After an unusual year of life to say the least, the day had finally arrived for Liverpool College to play their first fixture of rugby. The game was played on Saturday May 15, in a derby at St Edwards school. With last year’s close final still in the minds of many of Liverpool College’s players, it was clear from the starting “squeeze” that the boys wanted it more than St Edwards did.
The game started fast-paced and full of intensity, with the two sides battling it out in all areas of the pitch. Despite it being close, Liverpool College proved to be more dominant in the forward areas, and were more physical across the park. The game remained close for the majority of the first half, until Liverpool College were able to break down the St Edwards defence with many “rabbit balls” followed by a kick over the top by Ciaran R, which was chased down and scored by Kieran S in the corner, to make the score 5-0. Scoring first allowed Liverpool College to gain momentum, and the boys dominated the remainder of the first half, with good attacking play, and a strong defensive line that couldn’t be broken by the St Edwards attack. Overall, a great first half of rugby played by both teams; clear passion was on display, and the game was close.
HT score: 5-0.
The second half began, and there was no drop in intensity nor quality of play from either side. St Edwards started the half well, with some solid line running from their centres; however the boys displayed a defensively sound performance, putting in some big hits, and turning the ball over at the rucks.
Not only were the boys outstanding in defence, but the attacking play was a clear threat to the St Edwards defensive line, with hard running, and nice hands. It was this quality in attack that allowed Jacob C to score in the corner following smooth handling from the backs and thus securing Liverpool College’s second try of the match, making it 10-0.
This 10-0 lead didn’t last for long, as the second try filled St Edwards’ desire to get a score back. The kick-off at the restart put them in a good position within the Liverpool College 22m. They were able to capitalise on this great move in the back line, allowing them to secure their first try of the game under the posts. The try was topped off with a nice conversion, to make the score 10-7.
With 10 minutes to go, the game was as close as it could be, with both sides battling it out with sheer lust for victory. The 10 minutes of gameplay was full of entertainment, with the boys crashing it in, and St Edwards holding their own in defence; however following a mistake on St Edwards’ part, Liverpool College were gifted a penalty in the middle of the pitch. Ciaran R showed great initiative and felt kicking for 3 points was the best option. A nice kick over the posts allowed Liverpool College to extend their lead to 13-7. However despite there being little time left to play, St Edwards did not back down, nor accept defeat. They spent the remainder of the game up in the Liverpool College half, attacking them with everything they had. Thankfully, the boys displayed a fantastic defensive performance, and the opposition were unable to break the line, in hope for a second try of their own. The score finished 13-7 to Liverpool College.
The game was brilliant overall and the two sides showcased passionate performances and a clear desire to come out on top. It was an outstanding reintroduction to first XV rugby, following a year of uncertainty and lack of playing.
A huge well done to many of the year 12’s, many of whom played their first ever game of senior rugby for the school. Every player performed well and It is clear the team will be a strong one next year.
MOTM: A difficult choice to make, due to every player performing fantastically. However the award goes to Kieran S, due to his try in the first half, and sheer physicality throughout the game.
Sebastian C (1st XV Captain)