KGS 1st XV vs Seaford College and Rhino Rugby South Africa
Kirkham Grammar School 1st XV finished the season in fine fashion. Firstly, after travelling to Seaford College, they produced a fine performance to defeat a side high on confidence and unbeaten at home this season. Kirkham worked hard as a team to create opportunities against a well organised side and it was vice-captain and no.8 Sam Dugdale who opened the scoring after a driving maul. KGS defended well all game and were able to subdue Seaford's attacks. Kirkham continued to put the home side under pressure and further tries followed from centre Connor Doherty and flanker Alfie Topping all converted by Captain Kieran Wilkinson. Although KGS lead 21-0 at half time, it was not an easy game and the second half again showed how spirited Seaford were. Excellent defence kept Seaford to no points whilst KGS scored 2 more tries from prop Niall Cooney and winger Andrew Bulman leading to a fine 33-0 victory .
This victory allowed KGS 1st XV to go into their last game of the season against touring Rhino Rugby from Johannesburg at Preston Grasshoppers ground with a great deal of confidence . Despite the freezing conditions, KGS ran out winners 20-0 with tries from Evan Powell, Siya Tyulu and Andrew Bulman helping to seal the victory.
KGS 1st XV have again reached the highest level of schoolboy rugby with some terrific wins against some of the UK's top rugby schools.
KGS Headmasters 1st XV vs Merchant Taylors' 1st XV
Won – 33-31
Headmasters 1st XV pull off their first win against Merchant Taylors', with a 33-31 win in a thrilling game.
The Headmasters 1st XV secured a superb away win at Merchant Taylors', Crosby in a game that ebbed and flowed and was ultimately decided by Kirkham scoring five tries to four. Merchants opened the scoring after a fine catch and drive at the line-out which was clearly a strength of the hosts. This did not deter Kirkham who ran the ball fluently and although this was thwarted at times, the Kirkham backs had the edge. Cole Potts replied with a diagonal run towards the corner which was brilliantly converted by Dan Kelly to bring the scores level. Enrique Oranje then raced clear after a Kelly break to put Kirkham ahead; Kelly added the extras. Merchant`s then came back to level and continued to press the Kirkham line. Then came a key moment, right before half time, as Merchant`s had a line out close to the Kirkham line which was disrupted by Cole Fahy when surely a catch and drive would have put the home team ahead. Alas, Kirkham cleared their line and held on until the break.
The second half remained nip and tuck but Oranje broke free down the right as his pace saw him round the last tackler to put Kirkham ahead. James Allum , an ever present this season and playing consistently well, finished off a move which began inside the Kirkham 22 with a searing break from Kelly which Allum scored in the left hand corner. Merchants then scored a try with conversion to make it 26-24 to Kirkham but Cole Potts, who threatened all match, scored his second try. A further Merchant`s score with eight minutes remaining made for a classic finish with Kirkham holding on for a well-deserved victory, despite two ten minute periods with players in the sin bin either side of half time. A great win for Kirkham and a very happy coach! Another I XV season passes – thanks to all players and parents for their support.
KGS 2nd XV vs Merchant Taylors' 2nd XV
Lost – 28-22
A depleted 2nd XV travelled to Merchant Taylors' in testing conditions. Merchants started the game in good form, with a well organised forward pack controlling the ball for long periods. Kirkham had a dangerous backline with several backs filling in, in the back row which meant they always had an opportunity to threaten on the counter attack.
KGS were 19-0 down at half time but the team’s excellent spirit and ability to continue to defend throughout kept them in the game. In the second half opportunities were created and taken resulting in a tense final few minutes with the scores evenly balanced at 28-22. Unfortunately, KGS could not finish the job but the whole team deserve a great amount of credit for playing with such spirit in testing conditions.
KGS U15 vs Merchant Taylors' U15
Lost – 7-5
KGS U14 vs Merchant Taylors' U14
Won – 57-0
On a bitterly cold Saturday morning, the U14s made the journey to Merseyside to take on old rivals Merchant Taylor's, Crosby. The KGS side played with pace and power and it wasn't long before they got on the score board when Rhys Frey took advantage of a turnover ball and scythed through Merchants unorganised defence.
Vice-captain Gregor Anderson set the standard in defence with some excellent tackling and captain Jake Merrick was quick to pounce on lose ball at the breakdown. Winger, Tom Gut, crossed the line next for Kirkham, finishing of some neat handling from the backs. Kirkham scored three further tries before half time, all from centre Tobias Parkinson.
Kirkham made a few changes at half time and it was encouraging to see front row forwards Ben Dhillon and Luis Santos Soto scrummaging well. At this stage in the game Rhys Frey became a handful for Merchant': he scored three more tries and Archie Rowlings also found his way to the line to make the final score 57-0.
KGS U13 vs Merchant Taylors' U13
Won – 55-5
Kirkham started the fixture well, managing to score straight from the kick off, but poor discipline enabled the visitors to respond quickly and bring the score level. As the half progressed, the home side improved their penalty count and began to dominate possession and move the ball with fluidity, even in the most challenging conditions of the season. The KGS side were clinical with their possession, finishing the half 25-5 ahead with tries from McLeod, Dowds and Sutcliffe.
The second half continued in a similar fashion, with slick handling from both backs and forwards, as well as encouraging success at the breakdown. Important contributions from Wilson, Matthison and Zacharias ensured territorial gains throughout the half and gain line breaks from Wright and Thompson proved too much for the opposition to handle, with the scoring finishing 55-5 as Dowds and Hayward completed their hat-tricks as a result of the success found in the pack. An impressive display from the side who remain unbeaten.
KGS U12 A vs Merchant Taylors' U12 A
Won – 55-10
Kirkham opted to receive from the first whistle. Once Kirkham retained the ball and played a well-structured period of rugby, Sam Gornall was able to break round the outside of the merchant Taylor’s defence to open the scoring. Kirkham were put under the cosh which resulted in a try to Merchants (5-5). Kirkham went on the attack from the kick off, passing the ball through the hands and playing the phases. Oliver Greenwood sniped round the ruck where James Stacey was in support for the try (5-10).
Despite great defense by the Kirkham team on their own 5 meter line, Merchants managed to find a gap to get the ball down (10-10). Kirkham then upped the pressure scoring two further try’s going into the second half 20-10 up.
Kirkham went into the second half with the drive and determination that they finished the first half with. With some great open play rugby throughout, Kirkham were able to score some well-structured tries and finish the game 10-55.
Tries scored by: Jack Chapman, Seb Kelly (3), Oliver Greenwood, James Stacey (3), Sam Gornall, Tom Wilkinson and Wills Gut.
KGS U12 B vs Merchant Taylors' U12 B
The KGS U12 B side struggled to cope with the freezing conditions on a bitterly cold morning at Merchant Taylor’s Crosby. Due to a few last minute drop outs the KGS side were restricted to just 12 players meaning all players had to play the full match. The home side were much better able to deal with the weather and some slick passing and runs from their bigger players saw them score some nice tries. This was a big test for the KGS side, who were carrying the ball better than previous weeks, but Merchants were dominate at the breakdown and restricted KGS possession. Some notable performances from the KGS side were scrum-half Will Davies, fly-half Sam Dunnington and try scorer and Captain Fin Chaya.