Raglan Rhinos Steam Ahead!

Sports Journalists

On the windy afternoon of friday the 18th, the Raglan tag rugby team entered a tournament with high hopes,and they achieved them. During the group stages, the rhinos faced the intimidating opponents who were Saint Edmunds primary school. The team had their mindset to win the game,they had to focus…

The team started their first match well, with Sean making a few runs and Freddy with accurate passes, it look good.  Until the opposition intercepted one our great throws and sped past, with Alfie H catching up, he made a cheeky pass to get to the try line.  1:0 to st Edmunds.  The team were determined to gain a try,and soon they did. Freddy had passed to Jonathan,  who ran with the ball until he had to stop,he was surrounded.   Without hesitation, he caught a glimpse of Freddy ambling across the wing,with a great pass,Freddy received the ball and sprinted to the try line to make it 1:1.  The halftime whistle was approaching menacingly,  their was a relentless urge to win back the lead by chase side, they were at one point enraged and unstoppable,we couldn’t hold them back.  They kept running and tagging our players before they even knew it.With a lucky back pass,the opposition had made a breakthrough and reducing the distance from the ball to Raglans try line rapidly.  Sean had just about caught hold of the tag but it was too late, he had already passed the tryline.  2:1 to st Edmunds,and then the whistle blew.  The Rhinos were just trailing behind,they knew they could take the lead.

Straight from the start of the second half, the team recognised a weakness, they couldn’t keep up with Sean.  The Rhinos knew how they could equalize and even win. From then on,  every opportunity to give the ball to Sean they had they would.  This formula proved successful as Isobelle passed it to Chloe,who later lobbed the ball to Sean.He saw the wing was open and dashed towards the tryline.  Only three players stood between Sean and try. Focussed on his target, he sped past all three to make it 2:2 they weren’t stopping there though,  but neither were Saint Edmunds. Tired and worn out,  both teams were determined  to gain the lead in the final 2 minutes. Unfortunately,  it was St Edmunds who took the lead again!!! They ran straight down the middle, maneuvering past the Rhinos tackles to make it 3:2 to st Edmunds.   Disbelief lay in the dampened air,  every time Raglan equalized saint Edmunds would retake the lead, they came to realize that one last push could make the difference between going home or staying in the tournament. Both Freddy and Sean made good runs but the defence was solid and strong.  Finally in the last moments of the game, Kevin intercepted the ball and passed to Sean who bolted to the tryline. He made it 3-3 with the final play of the game.

 

Their second match was against the blue and whites of St. James.  As the match started St. James surprisingly scored inside 10 seconds. Before long St James went 2-0 up after taking advantage of some poor Rhinos defending.   Just before half time, Sean made an incredible run to score Raglan’s first try and get the Rhinos back in the game. The halftime score is 2-1. The second half of the game started. In no time, Sean made another spectacular run and equalised for the Rhinos. 2-2. The opposition made a quick response and scored  right after Sean to make it 3-2,. Raglan never gave up. With only moments to go the Freddie, Emeka and Isobelle made some great passes and in the last moment of the game the ball was passed to Sean who scored again to make 3-3!

Raglan’s third match was against played Eversley who had a yellow kit. Alfie started the match and passed the ball to Sean but Eversley defended well.   Jonathan, Alfie and Freddie were proving almost impossible to get past and Kevin made an incredible pass to Sean to score the Rhinos first try. A while later, the yellows somehow gets past the defence and scores. Raglan doesn't hesitate and scores again. The half ends.  2-1.  As the second half begins, Eversley improved and scored to make it 2-2, but the Rhinos didn’t give up and Alfie went on to score the winner with an excellent try. 3-2 to raglan!

Whilst the mud thickened on the st Ignatius pitch, the mighty Raglan Rhinos entered their final match of the group stage, know they had to win to qualify for the Semi Final.  This game was against Chase side Primary school.  The team knew the specific tactics to win,so their tried their hardest to do so…

The game was tremendous,Raglan had already got on the offensive side of the game.  Freddie made short but efficient passes throughout and soon it was him who had changed the game.  From a great pass by Chloe, Freddie decided to run with the ball and it paid off. He fooled two defenders and was within arms reach of the tryline.From out of nowhere, a hand appeared frighteningly close to his tag,he doged the defenders hand and scored the try,  Raglan were 1 nil up within 2 minutes of play.  Straight from the middle,Chase saw a hole in the defence and took the opportunity well.  They sprinted past our defenders like they weren’t even there, and threw the ball down to make it 1:1.   The rhinos were still dominating the game.The halftime whistle had almost come,there was a rush for a try on both accounts but only raglan succeeded. Chase side’s passing was lousy and slow,  it was only a matter of time before they were intercepted.Izzy had noticed this and went in for the interception,she grabbed the ball and paced to the tryline,no defenders had caught up,it was like she had a surge of power.  This knocked Chase’s confidence,and soon they made another mistake.Whilst playing defensive,they threw it too high,Omeka’s arm reached out and clutched down to her chest and used up all her energy to get to the tryline within the 10 seconds left before the halftime whistle came.Fortunetly,she just made it,with 3 seconds to go.Chase became of annoyance among eachother as the whistle blew,they were frustrated and irritated,but it was only going to grow. (4:1)

Raglan started the second half just as greatly as the first. Sean tagged the opposition several times before actually receiving the ball.He ran across the pitch,evading the defenders as he wanted a clean try,without tag-loss or possession loss.This he took with ease as he had the most pace on the pitch,he ran to the tryline and scored,with a cheeky grin on his tired face.Chase side really needed to change their strategy,if not then it would be a 10:4 batering.That is exactly what they did.Firstly,they upped the level of defence,and it proved useful.They were like a huge brick wall,we couldn’t pierce it,they could pierce it ours though.Kevin went to tag the player he ran passed and got the try.Alfie took possession as the game progressed into the final 2 miuetes.He lobbed the ball straight down the line to Freddy,who sped into a circle of defenders,he doged two and ran past two,only one remaining.He dumied the ball,thus the defender was out of his way,this created the penultimate try for the rhinos.The grieving had began for the opposition,but they hadn’t given up yet.So with a final push they broke past our defence from a common error and scored the try with 45 seconds remaining.The team were still determinded to get one back and with all the pearseverance,they did.Alfie C was run down the wing until he was tagged.As quick as he could,he threw it to jonathan,creating the final try of the game.Within seconds,the whistle blew-7:3 to the great raglan rhinos

The Rhinos made it through to the Semi Finals to face St Andrews.   The high scoring game narrowly finished 7-6 to St Andrews, leaving Raglan still in with a chance of finishing 3rd.  The 3rd place play off against George Spicers started badly as George Spicer scored two very quick tries.  Sean scored got one back for Raglan and then just before half time Isobelle made a fantastic run to equalise for the Rhinos.  The  opposition went on to score 2 more tries, with the Alfie scoring in return to make it 4-3 to George Spicer at half time.   At the start of the second half, George Spicers scored an early try to make it 5-3. For the rest of the second half, Raglan played magnificently. A few moments after the try, Freddie and Alfie got two tries back and with only seconds remaining Emeka broke through the George Spicer defensive line and scored the winning try.   A fantastic team performance from the girls and boys.

Whilst the team were getting changed into their normal trainers,we interviewed Freddy to see what he had to say (MOTM)

Why was  key in your victory?

‘’Well,I think our passing was most important as gave us the first try,and that gave us inspiration to get more’’

What can the team improve on?

‘’Maybe the time length before passing and the speed of the passes as that was the stem for the third try against us’’

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