Rugby Union: 2013/14 Season Reports
MPW’s rugby team is now in its seventh season. Interest in the sport is extremely high at the college with many of the boys having played the game to a high standard at their previous schools, some to county and International level. We also have many boys who take up the sport successfully for the first time at MPW and represent the1st XV. In our early years MPW was one of the leading teams in the London 6th Form College League having won it for the last two years that it ran. We now have a fixture list combining games against Independent schools such as Dulwich College and Epsom College alongside the games in the Emerging Sports Schools League. This is primarily for Schools that do not enter national rugby competitions and alongside 20 other schools we are competing for a place in the final in early 2014.
2013/14 season reports
MPW 1st XV 41 – 0 Graveney College 1st XV
After four weeks of training, Wednesday 9th October 2013 saw the MPW 1st XV ran out for their first match of the season in the London Emerging Rugby league; an area based group stage competition involving 21 schools, culminating in a semi-final and final in early March.
Once again MPW has been blessed with a fine crop of good players, boys who have grown up with rugby as a discipline. Their individual talents combined within the game with the forwards showing strength and tenacity – ever present at the breakdown or in the ruck, not conceding footing in the scrum against a strong opposing unit – and the backs showing free flowing pace, safe hands and at times picking the gaps, and at times using the width of the pitch to good effect. There were moments of individual magic and skill but each of the seven tries scored was as a result of a combined move that was as pleasing on the eye as it was to be involved with.
In such a team based victory, it is unfair to single out individuals but special mention should go to the captain, Alex Pugh, who led from the front and brought unity to a side in the early stages of learning the team’s game plan.
A hard fought win, the boys must be commended for their graft and artistry at times on the pitch. What was most gratifying was the team spirit and work ethic for each other on the pitch. For a ‘Barbarians’ side, the camaraderie and communication was excellent and it was no surprise they ran out deserving victors, in a game that was more physical than the score line suggests. A superb bonus point winning start to the campaign.
MPW 1st XV 72-0 St Dominic’s
A complete performance by the boys. The standard of play improved enormously from the first league game against Graveney and the training and moves the team had been working on really shone through. It was a fantastic squad performance with all 22 boys getting plenty of game time. The forwards sat up a really solid platform for the backs to run through their paces and some of the handling skills tries scored were excellent especially taking into account the weather and the start of the pitch. A great effort but there will be harder tests to come.
MPW 1st XV 38-0 Richard Challoner School
This was something special. Richard Challoner were a very good side and extremely well drilled. The first 20 minutes were very close indeed and there was nothing between the two sides. The forwards started to dominate in the scrum and the loose and the back row of Alex Pugh, Archie Maher and Arthur Redhead were immense winning the ball on the ground and providing turnover ball for the backs to use. The first try was scored by debutant Rawleigh Tucker and was expertly finished, while the second was a masterpiece of how to score from first phase play. A long flat pass From Hugh Barran put Jimmy Huston through between their two centres, a good line taken and then a superb pass put Milo Barran in the corner. It was great to watch. Further well worked tries for Milo, Arthur Redhead, Alex Watts and Jimmy Huston rounded off the performance of the season so far. Hugh Barran kicked 4 conversions to take the score to 38. A great start to the season and still no points conceded.