Sport at KES

U13 Report

The 2012 Under 13 rugby season was a challenging one but the team continued to progress and demonstrated excellent character and resolve during some difficult times.

The season got off to a very bad start when the Captain, Guy Ripper, suffered a knee injury that would rule him out of the entire season. Guy had been one of the ‘players of the season’ during the U12 campaign and his absence was noticeable throughout. Jacob Fay did an excellent job of stepping up to the mark and taking over and he led by example and was the creative playmaker of our young side; running both the offensive and defensive aspects of the game from the fly-half position. The team was also hit by another injury, this time to full-back Zak Cooper. In addition, Matthew Whitehead’s ferocious tackling was missed on occasions as his tennis commitments meant he could not play in some important games.

However, in spite of these setbacks, opportunities for new players arose and none took more advantage of this than Oscar Shaheen, who came into the side for the first time. His pace and physicality were very impressive and he remains a great prospect for the future. Dylan Chatterley also improved his performances considerably this season. His contributions to rucks and mauls were invaluable and he proved himself to be the ‘player of the season’.

The U13 side may have lost more games than it won, but the improvement in the standard of rugby was clear to everyone who watched. At times the quick ball and running rugby was spectacular. Will Thompson, Ollie Viant and Alex Shadbolt all deserve credit for spreading the ball wide and using pace to run at the opposition whenever possible.

The team suffered from a lack of consistency. At times they were brilliant; organised and focused. There were occasions however when the concentration waned; the tackles went high and they were behind the pace of the game. It was pleasing to see that these fluctuations in performance became fewer as the season progressed and consistency should be a main focus for this team next year.

The Under 13 side also had several B team fixtures this season and they enjoyed a majority of wins. The moment of the season for me came during the defeat to Magdalen College, Oxford. The opposition were simply bigger and better than us and they won comfortably. However, the KES side never gave up, never let their heads drop and they fought Magdalen right to the final whistle. Any side can introduce big players that will dominate, skills can be drilled and learnt but the character that our players demonstrated on that Saturday morning cannot be taught. It is within every one of them to never give up and this is very promising for the future.

My thanks go out to every one of the players that represented the School for the under 13s during the 2012 season and they all deserve to be proud of themselves.

Mr Tesseyman