Match Report
Oundle School Boys-U15B vs  Rugby School
On: Saturday, 02 Dec 2017
Venue: Away

Rugby 12 - 40 Oundle

On the Buses...

Another away day, another convincing victory for Oundle's impressive U15B team on Saturday, but all involved are likelier to remember the epic journey than the match.

The first hurdle was getting out of the sports hall car park. Gridlocked traffic on Milton Road thanks to the Oundle Christmas Fayre resulted in a 20 minute delay. It was only the efforts of our Director of Sport, and Crosby housemaster - respectively a retired rugby international and Royal Marine Commando officer - who 'negotiated' a path through the double-parked festive revellers and allowed the coaches to progress.

Further delays en route led to an arrival at Rugby at 2.20pm - five minutes later than the scheduled kick off. But it was not finished there. Instead of the hallowed field where two centuries ago Webb Ellis picked up the pigskin to give our sport its name, we were told our matches would be played on an outlying pitch: a soggy paddock halfway to Daventry. Therefore it was off the buses, a quick change in the sports hall, and back on the buses again for a drive to the match location. Blakey, Butler and Olive can hardly have had more stops.

By this time it was nearly 3pm, dusk was already approaching therefore the warm up was a perfunctory 5 minute jog and a few stretches. Oundle could have been forgiven for a rusty start but it was in fact the home team - who had presumably been waiting for the best part of an hour - who appeared the worse for the delay.

Although Rugby had the size advantage up front - Oundle forward stalwarts Noah Cooper and Toby Schofield having been promoted to the A team, and Jack Campbell required back at school to 'play the Dane' - Oundle's backs demonstrated their trademark cutting edge from the off. Alex Kapadia ran in the first try from the halfway line, converted by Ben Granville who enjoyed an outstanding game.

Another Ben, centre Clayden, who has gone from strength to strength this campaign, bagged a first half hat-trick showing a keen eye for a midfield gap. Big Peter Afolabi crashed over, and full-back Yasawal Naveed crossed following a mazy run. Conversions by Clayden, Rohan Scott and Jeff Kitbancha, made the score approaching half-time 40-0. Rugby replied with a fine score of their own courtesy of a powerful run by their winger.

At the interval Oundle made a series of personnel and positional switches to challenge their players in alternative roles. Rugby changed their tactics and kicked effectively into space, which led to a much more even second-half contest. The home side crossed in the corner for a consolation score while Oundle were thwarted by understandable handling errors in half-light and wet conditions. The match finished 12-40 which was a fair reflection of Oundle's overall dominance, but also Rugby's never-say-die spirit. Both coaches (the human, not wheeled ones) could be satisfied.

After such an odyssey - which culminated in the squad on its return to Oundle having to walk the final 200 metres back to the sports hall as Milton Road remained blocked by Christmas Fayre punters - the lads will be delighted that next week's climactic fixture is a welcome home game against Radley. They will hope the balance of on- and off-field incident is more heavily weighted in favour of the former.