Match Report
Shiplake College 1st XV vs  Reading Blue Coat School
On: Saturday, 15 Sep 2018
Venue: at Home

The match started with Reading Blue Coat’s forwards putting early pressure on our boys, which seemed to be the only tactic they brought to the game, but used it very effectively. Shiplake struggled to deal with this and were soon found defending their own try line. After a few tackles were missed and the work rate our boys had been training for all week was not met, Reading Blue Coat soon achieved the first try of the game. Shiplake struggled to gain possession of the ball, and when they had it, they were not clinical. The team became frustrated when a few calls by the referee did not go the way of the home side; these errors were further compounded due to some questionable tackling which soon led to Shiplake losing the ball and Blue Coat scoring another try after missed tackles and poor defending from Shiplake.

After a break in play and while Shiplake rebuilt momentum, Jack Rees was able to run a strong line down the wing, passing the ball back inside to Josh Howard who scored. However, it was immaterial as a penalty try was given moments earlier for a high tackle. This meant that, at half time, the score was 7 - 17. The half did not finish the way we would have liked as Matt Davies was taken off the pitch after a heroic tackle from kick-off which led to him being stretchered off the field. Thankfully, he is fine, but a bit bruised.

Shiplake started the second half a lot better, putting Blue Coat under pressure in their own 5m but unfortunately failing to make it over the whitewash. The pressure kept building but soon a lack of physicality was shown after Blue Coat returned to the ‘route one’ rugby they had utilised to good effect in the first half. They extended their lead with a try on the right hand side, pushing the score further out of reach: 7-24. Shiplake then returned with a wonder line down the middle of the field from Matty Fitzgerald who was stopped before the line and popped the ball to Oli Heap who carried the ball, which then set Matt Dalrymple up for a cross kick that with a bounce that landed for Harry Holmes to score. Shiplake could not regain the score leaving it at 14- 27 to Bluecoat.

Thank you very much to everyone who came out and support the boys for the game. The 1st XV were very disappointed not to deliver what they wanted, but still learned lots. Next up are Caterham School on Saturday 22 September at 2.30pm.