The Year 9 boys rugby team had their first fixtures of the season on Wednesday, playing against Isca and West Exe. For many, this was their first competitive games of Rugby and they did themselves proud. St James started quite tentatively against a strong St Luke’s team, and poor handling gifted them field position and attacking opportunities resulting in two quick fire tries for the opposition. The half time break was a chance to regroup, and the boys came out in a much more positive fashion. Marshalled by Aleks Szott and Jack Christie, the team built some momentum and the elusive Jacob Hay-Laing, playing a year up, raced clear on two occasions to even the contest. St Luke’s scored again and almost had a decisive fourth try, only for the scramble defence to force an error. Szott then raced the full length to even the tie. Gracjan and Carpenter then made significant inroads, allowing Hay-Laing to burst over once more. St Luke’s once again levelled and the contest finished as a draw.
St Luke’s then beat Isca before St James faced off against Isca in the final match. The game proved to be the best game of the night, with some dominant tackling coming in from Albert Cooper, Kacey McDonald and Dan Wright. Once in possession, good handling by Will Wright and Zac Jinadi allowed Carpenter to show his pace and power and score 2 tries. Hard work from Skidmore and Martynas up front paved the way for Gracjan and Carpenter again to show their class and add a third try. Isca then scored two themselves but St James held on for a deserved win. Everyone played their part in coming joint first in the tournament, with special mentions to Rhys Owens and Kieran Lachlan who played their first games for a long time, and Gracjan and Brad Carpenter, who despite being very inexperienced, were ferocious in defence and too hot to handle in attack. Well done all! Mr Chalmers