RGS Newcastle were looking for a nice easy game to ease themselves back into form after a tough start to the season. What they did not want therefore was a fixture against rugby giants of the North, Sedbergh.
RGS are a strong school side too though, and knew that if they turned in the sort of performance they have been aiming for this season, then they could easily overcome the opposition.
As it was they lost a tense but exciting game 14-9, but in doing so may well have kick-started their season.
Number 8 Will Harrison reports:
RGS started off poorly, conceding a penalty from the kick-off inside the Sedbergh 22 line. However, after this fall in discipline RGS soon picked back up, with enormous hits coming all over the pitch.
RGSâ€™s defence could not be faltered through out the first half but the well drilled Sedbergh side kept the attack coming from all angles, keeping RGS on their toes.
Sedbergh conceded too many penalties though, for a side of their talent, allowing RGS to kick at goal 5 times through the first half, with Thomas Penny putting RGS in front with 9 points.
The majority of the first half was played on the halfway line but eventually a break away try from the Sedbergh 9 left the score at half time 9-7.
The second half started the firece contest once again, with fantastic play from both sides, which certainly entertained the mass of spectators who came to watch the 2 great teams in action.
RGS played a huge part of the game comfortably in the Sedbergh half but Sedbergh refused to buckle under the pressure of the RGS attack. Again, Sedbergh’s discipline let them down by conceding even more penalties and so RGS pinned the Sedbergh side onto their own five-metre line with a barrage of lineouts.
Again though, Sedbergh did not buckle under the pressure but their poor discipline resulted in a yellow card being handed out to the prop for foul play. RGS should have capitalised on the situation but just could not due to efficient defensive play by Sedbergh.
Fifteen minutes later however, Ed Slack of RGS, was shown a yellow card for retaliating to a punch thrown by another Sedbergh player and so RGS were down to only 14 men.
The game was equally contested, a vast improvement from last Friday for RGS to held their own against a boarding school side but the fate of the game was decided in the last stages of the match, with again another breakaway try by Sedbergh who caught the RGS backline off guard, leaving the score 9-14.
It is a tough loss for RGS to take, but take it they must, as this was the outstanding performance of their season so far, and it must be said that they faced a Sedbergh side that also upped their game on previous weeks.
That RGS were able to spend so much of the game playing in the Sedbergh half is a testament to their ability, that they did not manage to cross the line should not be too much of a concern at this stage though, Sedbergh defended magnificently.
Sedbergh, meanwhile, should probably be concerned by their lack of discipline, which could easily have cost them the match. It is always said that discipline cracks when you are under pressure, which is true and demonstrates just how well RGS played, but you have to feel that if Sedbergh could have maintained theirs, then they would have been under slightly less pressure.
Nevertheless, for both teams there are many positives to take from this weekend, and we can expect to see the fortunes of RGS in particular rise rapidly over the next few weeks.