The men’s senior side has re-entered the Bill Beaumont County Cup this year. Their first game is on Saturday 4th May 2019 away against Buckinghamshire. The game will kick off at 14:30 at Aylesbury RFC.
The competition schedule of games is below:
- 4 May 2019 – Buckinghamshire Away, Aylesbury RFC
- 11 May 2019 – Berkshire Away, Reading RFC
- 18 May 2019 – Dorset and Wiltshire Home, Grasshoppers RFC
Come down and support your team below.
Hendon RFC 28 – London Scottish Lions 19
Saturday 27th April 2019
London Scottish Lions completed their League season undefeated with promotion to Herts/Middlesex 1 and were the favourites to finish with another title by winning the prestigious Middlesex Federation Vase presented to Middlesex Rugby by the famous Astrologer Russell Grant.
Hendon had also produced one of the best run of wins throughout the entire League programme to climb from 9th to 3rd in Herts/Middlesex 1 thus ensuring a possible close encounter for the Cup Final. This turned out to be just the case with a brilliant display of attacking rugby by both teams that also stretched both Clubs’ defensive capability resulting in the lead to the final whistle changing hands no less than seven times.
Hendon commenced up the slope and from the kick off pushed up-field to the visitors 22 who were caught offside and captain Cian Hynes slotted over for a slim 3-0 lead after 3 minutes. Scottish responded and Hendon defending were offside in midfield for the Scottish stand off to kick long to touch. From the lineout the Scottish forwards set up a rolling maul to score a converted try to take the lead 3-7.
However, midway through the half from an initial carry by Hendon’s Luke Pollard, scrum half Billy Burrell made a blindside break with Tom Mathias in support passing to Chris Kiyingi to finish the move with a run down the wing to score in the corner for an unconverted try so Hendon took the lead at 8 points to 7. On the half hour it was Scottish back into attack and from a ruck on the Hendon 22 the ball was spun out to the Scottish No. 10 on the burst to split the Hendon defence and score under the posts for Scottish to retake the lead 8 points to 14.
But Hendon came back and from the restart Rossa Dooley made the break for the initial carry then to fellow forward Vytas Pavilonis took over taking play to the Scottish 22 and setting up a maul joined by winger Will Theaker to crash over for Hendon’s second try with Hynes’ conversion attempt being swept away again by the strong cross wind as Hendon went into the half time break at one point down at 13-14.
Into the second half, Hendon from the restart kept Scottish in their own 22 and from their defensive mistake Hendon’s Donal O’Sullivan set up a maul for Burrell to feed winger Kiyingi to score his second try out wide and Hendon were in front again at 18-14. With the match wide open on 25 minutes Scottish created an overlap in midfield for their right winger to run in a try out wide for them again to take the lead at 18-19.
With just 12 minutes left on the clock it was clear that the next score could decide the outcome and as Dooley turned over another maul, Scottish were caught offside and Hynes converted from the 22 for another narrow lead at 21-19 still leaving the match wide open. But problems then came for Hendon as a backline player went to the bin for a technical offence but Hendon kept up the attack with Theaker down the left wing, only to be defended with a kick upfield collected by Casey to return to the Scottish 22 metre line.
From the resulting scrum Hendon’s TJ O’Sullivan was tackled short, but from the ruck the ball was taken by Kiyingi who dived for the line with three attackers pulling him down but an outstretched arm was enough for the ball to go down over the line to score and Hynes kicked the conversion to take Hendon into a two score lead at 28-19 for what seemed the longest period for the match to the final whistle and Hendon had their silverware as a fitting tribute to end the season.
Quoted Hendon coach Phil Smith, “ I am so proud of the lads who followed the game plan to beat the best team we have played this season; London Scottish will most certainly be promotion prospects in Herts/Middlesex 1 for next season. But for now we are No.1 and proved it with the whole team, including replacements, playing their part without exception.”
Immediately after the Final the Federation Vase was presented by delighted Hendon President David Gershlick (representing Middlesex Rugby), to Hendon Captain Cian Hynes, and thanked all the Hendon and Scottish supporters and volunteers, the Match Officials and the London Scottish Team for a great day of Rugby Football.
A tough day at the office doesn’t even begin to cover the intensity of both the games played on Sunday 14th April.
The game could and should have been closer in score if it wasn’t for two tries scored by simple attrition. Rugby’s principles of play are not complicated; go forward, with support, apply pressure, continue to do so until you score and Sussex managed this very well with two of their early tries. Having said that the boys did not allow their heads to drop and as in previous games showed grit and determination. The Middlesex boys were not going to allow Sussex an easy run and fought back valiantly. They didn’t like it when Omar moved to the centres, not a position he’s familiar with but caused huge disruption in. Credit to Charlie Gibbs and the pack as well as he won three against the head in the scrum.
Sussex 27 – 12 Middlesex
Right from the outset this was a physical game. The boys did let Sussex get under their skin, literally in some cases with some borderline challenges by Sussex. We knew Sussex were going to be strong as they had also beaten Surrey, but they had an aggression to their play that gave them the edge on the scoreboard. A couple of sniping plays by their number 8 in particular put the Swords under huge pressure. However we were far stronger in the pack and kept winning ball back in the ruck. Unfortunately losing a couple of key players early on put pressure on our backs and it seemed hard to keep possession. Frustration was obvious as the boys seemed to be at the wrong end of some questionable tactics. However they turned this frustration into points in the second half and showed an emotional maturity rare in this age group. Another of those games that had we another five minutes we may have edged the score, even the Sussex coaches tipped their hats to the boys continued efforts up to the final whistle.
Sussex 17 – 14 Middlesex
That was our last double header for the U15’s this season and what a series of games it has been. The teams have grown in confidence and their sense of camaraderie is obvious. In the selection process we were not just looking for skills or athleticism but for attitude as well and these boys have shown all the qualities that make great rugby players. On the pitch they have played unselfish open adaptable rugby, in training they have been punctual, committed and positive to ideas and off the pitch they have been helpful with kit and maintaining standards that we expect at Middlesex.
Next season both squads will all be invited back for trial on or around the 21st and 28th October. We will also be looking for extra nominations from clubs and schools as well as some of the boys that were close to selection this year but didn’t quite make it. We will be running two teams again but with a slightly larger squad of 60 players. For some of the boys, they may be asked to join the London Irish academy whilst others may face disappointment. We will make sure that conversations are had with Jack and the coaches at London Irish so we can best support the boys through this stage. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need advice.
The Middlesex U16’s squad will have a similar format with training sessions and four county games against Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire and Hampshire. The playing calendar runs from early January to end of February so the boys can then focus on GCSE’s! The line up of coaches may be different but I will remain the team manager for this age group next season.
A big thank you to Matt Gilmore and all those at Grasshoppers for the use of facilities and providing hot match meals and cold drinks as required. Thank you to Heather Stevenson for her patient care and support as our Physio. Our thanks to Bob Lawless, Peter Baveystock, Stephen Atkinson and Jack Pattinson for coming to watch the boys represent the county in all their games. My personal thanks to Nicky Fielder for her back office support and logistical planning.
Finally on behalf of all the coaches and support team, thank you to the parents for your excellent communication and passionate support for the boys as they play at this high level of representational rugby. The boys should be proud of themselves, they will always be able to reflect back and say ‘I played for my county!’ and as the years go by, the friendships and bonds they have started this year will last for a long time. We at Middlesex Rugby are all volunteers and giving our time is a pleasure when you can see how much it means to this group of young men. They are a testament to you all in their approach and attitude to the great game we call rugby and we all look forward to watching their playing careers for years to come.
See you in October!
Middx MT Finals
30 March 2019
Premier Cup Final
HAC 2nds 27 – 19 Hammersmith & Fulham 2nds
6th April 2019
MMT1 Playoff Final
Grasshoppers 2nds 15 – 7 London Cornish 4ths
6th April 2019
MMT3 Playoff Final
Belsize Park 4ths 40 – 31 Hammersmith & Fulham 5ths
6th April 2019
MMT5 Playoff Final
Chiswick 4ths 17 – 38 Grasshoppers 3rds
13th April 2019
MMT2 Playoff Final
London Scottish Lions 2nds 20 – 12 Old Streetonians 2nds
13th April 2019
MMT4 Playoff Final
Hampstead 4ths 24 – 54 Wasps FC 2nds
Ruislip – 30th March 2019
HAC 2nds 27 – 19 Hammersmith & Fulham 2nds (played as a double header with the MMT Premier Cup)
NZ Kiwis 61 – 19 Quintin
MMT Vase (subject to an appeal)
Twickenham 3rds 12 – 41 Staines 2nds
Twelve weeks ago, on 14th January 2019, 96 Women from across the county came to trial for a place in the Middlesex County Women Team. This was the highest attendance ever seen at Middlesex.
Fast forward to 14th April where Middlesex faced Sussex in a warm-up game in preparation for the Gill Burns County Championship.
For many players the day was an experience like no other. Playing on a 4G pitch at Grasshoppers RFC’s new ground, kit all laid out in the changing and a stash bundle provided for everyone involved.
The game was played in four quarters to allow all 32 of the match day squad plenty of time to impress with selection for our game against Essex just around the corner.
The game started well and was a good contest between two teams that were well drilled.
After a good passage of play from Middlesex the backs were released wide and Middlesex full back Jackie Woodburn took the ball from her own 22 beating three defenders and touched down for the first try of the game.
Middlesex threatened to add more points during the next 15 minutes but for a good Sussex defence and some handling errors.
Sussex had clearly refocused themselves and during the second 20 were relentless in attack, capitalising on missed tackles and scoring a hat-trick of tries and went in at half time with the lead.
At half time Middlesex made more changes and started the second half with much more intensity and applying a lot of pressure to the Sussex defence. Sussex soaked it up and came back at Middlesex with some solid attacks of their own. The 3rd quarter ended without any points begin scored.
The 4th and final quarter was very much the same with both teams battling hard, fatigue was now starting to set in and Sussex dotted down twice one of which was a well worked try from the back of the scrum.
The game was a good contest and played in a great spirit. For Middlesex there are lots of positive to take from the game as we build for the start of the county championship on 28th April vs Essex at Grasshoppers Rugby Club.
Chris Sigsworth presented an update on the results of the All Schools Programme on Middlesex County and Clubs.
Download the PDF here.
John Fletcher’s Review of the 2019 Six Nations Championship
Wednesday 27th March 2019 – 1900-2100
London Welsh FC
Old Deer Park
187 Kew Road
John Fletcher will use his vast experience and coaching contacts within our game to give an expert review of this year’s 6 Nations Championship. He will use footage and statistics to look at the practical implications for players and coaches from what was on show and if we are lucky, John will share his feelings for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
This session is a must for all Rugby Coaches, Directors of Rugby, Heads of Youth Rugby at schools and club.
John Fletcher was previously Head of Academy and then Director of Rugby at Newcastle Falcons before taking on the England Under 18 Head coach position in 2008. John was responsible, with his assistant Peter Walton, for producing an array of talent including amongst others: Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Joe Marler, Jonathan Joseph, Mako Vunipola, Christian Wade, Billy Vunipola, Jack Nowell, George Ford, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Jamie George, Jack Clifford, Maro Itoje, Elliot Daly, Kyle Sinckler, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill.
Please reserve your place at this CPD with Middlesex Coaching association Secretary, Camilla Hulf at moc/liamg//fluh/allimac.
Monday 11th March saw a strong return to senior men’s rugby in the county, as 9 different clubs were represented at the first open training session. Head Coach Mark Jackson ably assisted by backs coach Peter Halsall put the hopefuls through their paces at Grasshoppers RFC on a brisk night with Physio Lorenzo Forghieri keeping an eye on proceedings.
The post training food and drink were most welcome once the session was over with County President Bob Lawless stopping by to chat. With numbers indicated to increase at the next training sessions both coaches were quietly optimistic about what the future holds for senior men’s rugby in the county.
Thanks to Grasshoppers for their exemplary hosting and well done to the players who got stuck in.
For those interested in getting involved please email moc/ybgurxeselddim//snemroines.
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