood School: 20
Man of the Match: Elijah Martey
The Grove vs Ashfold School
Going into our second match we knew the areas to improve on; keeping our defence wide, ensuring we were quick to ruck and secure the ball and finally get the ball to the wide areas of the pitch as quickly as possible.
An incredible try from Henry Lorenz opened the scoring, as he danced his way through the Ashfold defence. Soon after Ryan Kimani added to the scoreline, ploughing his way through the defence with great power. Our opposition hit back with tries of their own and it became a tense affair with both teams fighting for the win. A great piece of play from Giannis Rigas inspired his teammates; whilst rucking Giannis ripped the ball from his opponent and had sights only for the try line, dodging many tackles on his way to scoring. Elijah and Henry both showed their pace and trickery again scoring, but with Ashfold also scoring again it was a close finish with The Grove just holding on for a thrilling 35-25 victory.
All in all the boys can be delighted with their afternoons efforts, there are still areas to work on but it was extremely pleasing to see such a high standard of performance so early in the season.
The Grove: 35
H. Lorenz (2), R. Kimani (2), E Martey (2), G Rigas
Ashfold School: 25
Man of the Match: Ryan Kimani
The final match of the rugby season saw the Colts head across Northamptonshire to visit Pitsford school.
We arrived in good time and Harry Dunning and Alexander Lee did a great job running the Warm-up and The Grove looked well focused.
The first half started well with both schools scoring excellent individual and team tries and it was the Grove who lead at half-time 4-3.
The second half began strongly for Pitsford and they scored three unanswered tries. However, Elijah Martey, Henry Lorenz and Isaac Henshaw are contributed with some excellent individual skill to ensure tries could be scored.
Unfortunately, with the game tied at 7 all, Pitsford scored a runaway try in the last few seconds to grab the win.
The match was a definite step up in both effort and intensity and the boys played well as a team.
The most pleasing aspect was the conduct of the team before and after the match. They were a real credit to themselves and the school. Well done lads.
The Grove: 35
Pitsford School: 40
Man of the Match: The Grove
The Grove's final match of the 2016 season was played against Beachborough School. Having only lost 2 fixtures all season the boys went into the match with high spirits looking to end the season on a positive note. We headed over to the playing field slightly earlier than usual in order to be in the right mind set and prepare both mentally and physically for what proved to be one of our toughest games of the season.
When Beachborough arrived the boys conducted themselves in a professional manor by gracefully greeting their opponents in preparation for the game ahead. After a team discussion and a positive input from everyone the teams headed out on to the field to begin the match.
Following usual proceedings, two halves of 15 minutes were played, Beachborough proved to be a very strong team and started the game extremely well putting the boys on the back foot instantly. Instead of letting this get the better of them, they were able to regroup mentally amongst themselves and impressively fight their way back into the game.
The standard of rugby displayed by both teams was of an impressively high standard and although the match resulted in a tie, they should all be extremely proud of what they had accomplished.
Finally, the full time whistle spelled the end of the tag rugby season for 2016, overall, the boys overall improvement and teamwork especially has been phenomenal and I am positive that this will continue to grow.
For the last time, as per usual, everyone involved especially parents played a big role in the team’s success and is greatly appreciated by all.
The Grove: 6
Beachborough School: 6
With the rugby season in full swing we hosted Quinton House full of confidence. With conditions almost perfect for rugby the match began.
We began well and an early try for Findlay Hovell got us in front. From that moment on the game was end to end; however, in previous matches we have played, end to end has meant try after try. This wasn’t the case as both Grove and Quinton defences remained strong.
Three more tries for the rampant Findlay Hovell and superb solo runs from Gbolohan Asade and Kwaku Malanda put us in a good position but with Quinton scoring tries of their own the game was a tight one. With The Grove trailing by one try with a minute to go we pushed Quinton House back and back closer to their try line but sadly couldn’t find the equalising try that we so deserved.
Overall the match was a joy to watch and referee as both teams put their all into it, and I hope this continues for the remainder of the season.
The Grove: 30
F. Hovell (4), G Asade, K Malanda
Quinton House School: 35
The Grove's penultimate match of the 2016 season was played against Ashfold School. Prior to this, the last scheduled fixture was 4 weeks ago, suggesting that the boys might be a bit rusty and lack determination. This however was not the case. As per usual, one of the key elements that has led to the boy’s previous success this year has been their teamwork and effort.
Two half of 15 minutes were played, with both teams giving there all in order to succeed. The boys displayed some of the best rugby they had displayed all season and should all be very proud of themselves. At the full time whistle the game resulted in an extremely close score line (12-11), which in itself indicates that although they had to deal with some very well played rugby by Ashfold, they kept going and deservedly came away with the result that they wanted.
Once again, I would like to say a massive thank you for the support we received from parents, it is always greatly appreciated. We have one more game left of the season in which I am sure the boys will be able to replicate their performance just as they have been the whole season.
The Grove: 12
Ashfold School: 11
We hosted Ashfold to commence a busy eight days for the U9 boys, with four fixtures left in the Rugby season. Having seen it pour with rain all morning the sunshine was very welcome at 2pm, just in time.
As a team the boys have made progress over the season, and are gaining confidence every time they play. Gbolohan Asade scored an early try, wriggling his way through the defence, and Findlay Hovell added to this. Despite some good defending at times, Ashfold managed to run in five tries of their own in the first half, with the Grove boys struggling to cover the width of the pitch.
The second half was a little less tight sadly, and Ashfold scored a further four tries compared to just one of our own, again from Findlay Hovell. Despite the score line there were areas to be happy with in our display. We host Quinton House on Friday, followed by our last home match of the season against Beachborough on Tuesday. On Wednesday our rugby season is concluded at Pitsford School.
The Grove: 15
F.Hovell (2), G. Asade
Ashfold School: 45
Man of the Match: Gbolohan Asade