Match Report
Royal Hospital School 1st XV vs  Campion School, Essex
On: Saturday, 30 Sep 2017
Venue: at Home

After a strong win last week the hope was that the 1st XV could build on their improving form against a much vaunted Campion side. The early passages of play highlighted the hard running of the opposition team as they made ground despite some good defence by RHS. Just like last week it was the away side who scored first. Some excellent last ditch tackling seemed to have thwarted Campion but a well executed cross field kick was gathered by their winger and he scored out wide (0-5). RHS showed much promise with ball in hand and Jordan Milburn and Hamish Comonte almost created a couple of half chances. The pressure soon told after a strong run by Zac Puckey and deft handling by the backs saw Toby Okechukwu break a couple of tackles to speed away to score (converted by Toby Rufles): 7-5. A physical encounter ensued with both teams mixing strong tackling with attacking intent. However the brilliant defence of last week was found wanting for periods of this game as Campion made some holes in the midfield and the kick chase proved less effective than in previous games. This saw Campion score two further tries in the half, with the final one being on the stroke of half time as one player was allowed to break too many tackles to score.

Facing a 7-19 deficit would require an immense second half. To the credit of the RHS 1st XV they did not concede another point as the defensive effort improved. However inaccuracies at the set piece and some unforced errors meant that the attack became very disjointed. Despite looking dangerous with ball in hand, the RHS side did not have the ball for long enough periods to really trouble Campion. That said, the tempo was raised and this saw RHS look far more dangerous. With time running down Toby Lee (who had a very impressive game in the loose) scored an excellent try after stepping past a number of would be tacklers. The conversion attempt drifted wide but RHS were back in the game (12-19) with 5 minutes to play. The home said gave their all but some more unforced errors saw Campion hang on to claim the spoils.

There is no disgrace in losing to a good side like Campion but the boys were left with the feeling of what could have been if they had played with a more clinical edge. But if they learn the key lessons from this loss it could prove a seminal moment as they prepare for Oundle in the Cup and beyond.