Uppingham took on Zimbabwean touring side Peterhouse Boys School, losing 24-21 in their final pre season game before their first match against Bromsgrove this weekend.
It proved to be the exact type of game that is required before the season officially starts. A tough encounter which brings in a few home truths to focus the mind on.
Number 8 Tom Bell reports:
The sun was shining when the 1st XV stepped out onto L1 eager to impress the crowd and the coaches after our tour to South Africa.
We waited in anticipation to see the Peterhouse Boys walk out of the changing room, we didnâ€™t know what to expect. We started the game the better of the two sides we dominated the break down and this cause the opposition to kick loosely leading to a brilliant solo effort from Joss Linney to score the first try.
Our tails were up we began rampaging and rolling the ball up in the forwards and this lead to the second try of the game scored by Toby Wilson. We went into half time 21-0 up and perhaps with an air of complacency that we had already won the game.
The Peterhouse boys hit back hard and within 3 minutes had scored there first try. This proved to be a shock to the system, and within another 5 minutes they had scored again after a string of penalties in our own half.
Our discipline was suspect, and this led to the yellow card of Toby Wilson this was a real test of our character; a man down and in desperate need of something special.Â We attacked the peterhouse defence and began to build back some momentum, however the clock was against us, and they held us out to win the game 21-24.
15.Linney 14.Gladstone 13.Jackson 12.Arden 11.Wilkinson 10.Ramsden 9.Dobney 1.Hooper 2.Moffitt 3.Yeomans 4.Sale 5.Clark 6.Burles 7.Wilson 8.Bell
16.Rymer 17.Watkins 18.Billington 19.Robinson 20.Barwell 21.Wright
It is a result that certainly suggests Uppingham have a strong side this year, it is no easy task to go in at the break 21 points to the good against as side from Zimbabwe â€“ a country with respect the world over for its school rugby programme.
The Rutland side will travel to the West Midlands tomorrow full of confidence. Discipline against Peterhouse may have been a problem but it is a fact of rugby life that when the pressure comes on, discipline starts to slip.
That it was the openside Wilson that went to the bin demonstrates that Uppingham are playing the game in the right way. If youâ€™re pushing the boundaries of the laws, you want it to be your 7 thatâ€™s testing them to the max.
You can be certain that they will not allow their minds to drift when in a commanding position again this season, which again just goes to show that the pre season fixture served its purpose.
A promising season beckons, starting tomorrow against Bromsgrove.