Under 18s 2013-14

U18 L2 15th December: Battersea 10 - 12 Wimbledon

The conditions could have been worse, but not much. Swirling wind, rain that started just before kickoff and didn't stop at all and a heavy pitch. We may have gone into this game on the back of 3 straight wins, but Battersea had suffered some narrow defeats and were gunning for a win this time. They know our strengths and they know theirs after 10+ years of annual fixtures between us, this time successfully turning the match into one on their terms. A game where our wings probably touched the ball a couple of times each.

The game began with our regular fly-half and captain Max puking on the sidelines, reminiscent of James at Alleynians but unfortunately not after having first scored 2 tries. Matt Rogers took over and was soon joining James McGrath in putting in some thumping early tackles. Battersea came at us hard and early, pushing us back into our own half for most of the first 10 minutes. Pressure was relieved by a great clearing kick from Cameron, chased up well by Matt Shaw and Sam. As the pressure started to be reversed, a slick move out to the left between Chris, Sam and Aaron nearly got us a score. This was not to be a day for the backs however - that may have been the only clean ball we got, and was certainly the most fluid move of the match.

The ball was with the forwards, and in the Battersea half. After two lineouts in their 22 and some great mauls, the ball was eventually carried over by Ellis Morgan. Cameron then slotted what was to turn out to be a critical conversion. Battersea pushed us back into our own 22 for the next 5 minutes, forcing some memorable tackles by Matt Shaw and particularly Chris Robinson. The half ended however with us in their 22 again, James McGrath ending up just short with a typical burrowing run. Half time and 7-0 up.

The second half started with unbelievable Battersea pressure, answered by equally unbelievable defence from Wimbledon. For 10 minutes they were camped inside our 22 or more often 5 yards out, and the ball was held up over the line on at least 3 occasions - it may have been more. Even with that pressure, we were unlucky when the ref gave Battersea a try even when he said himself he couldn't see it being grounded! Conversion missed and we retained a narrow 7-5 lead. Pushing for another score, the next few minutes were in the Battersea half. We stole the ball from 2 consecutive Battersea lineouts, as Dom Bellenger managed to claw the ball back superbly from above the heads of the opposition. The possession nearly turned into a try with us unlucky to knock on in the horrible conditions. Disaster followed soon after as Battersea got a fortunate bounce and raced away for a breakaway try. 7-10 down with about 10 minutes to go.

For the next few minutes it was not looking likely that we would recover, as we were pushed back into our own half with Battersea dominating possession and our lineout starting to fail. After pressure on our scrum and some clearing kicks by Max, back on after recovering, one particularly good clearing kick was chased up by Sam and put us back in their half. With the clock ticking down, more and more pressure forced 2 lineouts and then 2 penalties progressively deeper into the Battersea half. Taking the second penalty early and being called back, Toby was subject to some regrettable and indeed soon-to-be-regretted sledging from the opposition. Moving the ball out to the right, we dragged most of the Battersea defence with us then switched back rapidly to the left. We were treated to the rare, unlikely but extremely welcome sight of two props combining perfectly on the wing, Connor releasing Toby to score in the corner. Connor then narrowly missed the conversion, but we were 12 -10 up.

There was still a minute to go, but we were able to control the game and keep the ball for most of that, denying Battersea any real chance to come back. If the game had not been near the end then they might have been a man down after a nasty-looking dump tackle on Matt Rogers. However from the resulting penalty Max was able to confirm that this was the last kick of the game and duly booted the ball out of play.

What a game. We may have had some thumping wins this season, but personally I would put this messy, ground-out, ugly victory above the lot. The spirit on display from the whole squad, particularly in the last-ditch defending on our line, was something to make the whole coaching team proud. Well done and we go into the Christmas break with 4 wins out of 4.

U18 L2 20th September - Farnham 0 - 48 Wimbleddon

We were greeted with the same weather conditions as last week, a pouring deluge of cold rain but a very different and smart club house welcomed us to Farnham.

27th September - U18 Friendly Wimbledon 22 - 5 Battersea Colts

It was the calm before the storm, with 80mph winds supposedly to come the following day, as Wimbledon hosted Battersea. The wind was picking up however and managed to deter at least 4 Battersea players as they only turned up with 11. Consequently, Alex Paul, Rory Merz and Joe Woodward were selected to play for Battersea and took the job seriously with grateful thanks from both Battersea and Wimbledon.
With this being done, we saw the beginning of the game.

U18 Friendly Wimbledon 12 - 30 Richmond 13th October

A game of two halves - and, from our perspective, 2 scrum-halves. I am afraid this will be a very short report indeed - the rain was coming down so hard that my notes are literally too soggy to read. Clearly we came out second-best from this one, but a surprising number of positives to take away. First of those was the start we made to the game, pressing Richmond back to their line and keeping them there for the first 5 minutes. Second was the commitment from the whole team and for the whole game to stopping the (huge) Richmond pack playing their pick-and-run game.

New season - and the last! Welcome back as U18s

Welcome back for the new season. Training will resume on Sunday 1st September, home ground at 9:45 as usual. Registration in the clubhouse for the first 4 weeks of the season.

Thursday training is on again Thursday 29th, 7:00 - 8:30 with Reesy. There will be some shared drills with the seniors, this is a great chance to step up your game and learn the moves the senior squad use. The senior playbook will be the basis of our training this year.

If you can make it tonight, touch is on from 7:45 at the club.

See you all next week

Sunday 21st April Wimbledon 31 - 0 Chipstead

A short report for a short - very short - game. Chipstead were always going to be in trouble having turned up with 13 players. The Wimbledon gameplan was as complicated as it needed to be - ship it out to the wings and use the overlap. There followed a series of tries as Sam Codling ran over three times in succession, Archie converting two to take us to 19-0 up. Notable contributions from Alex Browning for a great steal and a surging run and Ellis Morgan who was unlucky to be held up over the line.

U17L2 Sunday 14th April Effingham 0 - 44 Wimbledon

Report by Alex Browning

(The report to follow is being sent to the police as evidence for the massacre of Effingham.)
Sorry for the delay guys but I have had mocks all this week and it was difficult to squeeze this in !!

Sundays league game saw Effingham host Wimbledon on a gloriously sunny day, however strong winds played a significant factor in the action that was to follow.

Sunday 24th Camberley GAME OFF NO PITCHES

Game is off, we can't get a pitch at Wimbledon either.
Please see mail asking for availability on 7th April

17th March U17 Friendly - Wimbledon 26 - 19 Battersea Ironsides

Apologies that there ended up being no report for the last match. If Alex wasn't ill I would be delegating this to him again but here goes:

Weather and pitch worries cleared for a couple of hours this morning. This allowed another episode in the long running saga where the respective Wimbledon and Battersea coaches get on very well indeed, but the goodwill seems to fail between the respective sets of players. Despite the fractious end to the game, I think we can be proud of how well our lads dealt with the situation.

U17 D2 Richmond 17 - 10 Wimbledon

Training is ON 25 November

We have a pitch, normal time please.

U17 D2 Old Rutlishians 20 - 19 Wimbledon

It's not often that a defeat feels like a victory, but today certainly did. There had been some concern of the squad that the recent tough friendlies meant we were going into this game with low morale - but team spirit was never, not for one moment, in question today. Thanks once again to Badger and Gareth for giving up their time, apologies and thanks to the squad members who travelled and didn't get onto the pitch.

U17 11 November Wimbledon 12-37 Dorking

Firstly, the context for this game needs to be set. This was arranged last year as a pure U17 fixture, but in the meantime Dorking have had to fold both of their U17 and U18 teams due to lack of numbers. They are now putting out a joint 17/18s side. When they let us know that a couple of weeks back, we had to decide whether to go ahead with the fixture or not. What we took into consideration was

a) it is turning out to be almost impossible to get short-notice fixtures this year. So it was a choice between this game or training, with the league game to come

U17 League squad for Sunday and various stuff

The squad for Sunday is below. If you are on it, and now can't play - let us know immediately please. There are only 22 slots available (league rules). If you don't show on the day then you're hurting the team and denying a place to another player.

Wimbledon 7 - 50 Guildford

Well, it might not seem that many positives could be taken from that result - but on the contrary we actually managed to match Guildford in most areas of the game, and the score did not reflect that. The low points from a Wimbledon point of view would have to be the tackling - or lack of it sometimes - that allowed Guildford to run so many tries through us, plus an unfortunate breach of discipline towards the end.

Beckenham A 22 -5 Wimbledon

Firstly, I have to say that this was a great turnout in the end today - 23 players for a friendly at a ground an hour away for most of you, and a late kickoff to boot. Clearly you all took on board what I said about having to fulfil fixtures like this in order to get the home games we all obviously prefer. Thanks to Badger for making the trip with us, and commiserations to those among the squad who were attempting to play with a hangover even worse than his!

Sunday 21s Beckenham AWAY assemble 11:30 (not 12:30)

Change in plans - Beckenham offering 12:30 KO which is much better for us than 12:30 assembly. Please let me know - if you are travelling - via email or Facebook that you know about this.

Wimbledon U17 Next few weeks AVAILABILITY

We've had a scarcity of games so far this season, with opposition sides either pulling out or actually folding, unfortunately. However that is about to change as we move towards our first league match on 18 November. We are still down a host of players due to injuries etc, but that seems to be improving. Below is the schedule for the next few weeks. For those of you new to this - the procedure is

a) rapid replies please, even if you're not sure yet on some dates (say maybe and follow up later)

Wimbledon 7 - 15 Effingham

Current plan - training at home this coming weekend, but I will confirm start time as soon as I know for sure (there may be a 10k run on). So I don't need availability at this stage BUT please come down to training; it is vital we get the whole squad familiar with lineout calls, backs moves etc.

Wimbledon 7 - 15 Effingham

New Season 2012-13

We will be training on Sunday from 10 to 12. As numbers will be down this will likely be a joint session with the U18s. I would appreciate it if the group could stay for a few minutes at the end of the session so we can discuss our plans for the season. We are going to have challenges with some players involved in 1st team school rugby for one thing, not to mention the demands of school/work/social lives. In particular - I don't want to be in the position again of expending time, effort and goodwill to arrange away fixtures only to find that insufficient players will commit to play.

Esher Sevens 'Search for a Star' festival 29th April

Group game 1 - Wimbledon 19 - 12 Reeds A

Annual Player awards

For the most improved player award, the runners up were both players who have made the step up the league squad when injuries and illness made that necessary. Cameron Wilkinson has done very well at fly-half, and Alfie Jervis likewise at scrum-half. However the winner this year was Ellis Morgan, who has gone from strength to strength at hooker; particularly at set plays, with his ball-carrying ability and general fitness.

Most Improved Player 2011-12: Ellis Morgan

1 April Wimbledon 40 - 33 Haslemere

Great weather for running rugby, and an open game it turned out to be. Haslemere started the stronger, pushing back our scrum and using their possession to force us back to our own 22, their No8 going over for the first score under the posts. However we came back well; Aidan O'Brien put in a captains performance in all areas of forward play, and the half-back combination of Alfie and Cameron was solid all game.

15th Jan Wimbledon B 17 - 14 Dorking B

The cold weather over the last few days meant there was some doubt about the fixture, but by 11 o'clock the pitch was completely playable. We were very happy to welcome Dorking to play us at fairly short notice after Guildford had pulled out, and the game was to be a great one to watch; even, fiercely but fairly contested, and a very high standard for a B game. The game had hardly started when Alex "nosebleed" Browning had to come off for the usual reason and miss the first half. As he was able to come out for the second half, I have now devised a drastic but effective solution.

4th December Wimbledon B 10 - 12 Effingham B

A chilly morning at Wimbledon, but the rain held off until everyone was in the clubhouse later. Effingham visited us for the second time this year, bringing their B side this time and getting an almost identical result, a victory by the narrowest of margins. The good relationship building up between our two squads is likely to continue with an A/B friendly next season, hopefully with Wimbledon running out the narrow victors next time.

U16 L2 Farnham 0 - 64 Wimbledon (0-40)

Late November and T-shirt weather at Farnham, with a blustery wind and the slope of the pitch the only blemishes on perfect conditions for running rugby. A mention is surely due for injured fly-half Max Tomlinson, who has been a constant touchline presence and will hopefully be back with us next January. The pre-match team talk focused on the importance of starting well and with intensity - on todays evidence Wimbledon may finally be getting over their slow start bugbear.

20th November Wimbledon B 5 - 26 Reeds B

With the fog descending on Wimbledon, the B team rolled out for only the second competitive fixture this year. A good run of games coming up now though, and next year I’ll try to avoid teams about to fold! The opposition were Reeds B, currently on a 100% record in their division and tough opponents who put us under pressure from the kick-off. There was some good defence from Matt Shaw and Elliot Phillips, and from a Reeds lineout Fraser Wilson stole their ball with a well-timed lift.

U16 L2 Battersea Ironsides 12 - 18 Wimbledon

A perfect day for running rugby at Garratt Green; the ground was firm, the sun was shining and "dog s**t park" is clearly still suffering from a reputation acquired years ago, the pitch was fine. With the conditions suiting us, Wimbledon started very well. A great early run by Dom Suckling set the precedent for a day when the forwards would keep popping up in the back line - sometimes to great effect but sometimes at the expense of losing a ruck for lack of numbers, we will be working on this. Another run down the right set Lucas Strauss free but he was pushed out just short of the line.

Sunday 6th Training at HOME Brighton game cancelled

Well, I have had to let it go. It seems that a lot of people were holding back on replying because they/their son was ill or injured and they weren't sure if they would be able to play. Some sort of bug seems to have gone around a lot of the touring squad.

Can I please ask you in those circumstances to reply with a 'maybe', as early as you can? It is just not fair on the opposition to have to cancel so late, we know ourselves what that is like. Not to mention the stress on Mark and myself, having to chase everyone down and try to plan a squad when half of the players haven't replied by midweek.

Training will be from 9:45 as usual: we have the bottom half of the up-and-down pitch.

See you on Sunday, if you are fit to play.

Tour report

I would like to combine a brief report on the tour with our thanks to Dave for his huge efforts in organising it again this year. We have received some great feedback and some of the players felt it was even better than last year. We are already planning the next one!

U16 B 16 October Wimbledon 29 - 31 Guildford

After half a dozen false starts, the B team finally got its first competitive game of the season a week after the A's. Next year I will be assessing whether a team is likely to still be around to play us before arranging the fixtures; however we now should have a reasonably good run of games, weather permitting.

Thursday training ON 13 October

Normal time 6:30 to 7:45

U16 D2 9th October: Wimbledon 20-22 Effingham

The first league game of the season kicked off in almost perfect conditions, but for the still too firm ground. There followed a game too close to call and too exciting to look away from, with Wimbledon ending up on the wrong end of the narrowest of defeats; but with their heads high and having been in the lead twice.

New Season and training sessions

The new season is nearly upon us, we will be training as usual at 9:45 on Sunday 4th of September.

Prior to that there will be Thursday training sessions on
18 August (good turnout)
25 August
1st September

18:30 at the club for a session of a bit over an hour.

Hope to see all of you down on the 4th if not before

End of Season

A good turnout yesterday, considering the holiday and the demands of other sports at this late stage. We ran a touch rugby mini-tournament, followed by a review of the year and the end of season awards (below). Congratulations to Nick, Matt and Jack. Thanks to James for his great speech and to all of you for the fantastic personalised hoodies presented to the coaches. After a tug-of-war tournament (victory to the Backs by 2-1) there was a touch rugby game between coaches and players, with a narrow 7-6 victory to the players.

Those of you who took team photographs - if you can forward some to me I will publish them on the team website and Facebook page.

Next date in the calendar is the paintballing day on 4th June. If you have not done so already "Send the Cheque" to Dave and make sure the consent form is filled in.

The new season will officially begin on the 4th of September, however we are going to try to arrange some special sessions before that, with an emphasis on the rule changes which affect the forwards (mainly lifting in the lineouts). We are still unsure if we will be able to run Thursday sessions, but we will be in touch.

The 11th of September will be normal training but preceded by a sponsored run for those going on tour in October. Please get your sponsorship sorted out over the summer.

We look forward to seeing you all on the 4th of September if not before.

End of year awards 2011

Player of the Year
1 Nic Shuttleworth
2 Angus Bonner
3 three-way tie Max Tomlinson, Aidan O'Brien, Matt Rogers

Also nominated - James McGratth, Archie Watkins, Sam Codling

Most Improved Player
1 Matt Shaw
2 Cameron Wilkinson
3 Diogo Carvalho

Also nominated - Archie, Angus, Jodi, Alfie, Ellis

Best Newcomer
1 Jack Gleeson
2 Conor Coleman
3 Oli Hicks

WMRFC U15 Cobham 44 - 0 Wimbledon 27th March

This was the last league game of the season, and to lose to the eventual league winners is of course no disgrace. We were always going to be up against it having lost a lot of players to (mainly) the 7s tournament this weekend. However the lads who played on Sunday played hard, kept their heads up and represented their club with pride - we could not have asked for any more.

U15 L2 Wimbledon 43 - 5 Farnham

Firstly, let me say how great it was to see some of our long term (Louis, Harry) and short-term (Rob, James) injured players turn out to support the team on Sunday. This is exactly what we mean when we talk about encouraging team spirit, thanks for that. Also thank you for making sure we had a good contingent for the after-game meal (there will be proper tables and chairs from this weekend, we are promised!). Apologies to those players who did not get to play this week, we are at the mercy of the other teams I am afraid.

Match reports Sunday 13th March

There were two good games we thought, both the Wimbledon and Effingham coaches were pleased with the quality of rugby and the test provided to our respective squads. Many thanks to Andrew Lewis for stepping in at very short notice to ref the B game today.

Next week is Farnham at HOME, normal start time and hopefully rather more of the squad staying for the after-match food in the clubhouse.

Wimbledon A 36 - 17 Effingham and Leatherhead A

U15 L2 Chobham 18 - 7 Wimbledon Sunday 6th March

Match report from todays league fixture. A hard-fought game, with a scoreline that does not reflect how close it was in the end. Despite the loss, we are completely safe in the division and with other results from today are still in with a shot at a promotion slot. The game was contested in the best of rugby spirit, and I am already in discssions to establish it next season as an A/B friendly.

Match Report - 27 February 2011, Wimbledon vs Old Cats

A terrific performance by both the A and B teams resulted in two hard fought victories against a club who has beaten us in the league for the last two seasons in succession.

Wimbledon B 31 - 0 Old Reigatians

A good turnout today, despite it being the start of half-term. With the late pull-out by Wasps, we were fortunate to get a short-notice fixture against Old Reigatians. They are currently topping division 4 and we thought this would be a good chance to see how competitive in the league our Bs would be if we could raise the numbers for two squads. Welcome to new player Conor Coleman who made a good start at flanker today.

Sunday 13th Feb U15L2 Guildford 21-12 Wimbledon

A narrow loss - much closer than the scoreline suggests - and a fantastic gritty performance from Wimbledon, with chances to come back in right up to the end of the game. The conditions prevented us from playing our natural game - Guildford had been praying for rain all week and they got it all right. I am reading from a soaked and blurred notebook to write this.

Sunday 6 Feb Reeds B 15 - 17 Wimbledon B

Starting with the wind and the slope in our favour, Wimbledon had the best of the early possession and were pushing Reeds back into their own half. An ill-advised kick into the wind by Reeds went straight to full-back Oli Moulton, who ran the ball straight back at them and evaded several tackles to score in the corner. The blustery conditions made kicking very difficult indeed, so we were now 5-0 up after Cameron narrowly missed the conversion.

U15s Sunday 6th Feb B game Reeds AWAY 12:00 Meet

Note there will now be NO session for those not travelling. Insufficient numbers even though we would have had enough coaches this time.

  • Please be there by 12:00 or earlier
  • Bring your blue team Polo shirt (everyone now has one)
  • All Players are expected to shower and change for the meal after the game
  • Expect a finish at 2:30 or later
  • Please let us know ASAP if you now cannot make it or if you require help arranging a lift
  • Directions are below
  • Squad is as named below

Wimbledon B squad to play Reeds B

Oliver Hicks
Ellis Morgan
George Batchelor
Fraser Wilson
Jodi Smith
Jon Gallagher
Dominic Bellenger
Jack Gleeson
Eslam Djennad
James Jenkinson
Alex Browning (cover)
Diogo Carvalho (cover)

Alfie Jervis
Cameron Wilkinson
Matthew Shaw
Elliot Phillips
Lucas Strauss
Harry Sullivan
Oli Moulton
Jack Blyth
James Waghorn

Sunday 30 Jan HOME training (Esher cancelled)

Unfortunately Esher had to pull out of the fixture, as they needed to 'raid' their B squad for their league game at the weekend. We had a good turnout nonetheless, showing the continuing strength of this group. A big welcome back to George Batchelor after his broken collarbone. Welcome to new signup Huw Roberts, and commiserations to his school teammate Jack Durant who injured his wrist during the week but will hopefully also be joining us.


Training for whole squad from 9:45. Please treat this seriously, this is our last training-only session on the schedule at the moment.

Sunday 16 Jan Wimbledon 30 -12 Chipstead U15 division 2

Wimbledon 30 - 12 Chipstead

A great win against a Chipstead side who were looking for their first league win and whose results so far led us to expect a tight game. The spell of play where they scored twice in the second half showed us that they are a side to be taken seriously, and could have caused much more damage if our forwards had allowed them more of the ball. Overall a very good team performance, reminiscent of our first league game.

9th January HOME Wimbledon 57-5 Guildford

A frosty morning but the second team pitch was very playable by the time we kicked off at 11. It was extremely pleasing to see that of our entire squad, every single available player was there. Best of luck to the 4 lads at the Surrey trials, the 3 still recovering from broken bones and the 2 who were sick with the flu today. A big welcome back to Archie Watkins who is recovered from his broken hand and still in good form having practised his kicking regularly while injured.

No rugby Sunday 19th December

We don't have enough coaches around to run a session, so there is no rugby this morning. We may run a session on 2nd Jan if there is sufficient interest - see the sign-up Event on our new Facebook group wmrfc2001.

Sunday 12th December Wimbledon U15 60 - 14 Dorking U15

This was one game where Wimbledon actually started the game well and dominated from the outset. The offloading, in the first half in particular, was as good as we have seen them play. An early move initiated by some good work between Jack Blyth and Matt Shaw was rewarded as we passed out to the wing for Oli Moulton to go over in the first 2 or 3 minutes. This was rapidly followed up when Angus Bonner stole the ball to release Charlie McKibben for a great break, scoring under the posts for Louis Hogan to convert the try and take us to 12-0 up with barely 5 minutes gone.

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