Match Report
Reading Blue Coat School Boys-U14A vs  Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood
On: Tuesday, 07 Nov 2023
Venue: Away

The players faced a lengthy afternoon, caught between the thrill of the upcoming floodlit fixture and the pressure of completing their homework. There was palpable anticipation running through the squad. Arriving with plenty of time the atmosphere quickly shifted as they had the chance to observe the C team in action from the stands. For the initial 15 minutes of the match, the crowd was filled with cheers and songs as they wholeheartedly supported the other team.

Nonetheless, the team soon refocused on their own task at hand. They started the warm-up with a somewhat messy beginning, having not played together for several weeks. However, they quickly regrouped and began to find their rhythm. The match commenced with RBCS kicking off, and from the first play, it was evident that they were facing a well-drilled opponent. Merchant Taylor's demonstrated their prowess with a few early tries, effectively utilizing their talented fly-half and exploiting the wide expanse of the field. RBCS, not accustomed to such a wide pitch, played narrowly, which played to MTC's strengths.

Twelve minutes in, the tides began to shift, and RBCS established a presence in the opposing team's defensive quarter. Despite wave after wave of powerful runners, both through the middle and out wide, RBC couldn't find a breakthrough and ended the half trailing 14-0.

The second half started similarly, with a couple of early tries originating from wide plays and a few unfortunate bounces going in favor of the opponents. However, this did not deter the RBCS team. A few substitutions were made, injecting fresh legs and renewed determination, leading to sustained pressure in the opponent's half. With seconds left, RBCS faced a critical decision, whether to kick for goal and secure some points or mount one last determined push towards the goal line. They chose the latter, albeit losing the ball just shy of the try line. This epitomized their resilient performance, never giving up and fighting until the very last minute against a highly organized opponent. Congratulations to all for their unwavering efforts.

Special mention goes to the relentless Oli, who led the tackle count for the match, closely followed by Max and Thom. Thom led the team by example, delivering exceptional plays with outstanding carries and a series of crucial tackles, earning him the nomination for "Play of the Night."