Rugby: 1st XV Season Review 2012/13
Any 1st XV season that finishes with 7 wins can only be considered a good one considering the tough circuit we are part of.
The frustrating thing is that it has been the worst season I have ever experienced for injuries and the victory count could well have been more. Losing to Windlesham 17-21, for example, was a tremendous effort considering we were 5 players short!
The U13 season started promisingly with 3 Sussex Cup wins against Uckfield, Hazelwick and Sackville, which meant that we won our group and moved into the knockout stages after Christmas. Our U12 team were given a 'bye' in the group stages and completely justified their seeding by going on to beat Uplands and Warden Park before losing 0-15 to Brighton College in the semi final.
Away from the Sussex Cup our season started with some great games, but injuries meant that the opposition, more often than not, proved just too strong. We scored in every match and most defeats were only by a couple of scores, but they were defeats nevertheless.
The great thing about this side, however, is that, despite our lack of size, and despite our injuries, we never gave up and we kept on improving in terms of organisation, skills and commitment. The Christmas break was a Godsend in as much as most of our long term injured had time to recover and return to the fold. The result was a series of wins against Lancing College, Claremont, Yardley Court and Cumnor House. In fact the only disappointment after Christmas was losing a 33-35 Sussex Cup quarter final 'thriller' away to St.Andrew's. We had lost to them 10-25 before Christmas and it was good to show them what we were capable of with a full side!
The team were lead superbly by our Captain, Hutson. He missed 2 matches due to the Spanish trip but at least he played the rest of the season injury-free! Sampson was also superb in the forwards, as was Morse in the back row. Page was our one genuine 'line-breaker' with his pace but he was ably supported by the likes of Cheney, Trenaman, Carter and Welch, who all had exciting moments with the ball and were brave in defence without it.
While the aforementioned will be remembered fondly for their efforts the likes of Hodierne, Orr and Scott will have learnt from this year's experience and will all the stronger when they return again next year.