Match Report
Berkhamsted School Boys-U15D vs  St Paul's School Boys-U15E
On: Saturday, 21 Nov 2015
Venue: Away

The U15D suffered a disappointing 10-24 defeat at the hands of St Paul’s. The opposition started the game with fourteen players and, as the match progressed, their numbers were further reduced due to injuries in the A / B / C teams meaning D team players were being moved up to different games. As a result, while the St Paul’s players were physically bigger and stronger than the Berkhamsted team, the advantage of numbers should have given us a great chance of victory.

St Paul’s scored an early try but, within minutes, Sam Spencer did well to read an optimistic pass between the St Paul’s centres, intercepting and running in under the posts. Sadly, this was about the only error that the St Paul’s team made in the match. Their tackling was relentless and effective, and the Berkhamsted team were constantly thwarted by the speed with which the opposition closed them down.

17-5 down at half-time, Berkhamsted (now playing 14 of us vs. 11 of them) started the second half well with an early try to reduce the deficit to just one converted try. Had our boys been able to follow the half-time instructions of making the most of the overlaps that would constantly materialise due to their numeric advantage, they could (and should) have gone on to win the match. Sadly, the boys consistently over-committed players to rucks, reducing the overlap in the backs and, even once they did get good possession with men over, invariably a pass was dropped before the ball could arrive with the wingers.

All credit to the St Paul’s side, whose teamwork and tackling were outstanding. They deserved the win, but credit must go to a number of the Berkhamsted boys as well – notably Michael Welsh and Henry Kergon, who tackled like tigers – who put everything into the game in very cold and wet conditions.