King's Worcester

24 October

King’s Defence Holds Firm to Regain The Modus Cup

Worcester Warriors last night described The King’s, Worcester side as “having a ferocious defence, which proved decisive in a fast and furious affair.” King’s took a firm grip on the match and achieved a 22-7 victory over RGS Worcester in The Modus Cup Challenge at Sixways.

King’s were determined to make amends and regain the trophy from RGS after a two-year gap. Despite the damp conditions, the stadium, as usual, attracted a large crowd of over 3,200, who provided a vibrant and energising atmosphere.

The King’s team provided an evening to remember. They were accurate in attack, taking a firm grip on the match from the outset with two tries in a 12-minute period either side of half time and continuing to lead the game 0-15 right up until the sixty-fifth minute.

The match report provides a great read:

King’s left-wing Alex L scored the first after he latched onto a deft grubber kick through the RGS defence from Ollie B and dotted down on the stroke of half-time.

King’s were then awarded a penalty try when RGS collapsed a driving maul under pressure.

RGS had their opportunities but were unable to convert periods of pressure into points. The organisation of King’s defence frustrated RGS who also made life difficult for themselves with untidy work at attacking lineouts.

King’s were given an early lead when centre Owen P banged over a second minute penalty and his RGS counterpart James M missed an opportunity to level when he was off target midway through the half. That was all that split two evenly-matched sides until the last minute of the half when Ollie B showed great awareness and touch in tricky conditions to poke the ball through to Alex L who had tested RGS with a couple of teasing runs, and was finally able to nip in for the opening try.

While the first try was down to brilliance from the backs this second was all about pack power.

After they were awarded the penalty try King’s had to soak up more pressure but their defence held firm close to the line when RGS battered away without reward.

Facing a 15-point deficit RGS had it all do but they refused to give in as midfield duo James M and Flynn V spearheaded several attacks. RGS’s persistence eventually paid off when Tim H did brilliantly to kick the ball through to James A who was stopped short following a fantastic cover tackle. RGS then recycled the ball and Joseph M finished under the posts. A quickly-taken James M conversion got RGS within seven points of King’s School.

King’s were not finished. Centre Willem H put the seal on the victory when he went on an arcing run which took him through a tired defence in injury time for a superb try that Ollie B converted.

Jonny Mason, Director of Sport at King’s Worcester said “The team have worked so incredibly hard this term to ensure that they are at the peak of fitness. With the support of our Athlete Development programme and our new Assistant Director of Sport Adrian Ford, they have gone over and above to put in extra hours. Their strength, passion and determination to succeed as one team has really paid off.

Adrian Ford, who also oversees rugby at King’s, has been working closely with the team over the past couple of months to prepare them both physically and mentally for the pressures of this high-profile game.

“When you have lost two years in a row you are desperate not to make it three,” he said. “Even when we were a man down, we managed to keep the pressure on in the set-piece and just kept calm which was important on a night like this. We put a lot of pressure on their lineout which gave us a lot of ball and we took our opportunities when they came. The set-piece was key to winning.”

Following a celebration in assembly this morning the team took great pride in returning the trophy to the cabinet.  When asked to reflect on the experience, Team Captain, Hamish Stigant said: “Obviously it’s an amazing experience for all the boys, but to come away with the result we wanted was a great feeling. The squad have worked really hard so far this season and I’m proud we managed to put our best onto the pitch on such a big occasion.”

The match highlights an impressive run of rugby at King’s with teams across all age groups performing to a high standard and securing a fantastic track record of successes. The increased focus on resilience and team play has delivered King’s victories in all 10 fixtures played this year against our local rival, RGS.

0-3: Owen P (King’s) penalty, 4mins.

0-8: Alex L (King’s) try, 34mins.

Half-time: Royal Grammar School 0-8 King’s School.

0-15: Penalty try (King’s School), 46mins.

5-15: Joseph M (RGS) try, 65mins.

7-15: James M (RGS) conv, 66mins.

7-20: Willem H (King’s) try, 69mins.

7-22: Ollie B (King’s) conv, 70mins.

King’s School, Worcester | 15 Aston C, 14 Archie P, 13 Willem H, 12 Owen P, 11 Alex L, 10 Ollie B, 9 Tom O, 1 Joe Ri 2 George M, 3 Matt D, 4 Jack C, 5 Charlie F, 6 Ben W, 7 Matt W, 8 Hamish S (C).

Replacements | Louis H, Jack B, Alex T, Sam B, Josh R, Joe A, Ben H.

All photos are credited to Chris Ham Photography and can be purchased online: www.chrishamphotography.co.uk