Southwold Rugby end of season news
It turned out that the last games of the current rugby season, which ended early due to Covid-19, were the U16’s youth game and the ladies game.
U16’s played a mixed U16/U15 side to take on Ipswich YM U16’s on the common. Ipswich YM had only lost one game all season and were runners up in the Suffolk Cup competition so it was set to be a tough game. Southwold showed great composure and team spirit, standing up for each other without crossing the line of respect for the game and referee as Ipswich YM began to buckle and lose their composure under pressure. Southwold showed some superb performances out on the pitch with great leadership from Sam and senior players at critical points. The final score Southwold 29-17 Ipswich YM, it was a fantastic match to end the season on.
The ladies took on Lakenham Hewitt Ladies in the afternoon and lost 20-29 in a close fought match.
OUR 1ST XV MISS PROMOTION BY JUST 2 POINTS AND THE DEVELOPMENT XV ARE PROMOTED TO EC1
Last week Eastern Counties Rugby Football Union followed up the final conclusion to the season by confirming with all clubs what their respective league position was when the season prematurely finished and which league the respective clubs will be playing in next season.
So our 1st XV finished runners up to Norwich in London Division 2 North East and missed out on automatic promotion by a couple of points to Hammersmith and Fulham who were in London 2 North West and had a better win ration than us. Whilst disappointed not to have been given the chance to play them in a play off it can not be ignored that the season has been hugely successful for the 1st XV with a great brand of rugby played and 80 tries being scored – an average of over 4 per match. 44 players played for the 1st XV of which 20 were under 23 and a large number of these were under 20. What is most satisfying is that this time last year we were flirting with relegation and then 12 months later we were in the promotion race with primarily the same bunch of players. This goes to show that much of playing this wonderful game is about self belief.
However, I personally feel extremely proud of the achievements of our Development XV. Until 2 seasons ago they had struggled as a squad and it was a constant weekly challenge and a thankless task for Matt (Kerry) to get a team together which culminated in a relegation to the bottom tier. Only two seasons later, under the leadership of Blissy (taking nothing away from all Matts efforts in previous seasons) and a revamped approach and identity change from Jacks to the Development XV, they won Eastern Counties 2 this season and will be playing in Eastern Counties 1. This is the highest league the Development XV can play in, as only 1st XVs can play in the London Leagues. They have only lost a couple of matches in the last two seasons and unless I am mistaken had 15 players (and sometimes as many as 25) for every match. They have become the automatic player pathway for the Colts entering senior rugby and winning the league this season is simply the icing on the cake of two fabulous seasons. Well done to all of you who have been part of it.
Plans are now underway for next season with a lot going on behind the scenes and there will be some very positive changes. Kev Cayley has stepped down as my co-coach to concentrate on the U16s and I am currently putting a new coaching structure together to support the 1st XV, Development XV and Colts. Please come forward if you would like to be involved in coaching in any way shape of form!
So finally well done to all of you for being part of the most successful season the club has ever had. Its been a blast on and off the field despite the premature end.
Director of Rugby
Photos Linda Cayley
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