Match Report
Radley College Boys-U14A vs  Abingdon School
On: Saturday, 11 Nov 2023
Venue: Away

After a good performance against Harrow, it was important to press the refocus button, so we have continued to work the squad hard in training this week; the emphasis being on tackle technique, shape in defence, attacking phase play options and some improvisation off set piece play. The squad tested these skills in a controlled practice v JC1 on Friday afternoon, showing some aptitude for what we are asking them to achieve.

The team woke to a beautiful fresh day, perfect for playing for rugby and after a good team breakfast, worked their way through their lessons before boarding the coach to Abingdon. This was our first away game for a little while so we were expecting a little disruption to our pre match routine. We shortened the warm up focus on what we had covered this week and were then into the tick of it. Abingdon were typically determined, with a spread of high quality players spread throughout their team. As such, there was little between the two teams in size and athleticism with some very impressive athletes making up the Abingdon XV. Radley were more clinical at the breakdown and strung together phase after phase of quality ball. Abingdon defended brilliantly but Radley had too much variety in their play for Abingdon to be able to always guess correctly in defence. Radley scored three first half tries. Heavy carrying from Sundavadra, Brown and Pryde set the tone for this. Bremner pulled the strings well and King at fullback provided quality when we were kicked to and classy composure when standing in at 10 on the short side. At half time it was 17-0.

Hargreaves was immense in the second half. His kick off returns were superb. Wickens was busy and clever in everything he did. Johnstone is simply superb in his determination to get better; in terms of progress no one has listened better and worked so hard on his simple skills. Carter Shaw made yard after yard for his team and debutant Newbury showed pace and skill in all of his contributions. The net result was some quality rugby. Abingdon were superb in their character, but Radley were on a roll and played with such good variation that a tiring defence had few answers and Radley ran out 46-0 winners. Hoar and Bayly, two workhorses of the XV deserved more credit than most - it is this type of player that very good sides are built upon.

They key going forward will be that these players keep working hard on their individual skills, fitness and understanding of what makes a good team member.