In early October, the Year 7 boys’ rugby team had their first competitive fixture of the season against St Thomas More Blaydon A and B. With all 3 teams containing a wide range of abilities and experience, the games were a good chance for all those involved to increase their confidence and develop both individually and collectively. In the first game against St Thomas More A, the boys struggled initially, conceding possession too easily in the tackle and conceded two quick tries. St Mary’s players were terrific in the tackle and were strong defensively for large parts of the game. Toby Thorpe, Corben Dodds and Alistair Craggs were all outstanding, making tackle after tackle to push back the St Thomas More attack. The game was very even in many areas, but the inexperience in the ruck area of the St Mary’s team meant that they were constantly on the back foot. St Thomas More ran in two more tries before half time to make the score 4-0. The second half was much more even, with the whole team making a much better effort at the breakdown. Another try for St Thomas More was answered with a strong run from Alistair Craggs, making excellent ground to dive over in the corner to make the final score 5-1.
In the second game, St Mary’s were much more confident and the game was much more even as a result. Tomas Souza and Sam Brooks began to have much more influence over the game and started to distribute the ball very effectively. Noah Mellett, Callum Duncan and Andrew Dagg did a great job in the ruck area, resulting in St Mary’s having many more opportunities to attack. Sam Brooks powered over to give St Mary’s the lead, but St Thomas More quickly replied to make the score 1-1. Both teams had opportunities in the final minutes of the game, but were unable to cross the line, with the game finishing in a draw, a fair result.
All in all, this was a really positive start for the Year 7 boys’ rugby team. Player of the match was Alistair Craggs, who showed excellent commitment in defence and was brilliant with the ball going forwards, fully deserving his score. Congratulations also go to the rest of the team: Tomas Souza Monteiro (captain), Sam Brooks, Toby Thorpe, Callum Duncan, Billy Crawford, Oliver Cass, James Quinn, Leo Gray, Corben Dodds, Alan Acho, Andrew Dagg, Finn Koeppl, Noah Mellett, Alistair Craggs, Hayden McDermott, Zain Hussain