Playing Sedbergh is always the highlight of the season for both schools, and this year's double header was as hard fought and competitive as all the others! Playing SRU laws certainly helped us in some respects, but what pleased me most was our ball retention and the way in which we looked after it, went through phase after phase after phase, testing out the opposition defence, but although we threatened on a number of occasions, we just could not break down their outstanding defensive organisation. We must have had 75% possession, which is an incredible statistic, but we lacked the variation in attack, and were perhaps a bit too one dimensional, running out of ideas which then, eventually, forced the mistake, and handed Sedbergh the ball. We played a bit too much down the middle and the ball never went wide enough where we do have lots of pace, but Sedbergh were up very fast to be fair to them which cut out our options; we kicked a few times in the 2nd half which was a good option, but a bit more variation and nous was required today! It was two tries to nil at half time and we were right in the game with the 2nd Sedbergh try coming in the last play of the half, and although we began the 2nd half really well, up in their 22m and battering the try line, the score just would not come. You have to credit some terrific defensive work from Sedbergh, and they defended really maturely, trusting each other in the tackle and not allowing us the freedom we have enjoyed against Scottish opposition. They had to attack from deep and some strong runners eventually found holes in our own defence, as tiredness crept in after a long week of rugby for this group of boys. Take nothing away from them though, we kept on battling, kept on going back for more and we deserved a bit more than we got.
As always, it was a pleasure to host our friends from Cumbria, and although we did not win, we certainly played with a huge amount of control, energy and spirit but that was enough on this occasion. Both sides certainly knew they had been in a fantastic contest and Mr Harrison, from Fettes, enjoyed blowing the whistle on what was an excellent game of prep school rugby.