Looking to continue the recent great form and build on the last gasp win against Frampton Cotterell, Es' 1st XV took to the field with not only a strong squad but a strong looking front row against an unknown quantity in Whitehall RFC.
The arrival of Whitehall RFC, brought back memories of matches against one of Bristol's strongest combination teams. There was some disagreement amongst senior players as to when the last match was exactly, but on good authority from a former Whitehall player it was decided 1989/90 season.
Another large contingent of supporters eagerly awaited the game and against a backdrop of the funeral of our late president and the collapse of rational thinking in our political leaders, a good game of rugby was much needed.
1st XV SQUAD: Tom Brewer, Jack Houlder, Lucas Sadler, Dom Horn, Adam Skyner, George Burnie, Will Tobin, Rob Lee, Will Appleton, Matt Carr, Tobias Burden, Pat Dore, Sam Brewer, Leo De Carlo, Luke Jagger, Wil Patterson, Alex Potts, Toby Wilcox
MATCH REPORT: The weather was sunny but blustery and Whitehall kicked off towards the clubhouse, taking advantage of the wind direction in the first half.
Initial Es pressure was followed by pressure from Whitehall following an Es knock on. This broke down with a great rip made by Will Tobin, 2 passes on the right wing and Leo de Carlo was away to score. Luke Jagger converted and after 6 minutes it's (7-0).
From the kick-off Es applied pressure and were in the Whitehall half which resulted after 8 minutes in a close range try from Will Tobin. Conversion successful (14-0).
For a few minutes Whitehall looked like they could pose a threat, but this then seemingly evaporated quite quicky and it didn't take long for Es to expose a big weakness of Whitehall's and attack down the left flank. A great break from Will Tobin followed by a pass to Dom Horn, with Luke Jagger finishing off - a fantastic move with a third try in 10 minutes. Conversion successful, (21-0).
A shell-shocked Whitehall, managed to slow the game down for the next 6 or 7 minutes and following a break for an injury, they kicked from a penalty into the right-hand corner. From the resulting line out and a few passages of play, Whitehall scored under the posts and converted. The score after 23 minutes is (21-7).
This was a small reality check that another try and Whitehall could be back in the game. The superiority of Es' play indicated that it would be a big shift for this to happen. In all departments Es had the superior players, there was no control at all from Whitehall and they were not using their best assets, which were their big front five.
At 29 minutes, there was no surprise when Es scored their fourth try of the half. A break from Pat Dore resulted in a try for Tom Brewer and another successful kick, (28-7), and a bonus point secured.
A certain Mr Perkins would have loved the rugby that Es were playing. Quicker to the ball, more skilful with ball in hand. A fully functioning front row, allowing Burnie to play in his natural position was one of many huge advantages that Es had in the first half. Half time score (28-7)
Sadly, Leo de Carlo had to leave with an injury to his shoulder sustained making a try saving tackle. This brought on Alex Potts in the second half for his milestone game (according to SportEasy) but as many of us know he has pulled on the Es' jersey many more times. Nevertheless, a great bit of recognition!
The second half started and with Es having the wind behind them, anything could happen. In fact, it didn't take too long. A big tackle in midfield resulted in Es regaining possession, the ball was recycled and Rob Lee scored. Luke Jagger converted to maintain his 100% record and the score was (35-7) after 48 minutes.
Within minutes, Whitehall were under pressure again. A poor defensive kick against the wind resulted in some quick hands and Sam Brewer scored Es' sixth try of the game. A testing kick from the touchline was no problem for Luke Jagger. (42-7).
It was great game to watch, helped by some good refereeing by Tony Swash. Whitehall surprisingly wanted to run with the ball, but they were nowhere near as good as Es. When they did utilise their power, they posed a threat. After a series of penalties in the Es' half, they scored a close range try under the posts. (42-14) after 55 minutes.
Time for some changes, Skyner and Carr off. Thomas and Patterson on. This took the excellent Will Appleton to No.10 and allowed Wil Patterson to give Whitehall another problem!
At 59 minutes an attacking lineout which Es won resulted in their seventh try, scored by Wil Patterson himself after having only been on the field for 3 minutes, and another conversion by Luke Jagger. 49-14.
Whitehall were now a very beaten team and Es' players were causing them problems in all positions. Then a burst from Tom Brewer, resulted in the next try from George Burnie at close range. Score now (56-14). 8 tries, 8 different scorers and 8 conversions with 15 minutes still to play.
Whitehall exerted more pressure and still wanted to attempt to run the ball. Es resisted some pressure from them and by then knew that they were the first Es' team to beat Whitehall for many a year.
As the supporters were being asked to nominate their man of the match, he duly scored after 75 minutes. Will Tobin scored under the posts and a 9th conversion was calmly taken by Luke Jagger. (63-14).
A brilliant result and no mean feat for Cool Hand Luke Jagger to have secured 18 points from 9 conversions (100% record) something only Dom Swann had done previously in living memory!
Our sights now turn to what may be a tough away fixture next Saturday at St. Marys Old Boys RFC – undoubtedly a match to watch!!
A few quotes from the crowd:
First class performance from a very motivated team - Pat White (former 1st XV Coach)
Very convincing win, great rugby and looking forward to St. Marys next week - Colin Williams (former 1st XV Skipper)
FINAL SCORE: Old Elizabethans 63 – 14 Whitehall
Tries: Leo de Carlo, Will Tobin (2), Luke Jagger, Tom Brewer, Rob Lee, Sam Brewer, Wil Patterson, George Burnie
Conversions: Luke Jagger (9)
Official and Spectators Man of the Match: Will Tobin
Full Table and Fixture List below
Report by: Chris Bater
OE Nick Beake inspired our pupils at Prize Giving with a speech on his experiences as a journalist and his reflection on how his QEH education influen… More...