Busy half term of Stonyhurst College rugby reports

A hugely busy half term of rugby at Stonyhurst College. We hope you enjoy the brief reports below. The Stonyhurst College Open Day takes place on Saturday 8th November when all of our rugby teams will be playing Giggleswick.

Rugby, Wednesday 15th October

1st XV won 69-26 v Bolton School (Natwest U18 Cup)
The 1st XV won a crazy encounter which saw nearly 100 points scored against Bolton School. Bolton were hugely competitive, hard working but the 1st XV were very clinical at the right times and they were always willing to run the ball, from their own try if necessary. This has competed a superb half term for the 1st XV which sees them remain undefeated.

2nd XV won 58-0 v Bolton School
Another impressive display by the 2nd XV against a very hard working Bolton side. In a mirror image of the 1st XV match, the Stony boys were simply too clinical. The forwards dominated possession and the backs enjoyed ample opportunities to attack at will. Bolton tackled their hearts out but wave after wave of Stonyhurst attacks saw them score some fine tries.

U14 Won 45-5 v Cowley HS (Lancashire Cup)
This was a fabulous performance by Mr Thomas's side as they progressed in the Lancashire Cup with a wonderful display of running rugby away at Cowley.

U15 lost 39-26 v ArnoldKEQMS (Lancashire Vase)
The U15s continue their improving form with fine display away in Lytham. Against opposition who beat them convincingly just a few weeks previously, the Stonyhurst boys have responded well to Mr Loney and this was a fine fixture right up until the end. Sadly, it does mean the end of their involvement in the Cup this season but the improvements continue.

U16B lost 26-12 v Lancaster RGS U16C/D
The U16B were finally able to kick start their season and they did this in fine style away at Lancaster. The boys have all trained really hard with Mr Strain and it was fabulous to see them havign a run out. A return match will be organised in the second half term and we must thank Lancaster for helping to organise the fixture.

Rugby v Lancaster RGS, Saturday 11th October

1st XV won 36-12
Another fine display by the 1st XV, and this with a few injuries in the front row. However, the team stuck together to score some entertaining tries, non more so than from their own try line from a penalty in the second half. If ever a try shows what Stonyhurst rugby is all about, than this was it. Well played by all the boys!

2nd XV lost 26-19
A stunning game of schoolboy rugby between two extremely well matched sides resulted in a 26-19 win for LRGS. Stonyhurst had fought back to level the game at 19-19 and looked the more likely to push on for the win when a breakaway try in the final few minutes sealed the LRGS victory.  A pulsating game that contained the very best of school sport; tremendous spirit, commitment and  sportsmanship being to the fore. Tries for Stonyhurst were scored by Alex Tom, Santi Morgan-Garcia and Markyan Antonyuk.  The latter being try of the match as the full back beat several defenders in a broken field run from deep inside his own half.

U16 lost 10-5
This was a good old-fashioned battle and it was fantastic to watch from the first minute until the last. Stony took the lead early on and amazingly, with both sides trying to attack from all areas, the score remained 5-0 at the break. LRGS had enjoyed the better of the possession but the Stony defence was superb, with the forwards in particular, working themselves to a stand still. However, something had to break in the second half and despite three try saving tackles, two from Joel Raines and a extraordinary one behind the posts by Rory Bannigan, LRGS levelled at 5-5 and then with 4 minutes left they won the match with a try out wide after an overlap had been created. A stunning match and every boy, both Lancaster and Stonyhurst, deserves special praise!

U15A won 26-5
The U15 season gets better and better, and after some tough results early in the season, the efforts of the boys in training is beginning to pay off. This was a real encouraging performance by every member of Mr Loney's squad.

U15B lost 50-0
Stonyhurst U15B played their first match of the season against Lancaster RGS. For many of the Stonyhurst players this was their first experience of competitive rugby having only started rugby 5 weeks ago. The match was played in three twenty minutes periods to allow each individual the opportunity to play. 

Lancaster finished fifty points to nil victors, having played some fantastic flowing rugby. The Stonyhurst boys can be proud of the way they played, giving it their best in all aspects of the game. The lads will continue to work hard over the final week before half term and are looking forward to their next competitive outing.

U14A lost 62-0
A tough day for the U14s. LRGS played some impressive rugby and their speed and size was just too much for the Stony boys to handle on this occasion.

Rugby v Rydal, Saturday 4th October

U16 lost 34-17
This was a hugely tough encounter for the Stonyhurst U16s against a talented, big an dphysical Rydal team, who were littered with North Wales Academy players. The Rydal 8, 9, 10 and 12 were outstanding players and they proved the difference between the two sides. That said Stonyhurst started exceptionally and scored two tries in the first 5 minutes, Luke McLaughlin's straight from the kick-off. However, the physical presence of the Rydal boys began to tell and at half-time, Rydal led 19-12. George scored a fine try at the beginning of the second half but with possession becoming limited and the Rydal 9, 10 and 12 dominating more and more, Rydal ran out deserved 34-17 winners.

Rugby v Rossall School, Saturday 4th October

U15 lost 26-20
This was the second time in only a few weeks that the U15s came up against Rossall after recently losing out to this team in a NatWest/Lancashire Cup fixture. After a disappointing loss to Bradford GS last weekend, the players had arguably had the hardest week's training of the year and were in good spirits for this match.

After a short trip to the Fylde coast, the players started the match enthusiastically with lots of promise, combating Rossall's main ball carriers. For Stonyhurst, the first 20 minutes were littered with penalties and this enabled Rossall to have the large share of territory and thus opened the scoring to take the lead. Nonetheless, Stonyhurst were slowly gaining more possession, although in their half, and through hard work the boys eventually responded with a deserved try of their own. Both teams scored another try before half time, which made it 2 try's each at the break.

The second half was similar in terms of being disjointed. The players on the pitch, from both teams, showed a huge amount of effort and determination to run with the ball in hand. From a Stonyhurst point of view, there were too many occasions when attacking ball was slowed down and the second half saw Rossall score two tries from interceptions in the midfield, which possibly swung the match. The final few minutes were tense as it was a one try match moving towards the final whistle but Rossall closed out this contest well to take the win. The match ended 26-20 to Rossall (4 tries each) with the Stonyhurst scorers being Beal (2 tries), Simeza and Scott.

Regardless of opinion, nobody could argue that the actual amount of penalties awarded in this match against both sides was high, with Stonyhurst being the worst offenders in the first half and then Rossall in the second. Ultimately, many attacks were stopped through a penalty infringement rather than a try, player mistake such as knock on or kicking possession away.

However, Rossall's ability to slow the ball down in defence, particularly in the middle of the pitch, and strong ball carrying throughout was key. For Stonyhurst, the U15s have to take confidence from this performance and work hard in training to improve as there is no doubt that progress is being made. Taking nothing away from a strong Rossall performance, it would be fair to say that this match could of ended in a Stonyhurst win and if the players learn from this defeat then there is no more that can be asked of the boys.

U14 won 48-17
Stonyhurst U14s travelled to Rossall determined to get a result after their narrow loss to Bradford Grammar the week before. The intent was clear from the start with  both Max Whatham and Iwan Timmins going over for scores in the opening two minutes. The game settled down but Stonyhurst kept up the pressure with fly half Benedict Rainford also crossing for a try. Rossall struck back with a try of their own but it was Stonyhurst who finished the half in the ascendency with another Whatham try and Tobias Dean adding the extras.

Stonyhurst picked up where they had left off at the start of the second half with Whatham completing his hattrick, Kaito Nwoked scoring on debut and Dean kicking both conversions. Rossall again broke the Stonyhurst defence only for Stonyhurst to respond immediately with a try from Rainford. Whatham completed a fine individual performance with a fourth try and despite a late consolation for Rossall, the game was well and truly won. Final score: 48-17

Rugby v Bradford GS, Saturday 27th September

1st XV won 30-28
As expected this turned out to be really close contest between two evenly matched sides. The Bradford GS pack dominated territory at the start of the game and were rewarded with two early penalties. In reply Stonyhurst scored a couple of impressive long range tries by Victor Keunen and Matthew Tucker to turn around in the lead. Matthew Isola scored a terrific individual try closely followed by Will McLean going over in the corner after another well worked team try. Bradford GS remained in touch with a good try of their own plus another penalty and then in the closing moments of the game scored a further try, and with the touchline conversion went into the lead by one point. With the restart being the last play of the game, Stonyhurst managed to regain the ball and immediately attacked the opposition line. At the ensuing ruck the Bradford defence crept off side and Josh Katz was given the chance to win the game with the last kick of the game. Under pressure the outside half confidently converted the penalty taking Stonyhurst to a  30 -28 victory.

2nd XV lost 10 – 34
An impressive effort by the 2nd XV against a phsically large Bradford GS side. Tries from Jamie Singleton and Alex Tom put Stonyhurst in with a chance but we weremup against a bigger and more talented side. The boys battled really well, displayed bucket loads of spirit and attempted to play running rugby. A fine match to watch.

U16 won 24-5
A fantastic performance by the U16s away from home saw them play some spectacular running rugby as they ran it from all corners of the pitch. An early try from Julian Chin, which rounded off a 90 metre team move, set the tone for the match, but the defence from Stonyhurst deserves a special mention as Bradford enjoyed two huge periods of play where they smashed the Stonyhurst line but it was not breached. Other tries were scored by Chika Nwonka, France W and Dom Styler.
 
U15 lost 50-0
This was always going to be a difficult day at the office for Stonyhurst against an organized Bradford Grammar. Stonyhurst were not helped by a couple of late withdrawals from the side, forcing late positional changes. Stonyhurst struggled to find any rhythm in this match and were made to pay the price by Bradford, who ran out comfortable 50-0 winners. Captain Kwangu Simeza played himself to a standstill with his constant tackling of the opposition. Will Fields and Nmandi tried their very best to slow down the oppositions ball and can be proud of their afternoons efforts.

U14 lost 14-10

Rugby v QEGS Blackburn, Wednesday 24th September

U16 won 48-0
The second time these two sides had met in 2 weeks but with both teams free, a return match was played at Stonyhurst College. QEGS battled throughout and they gave it their all but the Stonyhurst forwards really dominated at the ruck and the backs had improved immensely since the previous week. Tries were scored from all corners of the field, with some fine inter-play between the Stonyhurst forwards and backs. Luke McLaughlin captaind the side magnificently.

1st XV v Holy Cross, Wednesday 24th September (Natwest U18 Cup)

Won 78-0

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