Match Report
Royal Hospital School 1st XV vs  Uppingham School
On: Saturday, 09 Sep 2017
Venue: Away

Uppingham were well drilled and deserved the win. RHS played some useful rugby but lacked the pocession and aggression to really cause any problems for the opposition. Thomas Cornock and Xavy Bull demonstrated excellent tackling technique but it was not enough to preve

Away at Uppingham, the 1st XV started their season and the match well with slick handling and good ball retention allowing RHS to control the early phases of the game. Some astute changes of direction saw RHS probe the opposition's defence however Uppingham tackled well and half chances for the 1st XV went begging. When required to defend themselves RHS too looked comfortable with a good work rate and solid tackling. Toby Braybrooke was in commanding form at the back, taking a number of high balls well before looking for gaps in the opposition line. However momentum swung Uppingham's way after an injury to Ben Arulampalam forced him off the field.

The remainder of the first half was almost all Uppingham, as they scored three tries to lead 19-0 at the break. RHS had not been able to build any phases and therefore no pressure, whereas Uppingham had started splintering an increasingly tired RHS defence.

The second half saw RHS display glimpses of their true ability with some fine attacking play. Zac Puckey and Elliot Rayment began to hit lines which stretched the Uppingham defence but the support player they needed on their shoulder was not always on hand. As bodies tired the scanning and decision making became less effective but the team were also facing an impressive Uppingham side who scored two tries in particular which would likely be featured in any 'try of the season' competition.

The team were not helped by further injuries to Mark Johnson and John Wells which required calls to other pitches for reinforcements. That said, the RHS 1st XV deserve credit for sticking to their guns and showing character and resilience. Additionally, with over two thirds of the team making their 1st team debut they will have learned a lot from playing against such an accomplished team and will no doubt get better and better in the coming weeks.

nt the deluge of tries. Billy Amus also had a strong game at scrum half! RHS need to work on the following, if they are to be battle ready for their next fixture:

- Commitment in defence to meet the attack

- Body positions in the contact and at the base of the ruck

- Speed to the breakdown and ruck clearing technique

- Overall game structure