Well what a season it has been!
This team of highly talented individuals achieved what no other team had done before them at KES by reaching the final of our annual South West Tournament.
They did this by winning all their pool games including an excellent team effort against a very good St Joseph’s side who were tipped to win the whole tournament!
They lost in the final 7-14 to a penalty try in the last minute; this was not a season for the faint hearted!
Impressive victories against BWS, Reading and Churchers were respites in between one score losses to very good St George’s, Cranleigh and Magdalen teams. These were all played out with maximum conviction with good tackling being a key part in competing against strong runners. The only downside was a loss to HCS where lessons were learnt and the team responded well.
The Daily Mail Cup provided the focal point and the team again managed to go further than any other previous KES team beating a very good Lord Wandsworth 19-7 in a mud bath at Wellington. Next, we faced an excellent Blundells Team who were shocked to find themselves going out of the competition when the last whistle was blown. The agony of conceding the final try was plain to see on all their faces but the performance overall was a truly memorable one. The last game of the season was against the arch rival PGS who they had never beaten. Again it went down to the last play but this time a break away and score saw the KES team end the season on a well-deserved high 25-21.
It would be very difficult to pick out any players in front of any others but Sam Webb with half backs Theo Pritchard and Ed Connolly were very influential. The scrummaging and rucking of the pack was excellent led by the pack leader Ben Thorne and their superior fitness was the difference on a number of occasions. The backs were excellent in defence and have started to use their impressive hands and speed to beat opponents as epitomised by Charlie Bolton and Harry Johnston on more than one occasion. However, I must stress that this was a team and squad effort, led well by Oscar Birnie with all players being fully trusted by each other to tackle, ruck and run straight lines. This was the key to so much of their success.