Year 10/11 Rugby Storm into Dorset & Wilts Semi-Final
After a well earned gap, the Purbeck year 10/11 team were drawn against Budmouth School in the quarter-final of the Dorset and Wilts Rugby Cup competition. Being the only two state schools left in the competition, this was a vast achievement in itself, with the winner of Bryanston or Canford awaiting in the semi-final.
Purbeck started strongly working the ball up the middle of the pitch with the forwards drawing in defenders. The ball was eventually passed quickly down the line to George Crouch who stepped his winger to then beat three men to score under the posts. This was successfully converted by Lewis Peters. After a deep restart, Purbeck found themselves under the cosh and defending their own line. After some valiant defending, driving the opposition back towards the half way line, the Budmouth fly half made a break to offload to their gigantic winger to score. 7-7. The rest of the first half was very evenly matched with both teams having chances and forcing mistakes through turnovers. In the last play of the first half Purbeck turned on the style. After a good break and offload from Ollie Griffiths-Hughes, Tom Holland made some ground down the right hand touch line. The forwards then rumbled the ball forwards until eventually a penalty was given for offside. Tom Holland used his initiative and tapped quickly to pop the ball to Ben Hann at pass who boshed the ball over the line with the assistance of Freddie Edge and Arron Harvey driving him through the contact. Half time 12-7.
The second half was an extremely tense affair with the wind howling alongside some extremely dubious officiating decisions. Purbeck started on the front foot but failed to turn pressure into points. Purbeck then soaked a lot of pressure in their own 22 showing outstanding resilience to keep tackling and getting to feet. After conceding numerous ‘penalties’ for some marginal infringements, eventually Budmouth bundled over under the posts. With a strike of luck though, Budmouth missed the resulting conversion directly in front of the posts. 12-12. At this point in the game, this showed what the Purbeck boys were really made of. From the restart the boys were camped in the opposition 22, however despite constantly knocking on the door they didn’t pick up any points. Eventually Budmouth cleared the ball down the pitch straight to Lewis Knapman who with the supporting George Crouch made 50m up the pitch. From the resulting ruck the ever present Ben Hann took a crash ball to score with an outstretched arm. The conversion was successfully kicked by Lewis Peters. 19-12. After some ferocious tackling, Purbeck then turned the ball over and broke with George Collington-Booth who won us a penalty in front of the posts. Lewis Peters then took control and slotted the three points putting Purbeck 10 points up with about ten minutes to go. Purbeck were then put under the cosh massively due to some very poor refereeing decisions. Purbeck were marched back in total 30m for one infringement, meaning they were defending their own line. Resultantly Budmouth then scored despite dropping the ball over the line. The conversion was successful which meant with two minutes to go Purbeck were up by only three points. The last two minutes was the best beat of grit, perseverance and hardness I have ever seen from a Purbeck team. Through channelled assertion they kept tackling and knocking Budmouth back with a wall of red and back. Eventually the knock on was forced and Purbeck kicked the ball out to win the game.
To say Mr Hunt and I were proud of each and everyone of the boys is the understatement of the year. They were outstanding all afternoon and to be the only state school left in the competition across two counties is an incredible achievement. Paul Nelson, Shane Page and Sam Weld must also get a special mention as due to numerous players dropping out for various reasons, they stepped up to the plate and performed valiantly. Bring on the Semi-Final next week!
Mr Tarbard & Mr Hunt