In what has to be regarded as one of the toughest games of the opening weekend, two historic rugby schools went head to head, Haileybury and Kingâ€™s School Canterbury.
After getting used to the colder weather of late, the players were hit by an Indian summer as the clouds finally parted. All the hard work done in pre-season would be sure to tell in these scorching conditions.
Haileybury fly halfÂ Ed JinksÂ reports:
The XV had a tough start to the season away in very hot conditions.
Haileybury started slowly and in the first half our defence was unable to match the attacks thrown at us from the Kings backs leading to us going in at half time 16-0 down.
However, the XV showed resilience and fought back with 3 well worked tries from Ralph Lane, Chad Stacey and Ali Burton in the second half after continuous attacking play.
Despite this, it ended in a 24-17 loss, with many improvements to be made before next week’s game against Bedford Modern.
Certainly Haileybury will be disappointed with the result as Jinks mentions, however they must take heart from their spirited display to fight back against a 16 point half time deficit.
In these early stages of the season it is these sort of reactions that can often tell you more about a side that the result itself, and it would be well worth keeping an eye on what is clearly a determined Haileybury side this year.
Kingâ€™s too can be proud of their efforts, to keep their heads in the face of a second half onslaught from the Hertfordshire side was admirable, and again bodes well for the rest of the season.
This weekends fixtures against Bedford Modern and Reeds will be an interesting gauge of where these to sides stand in the school pecking order, particularly after both those sides recorded impressive wins at the weekend.
A cracking weekend of rugby beckons.