Match Report
Uppingham School Boys-U15B vs  Warwick School
On: Saturday, 18 Sep 2021
Venue: Away

After a stylish performance last week and some serious hard effort in training the U15B took to the Warwick field with high expectation of another heroic display, and they did not disappoint.

With a rejigged line-up from the Perse outing, captain Freddie Fish found himself leading from the sideline to start the game but was into the mix within the first 5 minutes with Jonah Richardson limping off (he was to return later after stretching out this niggle). The lighting quick style the boys try to play certainly proved to be our only advantage in the match, with the much larger Warwick boys struggling with the pace of play, despite a well populated bench. The pace also proved tough for our own boys with much of the match played with 14 due to injury and distance to the C team to call up reinforcements. Despite this, the Herculean effort in defence was clear, Warwick retaining possession in our 22 for 10 minutes before finally getting over the line. Parker, Fairs and the Lucas boys loving the challenge and leading our defence with amazing line speed preventing gain line success.

Just as we had a chance to get back into the match Charlie Lightowler also had to leave the field and Warwick took advantage of their numbers to eventually force over another try, despite more excellent 1 on 1 tackling. 12-0 to the hosts. At this stage, lesser people would’ve let the heads go down, but Fish rallied the troops and Luvisutto started to push the pace of our play from the ruck and put the referee under pressure for us to play quickly form penalties. The relentless energy from Nick was well rewarded as he crossed in style from a 30m quick tap and breakaway try. Bligh missed the conversion to take us in 12-5 at half time.

During the half time huddle it was clear that despite the score line we had psychological edge over our opponents, the players absolutely buzzing to get into the second half. Bligh was finally rewarded for his hard line running with a bit of space in the wide channel to crash over, and converting his own try brought us to 12-12 just 8 minutes into the second half. Again disaster struck, and our players raised to the challenge with Freddie Lucas off and down to 14 men again. Our quest to be Best off the Ball drove our work ethic at these times, with was best encapsulate by Theo Llamas’ match saving moment, tracking back on the blind-side wing to make 20m up on a line break, tackle and cause a turnover just inches from our try line. Keeping the score at 12-12 was vital to wrestle momentum back and the reaction of the rest of the boys to this play was yet another example of our love of hard work.

Adrian Ponnuchami and Eggar showed excellent footwork and courage to keep getting us over the gain line and Stothard, Voce and Welch were tireless in the rucks, providing us with a chance for Luvisutto to keep our pace up. With only a few minutes left on the clock Warwick again forced their way over with hard diving after the initial contact to take the lead 19-12. Once again, lesser teams with lesser men would have let this defeat them - but not the Uppingham men. Our purpose is to create great people, great friendships and great memories. If the action packed first 48 minutes of this match did not already achieve this, then the final 2 certainly provided it in spades!

Wave after wave and phase after phase the Uppingham players crashed onto the Warwick line, the pace of our ruck leading to penalties and the quick thinking of Nick at 9 gaining us additional 10m several times. After a controlled but frantic we eventually were left with a scrum 30m out in central field and with the clack stopped to allow Adrian time to fix up his bleeding nose and Will Buttery off with injury our scrum was under pressure and our back line needed to reimpose our speed. “Behaviours, be the Best off the Ball” a clear command from Fish in the Huddle.

Eggar clean strike and the ball was in and out of the scrum in a flash, several phases of crisp passing, evasive running and some of the most fearsome bullets seen in a B team ruck, wingers, fullbacks and everyone working for their mates. After visiting both 5 meter channels we saw the picture form a midfield ruck, 5 vs 3 on the left side, Nick, Adrian, Medhurst keeping calm, eventually the ball to Ed Bligh who again forced his was over in the wide channel to elated roars of support from his teammates. Then the final moment, with the referee confirming the match was over after the conversion, Bligh stepped up just 10 meters from the touch line, calm as anything, slotted the conversion through the middle to take the game to 19-19. The reaction from the players said everything. An excellent, exciting game where out boys never gave up and the longer the game went on the less our opponents could cope with our speed and accuracy.

best on the ball - Adrian

best off the ball - Llamas