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Orchard boys claim rugby league title

Published on 28/01/16

For the first time in seven years, Orchard is extremely proud to have reclaimed the title as champions in the U14s Bristol schools rugby league.

For the first time in seven years, Orchard is extremely proud to have reclaimed the title as champions in the U14s Bristol schools rugby league.

On Friday 22 January, our Year 9 boys celebrated an outstanding 21-0 victory over finalists St Bede’s, following a successful season of five wins out of six.

Orchard returned from a 0-0 draw at half time to score 21 points within the final 20 minutes. Outstanding tries came from Max and Frank.

Man of the Match went to Steen Maxwell and Frank Godfree, and Player of the Tournament went to Jake Baker.

See below for the full report from coach Mr Phil Keeling

Photographs by Martin Pemberton Photography

Match report

 Well, what a season! We played three league games with less than 15 players and only lost one to St Bede’s. 

We arrived with the game being delayed, and stood around wet and cold, nerves a plenty but controlled. The teams finally walk onto the pitch. One final word from me and it's all down to them.

The kick goes up, with a clean catch by George. He takes contact, a ruck is set and Frank flies in and loses the ball. It was the worst possible start! Ten metres out from under the post, a scrum is made against us. The next five minutes sees them firing runner after runner at us, breaking the game line.

We fought back, tackle after tackle, moving them back inch by inch. Suddenly, a scrum to us! We never touch the ball, but made 20 meters from defending.

We push on through Frank Godfree – what a 20 minutes he had! If it had red on, moved and was near the ball Frank tackled it. Steen Maxwell followed up, ripping the ball, slowing them down. We pushed in their half and stayed there, who would make the break, who would miss the tackle? 

Eight minutes to go, we have it! Phase after phase we pull them in. Reece and Jake see the gap, the ball is called, the forwards give the ball out. Max drops an easy pass – it’s a scrum. Lewis Bullock then performs the best tackle I have ever seen him do. Steen is on it, and secures the ball.

Half time – 0-0.

Kick goes up and our great man Yasim Hasaen comes to the fold. The magnificent Reece sees the overlap, ball comes out and hits Jake. Jake steps, taking the player out, Max catches, then his pass goes astray. Still 0-0 and another certain try thrown away.

Ball goes out again, St Bede’s breaks from their scrum but after Yasim’s tackle, the ball pops out, Steen recovers it and we go down the blind side. Yasim takes the ball, sprinting through the gap, he dives... it's a try. Every one cheers, but it’s a disallowed double movement (double movement was removed from rugby union. Opposition coach agreed it was a try, but no reversal).

Still 0-0. That's three tries gone. Twenty-five minutes left. Could it get worse? Yes. George was having a great game until he got sin binned for 10 minutes for a foul. We change tactics with a man down, it works! Yasim breaks again with Connor Passcoe bulldozing up the middle. Jake crashes in, the ball comes out and Anthony picks it up, taking a hard spear tackle. St Bede’s then has a player sent to the bin. 

20 minutes left ... still 0-0. 

Another break was created by Reece from Frank and Steen’s turn over. This time, the ball goes down the line, Max throws the dummy and they take it. He steps, charging for the line. Max dives and stretches. He scores... 7-0!

The match restarts, 15 minutes left. The ball goes up, bounces, Yasim is on it. He steps, makes it 20 metres and St Bede’s steal the ball. However, Steen takes it back. We stay tight, with tackles pushing them back. The ball comes out, we move a few phases up the pitch, and the ball is turned over. A massive tackle takes the ball out of play. It’s a line out to St Bede’s. The ball comes in and the boys blitz the scrum half. It works! The ball pops up, Frank stretches and takes the ball on the run. He breaks the first tackle 15 metres out ... just enough gas in the legs to make it. Try and conversion makes the score 14-0.

 Ten minutes on the clock... the pressure is on. St Bede’s are coming at us. But the boys hold strong, with tackle after tackle going in. We hold strong and turn over. Reece kicks for the touch. It’s line out, St Bede’s win but make a mistake.

Then my mind goes... All I recall is Frank breaking through, scoring under the post and the conversion is good. 21-0!

Two minutes left. St Bede’s come at us... Please no score! They cross the line, they put it down, no try. The scrum is set, Nathan picks up the ball and kicks for the touch. Game over.

I am exhausted. They are running around buzzing. What a feeling. So proud! We have worked hard on fitness with all pupils at OSB this year and it was the fitness that broke the deficit.

The next game is against Churchill Academy and Sixth Form as part of the Super 8s League at home on 2ndFebruary.