Rugby Tour

18th December 2013

The Chatham and Clarendon House annual rugby tour has always been a great opportunity for players and coaches alike to really come together as a team and this year’s visit to Rotterdam was no different. Lasting five days from Wednesday 23rd to Sunday 17th of October, the tour saw the Chatham and Clarendon School rugby team achieve three wins out of three matches.

On the first day, with a match coming up the next, the team was straight into training after the journey to Holland. Training in the middle of Rotterdam saw a productive session, not helped by a strong downpour, and after the team took the opportunity to explore the local area and take in the sights. And so, soon enough the first fixture of the tour came around against the Pink Panthers Rugby Club, which despite the name, the touring side soon realised they were in a tough physical battle with the opposition. Fortunately, strong performances from the pack including man of the match Joe Shelley and Jon Kerry helped see a win, with Sam Studd’s magical kick and chase try providing the icing on the cake. The score 41-22 to Chatham and Clarendon never dampened the home side’s hospitality though, and members from both sides alike enjoyed a great post match meal together.

The Friday and Saturday saw the team head back to the training field at Ghent, neatening up set plays, plus a heavy focus on position orientated drills, from the half backs to the front row. These sessions proved to be very helpful to the players, in particular Ciaran Jarret, who showed a strong improvement to both his awareness and handling throughout the tour. Then, with final preparations ready and a group meal in the Ghent city, the Chatham house team was ready for its tri tournament with the host Ghent side and Harrow, another touring side outside of London. The first match against Ghent, once again saw a hard fought physical contest, with notable performances from second rower Dan Beresford and fullback Thierry Preston who both made effective headways against the Ghent defence. Yet, soon enough the Ghent defence began to fade and Chatham House went on to gain their second victory of the tour 22-0. Then, with no time for celebration the team went straight into their third and last game of the tour, desperate not to be beaten at this late stage, yet the game regardless was very close against a strong Harrow team, with Chatham and Clarendon House defending stubbornly in the final minutes to secure a 3-0 victory and another unbeaten tour. Notable performances include man of the match Zack Michaels and Rory Middleton, who proved reliable in both attack and defence throughout the game.

Having successfully completed its fourth tour in a row unbeaten, playing in five countries, the Chatham and Clarendon  House senior squad excelled again as a team, coming together well on and of the pitch, with promising prospects for the rest of the season. Following the rugby tour Chatham and Clarendon House 1st XV played a strong Kings Canterbury side in the Natwest Cup competitions, a closely fought contest saw the Chatham and Clarendon 1st XV come out on top 13-10 with some great defending from the whole team showing great commitment.


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