Belhaven Hill School

Co-ed Boarding & Day School for ages 5-13

Boys' Rugby: U11A v Ardvreck

Boys' Rugby: U11A v Ardvreck

Opponents:   Ardvreck
Date:               Saturday, 9th November
Time:              2.30pm
Venue:            Belhaven Hill

It was another home game for the U11As on Saturday, this time hosting Ardvreck in clear but very cold conditions – fortunately the frost from the morning had melted but it certainly didn’t feel much above freezing.

Having played Ardvreck a couple of times already this season, either in tournaments or friendlies, we were confident that we could get a good result and though the final score leaned heavily in our favour, it belies just what a good contest this was.

Ardvreck, as guests, got the tap 'n pass to start proceedings but the ball was very quickly turned over and a few phases and passes later, found its way to George on the wing who went speeding down the line to score in the second minute which was a super start for Belhaven.

The visitors were not cowed, however, and within a minute they had responded with a try of their own and then, a minute later, we had a second! Mad. Things settled down somewhat after that as the two teams started to concentrate more and get on with the hard graft of a rugby match. Ardvreck had some aggressive, strong runners and a number of boys who tackled well but we countered that with dominance at the breakdown and some brilliant passing to get the ball into the wide channels. Our tackling was also very impressive, Henry doing a lot of work in this area. Javier too, returning to the A team, had a good first half and was rewarded with a couple of tries.

In total, eight tries were scored in the first twenty minutes, five by Belhaven but each one had to be earned.

Belhaven began to get the upper hand in the second half as Ardvreck tired (or froze?) and despite the ref (me) favouring the visitors somewhat, the Belhaven defensive structure was well organised and rock solid. James, Saul, and Hugo certainly led the tackle count but the other boys also did well. There were some brilliant periods of play with Beetle making a great run, George scoring another good try out wide, James Kolbied* a few players and scored a trio (not a typo) and Josh marshalled his troops well.

Though we scored five tries to one by Ardvreck in the half, they showed great spirit and never really gave up; indeed, it was only some brilliant last ditch tackling that kept them from scoring on a couple of times.

Overall, I was very pleased with much of the team’s play today – their structure in defence was mostly very good, tackling was strong, rucking aggressive and quick, passing sublime at times. Strangely, the boys were rather downbeat for much of the second half which was the only disappointing element. Partly, I believe they felt aggrieved that the referee (still me) let some calls against the opposition go but they have been told that if we are dominant, that will happen and they need to learn to forget the ref and just play. Our targets for every match are to: have fun; give everything; represent the school with pride; play in such a way that those watching leave impressed and play the game hard but in the right, positive spirit. In a tough, painful, exhausting, sometimes scary sport such as rugby, it can be difficult to sustain the positive spirit and we still need to work on that. We’ll get there.

Belhaven 10 - 4  Ardvreck

MOTM: Saul’s effort was impressive today.

*A new word has entered the rugby lexicon. As a verb, to Kolbe someone is to sidestep or dodge them, leaving them befuddled, looking somewhat foolish, or even on their backside (much like Owen Farrell in the RWC final). For example, “Did you see me Kolbe that boy, sir?”