The Under 11As started their rugby season with a tough opening fixture against St Christopher’s at home. The opposition started the match by kicking the ball into touch which handed possession straight to Copthorne and the boys immediately showed their ability to run strongly and link with their teammates. They held onto the ball through a number of passages of play showing good rucking technique but found themselves to be up against a very impressive and determined defence. When the ball was eventually turned over, St Christopher’s showed their ability to pull our defence out of position and then exploit this by moving the ball swiftly across the pitch. This

enabled them to score early and indeed, set the pattern of play for most of the match. The Copthorne boys did not give up and worked incredibly hard in defence, but found it increasingly difficult to contain a team with real pace and agility. Great tackling by Charlie, Ben C and Luca was particularly noticeable and this produced one

turnover which resulted in a strong run by Ben and a try in the corner. The half-time score was 5-30. The second

half saw Jamie come on to replace Akshay who had also worked hard in the first half, but the same pattern soon emerged. Great potential is very evident in Austin’s play and exciting running skills from Jacob and Sam S will surely produce more tries against other teams, but on this occasion St Christopher’s continued to dominate

possession. Sterling defence from Sam D and Ben B

prevented a number of tries and also provided another turnover ball which allowed Ben C to run through several tacklers for his second try. This was an impressive first performance, despite the final score of 10-45 and bodes well for the rest of the season. HS