Match Report
Uppingham School 1st XV vs  St Edward's School, Oxford
On: Saturday, 23 Nov 2019
Venue: at Home

Uppingham Rugby Club has grown from strength to strength over the last few years, and a lot of that success can be put down to the current incredible U6th.

For 2 years they have worked tirelessly on their culture, conditioning and rugby ability to be richly rewarded. They now finish their 2 year Uppingham XV careers undefeated on their home pitch, The Leicester. It is not just the record which is impressive, but the way they have gone about their business. Yes, a fortress it has been, but one filled with exciting, creative and at times fearless rugby.

This weekend's games vs St Edward's epitomised this. On a dreech, miserable November's day, with matches being called off around the Midlands due to flooding, Uppingham XV produced a spellbinding performance from start to end.

Each man played his part in a memorable performance, of which there were 20 on Saturday. Despite the conditions, they continued to throw the ball about with slick hands, aggressive runners and breakdown work that led to lightning quick ball. The relentless pace led to a great opening try from Ethan Heath-Drury, one of the many players who seems to be getting better with each game.

The highlight reel from the game would be immense, however the hi-tech camera let us down and the images of Hot Wheels Hogan scorching down the wing beating the whole opposition team twice will go down in folk lore. As will the combination of Cranwell to Clayton to Chalk in the first half, leading to Chalk's first try of the season. Tough to believe when you think how immense he has been, and once again on Saturday he had a stand out performance where he covered every inch of grass to hunt down his prey.

There were many standout performances but too often our front row are overlooked, not just literally... 3 men who piled on top of each other still don't make 6 foot, but have made mince meet of their opposite men week in week out. Not only good at their nuts and bolts, they are also some of the biggest hitters, elusive runners and best ball players in the squad. At the weekend they often found themselves in open prairie and it is a joy to see opposition wingers being taught a lesson in speed and guile!

Too often players get stuck in a position in rugby, to the detriment of their and the team's development. Not with the Uppingham XV though, once again demonstrated this weekend. Chris Totty appeared in the second half and finished the game in his 3rd position of the day - Centre to Flanker to Scrum Half. The Versatility award for the season though must go to Pip 'Carrot Cake' Jackson. Centre, Wing, Second Row, Back Row and Prop, yes prop!! Pip has demonstrated one of our core values through out the season, Altruism, and it is another example of why this group has been so successful and why it has been so rewarding to be part of the coaching team.

All that awaits now is our final match of the season. One in which I have no doubt we will again win on our scoreboard for success, Uppingham XV; Play to Inspire, Warriors on the pitch but most importantly, Gentlemen in life.

#Family #Gees