Ipswich U15s are the Beasts from The East as they win four team tournament in Richmond
By David Woods
The boys made the coaches and parents proud to be Ipswich Rugby Club. Their behaviour on tour from start to finish was exemplary. They showed friendship and respect to each other and everyone they met. London Scottish were proud to host them. On Sunday th
Ipswich U15 Tour Report 2019
Ipswich Rugby Club Under 15’s returned to West London for their 2019 tour. A weekend of events including pre-match lunch hosted by London Scottish, before watching them play Yorkshire Carnegie and a four-team tournament at Richmond on the Sunday. Last years tour was disrupted by the ‘Beast from the East’. This year, the beast from the east were our U15 team …. read on!
The weekend could not have started better. We timed our leaving HDL to make sure we got past Wembley during the match to avoid traffic from the England football fans. We drove past the lit-up arch just before half time as Harry Kane slotted his Penalty away.
Arriving at the hotel it was a quick check in and off to find the bar (which as we had been there last year and it had not moved, was not too hard.)
Saturday morning was a relaxed breakfast buffet, before the advanced party set-off to ‘check out the route’ to Richmond. Dave was route-master and had identified a couple of stops for those who could not make it all the way without rest. He was horrified when the good men following him disappeared into the first hostelry on route. All attempts by Dave to resign were rejected, and to the party’s delight, after a couple of refills, he marched on to the next pub, a total distance of 160 yards! Looking over the Thames, ‘One over the Ait’ was a fine place to stock up for the rest of the journey ahead.
Meanwhile back at the hotel, the boys were relaxing in the pool, and the remaining responsible adults got them onto the coach and headed for London Scottish.
We took in the pre-match hospitality and were warmly welcomed by both London Scottish and Yorkshire officials, as we enjoyed good food and great speeches. Former British Lion Paul Burnell, now President of London Scottish, gave us a special welcome and talked about his club’s long history. Perter Jordan, Honourable Coach and Future President, presented Paul with an Ipswich Rugby plaque, and gave a short speech. Most memorable of that speech being Peter applauding London Scottish for being 141 years old this year, whilst pointing out that Ipswich had already been playing for 8 years before Scottish was formed!
Onto the game, and the boys formed a Guard of Honour, as the players ran out onto the pitch, looking really smart in their tour hoodies. The following 80 minutes of action requires few words, as London Scottish were outplayed by Yorkshire, and our attention was firmly focussed on the messages coming through from Michelle about the 15 try-fest that was happening at HDL – thanks and congrats boys.
As the game ended and the pitch cleared, our boys ran out onto the pitch and organised themselves into two teams and played a 30 minute game of touch – great to see and commended by the London Scottish officials.
Back to the hotel, for more food and drink, and the traditional quiz. Richard tried his best to keep control and tested our fading brain cells to the limit. A table won, a table lost and the other tables were close. Great fun and then an early night to prepare for the tournament on Sunday.
Sunday saw us returning to Richmond for a four-team tournament against Richmond & London Welsh Barbarian side, Old Emanuel and Camberley. Richmond had visited us previously and would provide strong opposition. They had told us Old Emanuel were even stronger having a team containing 5 Harlequins academy players.
Under blue sky and glorious sunshine, the boys lined up for the opener against Camberley. The boys started superbly, on it from the first minute, with strong defence keeping Camberley out and tries from Tom White (2) and Eli Govindasamy giving us a fine win.
A sign of the toughness of the match and the hardening pitch perhaps was that after just 5 minutes Ayrton Seabrook’s boots fell to pieces.
One fantastic move that almost ended in a try, involved almost all of the team, turning over possession, feeding down the line to Sam Donnelly who put in a 50m cross-field kick that only just eluded Josh Ball on the other wing.
CAMBERLEY 0 – 17 IPSWICH
The second game saw us take on our hosts, Richmond & London Welsh Barbarians. For the first ten minutes or so the guys looked as if they were still celebrating the first win, and were not quite on it, as Richmond & London Welsh took the lead. However, inspired by Tom and Adam with big tackles that cleaned out the opposition and half of the U15 parents on the touchline, and Adam driving their big number 10 back 15m the boys started to play and tries from Jack Cottrell, Eli and Ryan enabled Ipswich to get ahead just in the final minutes of the game. Of particular note on Eli’s try was the way he hurdled a Richmond player on the half way line before beating a number of other players on the way to the try line.
RICHMOND & LONDON WELSH BARBARIANS 14 – 17 IPSWICH
So, to the final match against Old Emanuel, who had also won both of their previous games. A hard game was expected and a hard-fought game it was. High commitment from both sides in the first 15 minutes saw tempers flare occasionally and the referee doing a good job in calming the players down. It was a game with little being given on both sides as the forwards battled for ball and possession. Finally, the deadlock was broken as the Ipswich forwards gained and kept possession, with strong breaks moving the ball into Emanuel’s half. Freddie Bolton fed the ball out to the right, quick hands moving out to Sam Donnelly, who with a magical side-step, threw the Emanuel defence the wrong way and opened a gap that he sprinted through to score under the posts. Sam converted the try.
Old Emanuel stormed forward, the Ipswich defence was coming under increasing pressure, but standing firm, until with just three minutes to go, the Emanuel pack pushed over the line, and despite protests from Ipswich about the ball not being grounded, the referee gave the try. With the try being scored just 5m from the right-hand post, it looked one of the easier conversions, but it was pulled right and Ipswich retained their lead. The final three minutes could have seen Emanuel threatening again, but this Ipswich U15 team have matured and they not only stood up to them, they pushed them back, retained possession and saw the final minutes out with any real panic. When the final whistle blew, the boys jumped in the air, charged together, subs running on to join them, and burst out into a chorus of ‘lads on tour’. In that moment you could see what it meant to each boy, all from different backgrounds with different skills and capabilities, all coming together to celebrate as one, joyous together, one team together.
A fantastic job by coaches Peter Jordan and Reuben Bolton to see the boys through to this moment.
OLD EMANUEL 5-7 IPSWICH
IPSWICH RUGBY CLUB WIN THE TOURNAMENT
Post-match food and drinks followed, before a presentation on the pitch with great plaudits coming from the opposing teams on our rugby and the boy’s character. Then it was off to the coach for the journey back to Ipswich, the boys battered and bruised, but everyone smiling or sleeping.
The boys made the coaches and parents proud to be Ipswich Rugby Club. Their behaviour on tour from start to finish was exemplary. They showed friendship and respect to each other and everyone they met. London Scottish were proud to host them. On Sunday their performance met the highest expectation with each boy giving their all for the team, going unbeaten against very strong teams and getting the result they deserved.
The tour went like clockwork, Richard White making sure that we were very well organised and catered for, thanks Richard.
Roll on 2020!