On Saturday 18th May, 45 pupils travelled to Pudong to play another round of competitive rugby fixtures against Dulwich College Shanghai, LFS and Wellington College International School. Despite the tournament being 10-a-side, it showed the growing nature of the sport at Wycombe Abbey International School that we could field two teams at U13’s and an extended squad at U15’s. In addition to this tournament, once again we had several players remaining at school to continue training with real focus being given to their handling skills and game understanding. The Rugby Club at Wycombe Abbey International School continues to swell by the week which is a credit to all those pupils involved.
On the day, all three teams had a mixture of success and defeat, but it is unquestionable that our improvements on the training field are being reflected in our performances on the pitch. One highlight of the day outside of some of the crunching tackles being put in by our boys was the 3 tries to one success for our year 8 boys against Wellington. In that game, J. Liu (Year 8, Turner) playing in his first competitive match, scored two tries and would have had a third, had it not been for misjudging the lines on the pitch. Once again, we were able to provide a few more pupils with their first taste of competitive rugby and they learnt a great deal which will help moving forward. For the more established players, they experienced another step up in performance levels but should take great confidence from their ability to match their counterparts in all areas of the game.
As a coaching group, we decided to award a player of the day for each of the teams and these awards were given to C. Parkin (Year 7, Blake), L. Liu (Year 8, Elgar) and A. Tian (Year 10, Elgar). Our biggest hurdle previously as a rugby club has been to develop the pupils game understanding but this has come on exponentially over the past month. The pupils at Wycombe Abbey International School are going from strength to strength with every session and I’m delighted with the dedication and effort being put into the programme. This week, we are taking our U13 rugby team along with the U11’s on a joint Netball and Rugby tour to Beijing. The girls Netball squad will also compete at the same age groups. This is a wonderful opportunity for our young pupils to experience an away tour and learn more about themselves and their teammates, whilst further enhancing their rugby education.