The 1st XV captain, Tyler Weekes (Upper Sixth), has written a report on their National Vase semi-final win against Reading Blue Coat School (RBC) below:
“Last Friday, the 1st XV travelled down to Worcester in order to play in the semi-final of the National Vase competition against Reading Blue Coat School. We travelled down the day before so we could have a good training session on Saturday morning before the big game. This worked well for us as we were able to get some good fix-ups and enabled us to grow stronger as a squad.
As we spent the night in the hotel, on Saturday morning we were able to have a nutritious breakfast and discuss all the relevant notes that we have taken, so that we could feel as organised as possible. We travelled into Tewkesbury town where we were able to have our session and then proceeded to get the bus after a spot of lunch down to Sixways Stadium. We got to the stadium fairly early and we were able to scope out Mount St Mary’s College who were playing at the time. Mr Howell proceeded to set up the changing room in order for us to come in and get ourselves prepped for the tough game ahead. With half an hour to go, we were allowed out on the training pitch and the tension was palpable in the squad.
With the help of our supporters and fellow 1st XV teammates Oyedayo Oyerinde (Lower Sixth) and George Pegram (Upper Sixth), we were able to train and warm up effectively. We jogged back to the changing room through the crowd to get ourselves prepped, with a team talk in the changing room, followed by a heartfelt speech from Mr Howell. We were raring to go.
With Old Suttonians and parents cheering us on, the game got underway, with pressure being put on early by an excellent RBC side. The squad was tense for the first ten minutes, rarely getting over the halfway line and not releasing pressure. Some kicks were being charged down and we gave away a few silly penalties, so we knew we needed to get some points on the scoreboard.
With excellent pressure in their 22 from our defence, there was a mistake from the opposition which meant that Jasper Benson (Upper Sixth) and Barnaby Merrett (Lower Sixth) could amp up the pressure to kick through, with Barnaby able to get the ball down meaning we led with a 5-0 lead.
RBC proceeded to kick deep into our half and with an excellent catch from Barnaby so we were able to get some good distance forward. With an unfortunate mistake from the scrum, they were able to get a penalty conversion making the score 5-3. We were then given a good lineout from an excellent kick from Luke Beaumont (Lower Sixth), and I was able to kick the ball to Jasper, where he broke the line and slipped past four defenders, finishing with a fantastic offload to Jacob Ray (Upper Sixth), putting us up by 12 points to three.
Following more play, we were awarded another penalty which gave us an additional three points following a great kick by Luke. We went into half time 15-3 up.
With an excellent execution, Tom Barton (Upper Sixth) was able to get over the line after an excellent offload from Jenson McInulty (Upper Sixth). With a completed conversion, we added another seven points to the board. This followed another great chip by Jasper, allowing Luke to put the ball down and successfully kicked a conversion, adding another seven points.
The final score was 29-8 to SVS, with an excellent performance by all of the players. There has to be special mentions to all the students and Old Suttonians that came to support us, and excellent play by Jasper, Luke and Max Lindsay (Fifth Form) for stepping up. Thank you for all your continued support to the 1st XV. Looking forward to seeing you all at Twickenham!’