Rugby

Captain's Report - Mark Sherriff

The Scotch/John XIII Cup is an annual event that is looked upon with great excitement, not only by the players but all the spectators who come down to support their side. On 9th June 2014, the Scotch Cup was played on JTC soil, and was reclaimed by John XIII Rugby team. After finishing a rather strong school season off, by reaching the semi-final of the competition, we carried on our intense training sessions in order to get fitter, stronger and better. We wanted to be the best we could be on the day. We wanted to be the first JTC rugby team to go two in a row against Scotch.

The victory would not have been possible without the help from all our coaches. I would like to thank Tim Casey, Matthew Rigby and Joe Kinder for putting aside their spare time to come and help us be the best we can be. I would also like to thank our head coach Christian Golding (Critter) for taking his time to come down from work to help us learn and become better rugby players, it really means a lot to all the boys as we all look up to him as our role model because to us he is not just our coach he is our friend. Without the effort of all these guys we would not be the team we are today. So it is with great pleasure to say that I am proud to have been part of this wonderful culture and with a great bunch of talented players.

Coach's Report - Critter Golding

For many supportive spectators the Scotch Cup started at 4pm on 9th June, however for the 1st XV this journey began in September of 2013.

The players sat down at the start of pre-season and outlined a range of goals and objectives that they wished to attain in the season ahead. The overwhelming priority was clearly the retention of the Scotch Cup. Back to back victories had not been achieved by JTC in its 20 year history, however the boys believed it was time for this to change.

After 9 months of preparations the day came and the boys were clearly focused on the task at hand.

The first ten minutes was an arm wrestle as both teams tested each others' defence, however it was in general play where Will Phillips showed his physical strength to bust the defence and place the ball under the posts. Stefan Geleta, who displayed a perfect day with the boot, successfully converted to see JTC take the lead by 7 points early in the match.

While the "set piece" was a lottery on the day, both teams' defence was strong in this very physical match. It was strength, as demonstrated by big hits from Hamish Donovan and countless attacks on the ball by the likes of Mark Sheriff, that kept the pressure on the Scotch visitors.

Although Jack was dressed as the 'Honey Badger', it was Will who again hunted down the second piece of "meat" for the game; beating a number of players after showing a great turn of speed which ended in a swan dive across the tryline.

At half time, at 14 - 0, the boys were full of spirit and were committed to the final result.

The second half saw the physicality continue with both sides having opportunities however the scores remained unchanged until Conor Corless rammed through a group of defenders scoring our third try.

The boys continued to maintain their discipline and structure for the remainder of the match, holding Scotch scoreless (21 -0) which was another first in its 20 year history.

Before the match we had spoken about the importance of preparation and execution. Although the preparation is important, it is the execution that counts. We compared this to exams as although lead up preparation is vital, if you forget your pencil on the day you can't execute or complete the exam. What we saw on Monday was a squad of players none of whom forgot their pencil and did what they needed to do to get a great result.

The result was a combined effort of players, the College, coaching staff, parents committee and assistants. I'd also like to pay special thanks to those from the College from grades 7-12 that helped the occasion by volunteering as linesmen and ball boys on the day. We look forward to seeing those juniors come through the ranks in the years to come.

Christian "Critter" Golding
Rugby Coach