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Our squad at the Henry Dowswell Festival of Rugby in Sidcup was split into two evenly matched teams (the 1s and 2s).
The 2s were made up of Oliver Richardson, Ben Millett, Josh Wood, Harry Bouverie, Hamish McQueen, Kyle Cameron, Oliver Dimond, Oscar Goodwin, Joel Walter and Harry House. I thought – a great team, to a man – this is going to be fun. And so it turned out!
Five games were played, mainly in quite strong winds (which blew the gazebo away at one stage)!
First up was Beccs. We had massively strong tackling throughout the day, and this game set the tone. We won 2-0, with a try of real power and brutality from Oliver Richardson, and one of speed and finesse from the flying Harry Bouverie!
Next up came the first of two mixed-ability Sidcup sides – Sidcup 3. The games were 4 minutes a side, and we won 7-0. The team played brilliantly. Particularly notable were Hamish’s 4 tries (out of his 10 that day!), and Ben Millett’s power play down the middle of the park – head down and driving forwards!! It was the team’s sheer speed and superb passing that they couldn’t cope with – the pitches were big, and this gave the “flyers” the space to play!
So – onto Sidcup 2. Would they cope with us any better? Marginally…! Our 5-1 win again reflected consistently brilliant defence – turning defence into attack as we pushed them back and back… Josh Wood really stands out for this – first up when defending, straight at the first receiver, taking them on and putting them under pressure. Brilliant! There was also a lovely move in this game – Harry House passing to Oscar Goodwin, who dummied their entire team and ran almost the entire distance of the pitch, passing to Joel Walter, who was supporting brilliantly, to score the try. Real teamwork and skill – great to see.
After lunch, we had Park House. Another 7-0 win for us, everyone had fun. My personal highlight was the teamwork that led to Harry House’s try. I think everyone was involved in the tackling and brilliant hands that led to the try – its great to see the training pay off, and that try really showed great passing and running onto the ball at speed. And then there’s Harry’s great finishing – would he make it passed their last two defenders – YES!
I’d also highlight Kyle’s immense spirit. He was fouled badly, being tripped up while at full speed in the Park House game. His try straight after this was the very definition of power play: no one was going to stop him! His tackling was also consistently brilliant throughout the day – one of our very best tacklers.
Finally, Edenbridge. We knew they’d be tough – they were also unbeaten so far. And so it turned out – very aggressive in loose play, their rucking was immense. Could our game hold up? Yes – in the game of the day, we fought them off, tackling and tackling, pushing forwards and trying to find space. Oliver Dimond’s speed on the ball was brilliant in this crunch match – he was everywhere, running hard at them, clearing the ball out to his team and making crunching tackles. We won 1-0, with a real piece of brilliance from Hamish – the man has an extra gear that just wipes out the opposition. The finger to the sky as he dived over the try line was a real way to celebrate a magic moment!
So – 22 tries to 1 over the course of 5 games: not a bad result!! Well done to all – they should be very proud of their immense spirit and superb skill.