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Rugby For All Celebration Day

Mr. Slack and Mr. Duroe had the absolute pleasure of taking Bradley Bean from Y8 to the Rugby For All Celebration event on Saturday 10th February and this wasn’t just because we got to see the 6 Nations fixture between England and Wales! It was a result of Bradley exhibiting excellent attitudes and character that meant he was selected for the trip.

Bradley himself will admit that he was nervous when we first arrived. This wasn’t helped by the first thing that an RFU representative said to him: “Are you ready to walk out in front 90,000 people?” Bradley soon relaxed though, when this was corrected to 82,000 people. It was also evident that Bradley’s confidence grew as soon as he put on the kit that had been provided by Canterbury. Unfortunately, due to the Chinese New Year, the rugby shirts that had been designed by schools, which Bradley and the rest of 80 participants at the celebration event were due to wear, are still England bound on a shipping container. However, Bradley certainly did look the part in the substitute hoody and was starting to feel the part.

The day had a jam packed itinerary which included: a Q&A with RFU ambassadors, rehearsal of flag bearing, a talk from an England U18 coach and the Head of Creative Development from Google, and finally flag bearing on the pitch at Twickenham as England and Wales took to the field.

As part of the Q&A with current England rugby players Heather Millar-Mills (50 caps) and Eliis Genge (5 Caps) Bradley met both ambassadors and had a photo taken with them (an opportunity I didn’t pass up either!) After meeting the players, Bradley and the rest of the participants were taken through what they were required to do once they arrived at Twickenham and went onto the pitch. Now fully briefed, Bradley couldn’t wait to take his place on the pitch, which he was happy to tell the journalists that were covering the event during his interview. This comprised part of Bradley’s media duties.

After lunch Bradley heard from England U18 coach, Russel Eanrshaw and Google’s Head of Creative Development, Kirk Ellis. The message from this talk was clear that Clifton are in good company in our way of thinking – ‘take risks’ and ‘learning from mistakes’ is how they approach tasks to ensure resilience and creativity. What is good enough for Google and England Rugby is good enough for Clifton students as they follow the Clifton Way.

The last part of the day was for Bradley to take the pitch and welcome the players at they took to the field at Twickenham. Tom and I were lucky enough to be in the stand just behind where Bradley was taking up his duties on the North try line. When Bradley completed his flag bearing duties he was able to join us in the stand to watch the action. Knowing that he had been nervous, we asked if it was alright. His response ‘That was brilliant! I can’t believe I’ve just been stood there. It was awesome’. The look on his face was priceless and no words will get across the appreciation and excitement Bradley clearly had for what he had just done.

Bradley then took in the game, watching Jonny May cross the whitewash twice, right in front of us, in very difficult conditions. Not only did Bradley watch the game but he was keen to learn and tested mine and Tom’s rugby knowledge to its limits.

No article can fully do justice to what a fantastic day Bradley had and how difficult it would have been to find a better student to represent Clifton. Bradley ticked off pretty much all of the criteria from the Clifton Way during the day, which is not a surprise given how he conducts himself around school.

Year 8 Rugby Tournament

Once again, Mr Duroe had the pleasure of taking a team to the All Schools Rugby Festival under the floodlights at Rotherham Pheonix’s ground on Herringthorpe playing fields. This time it was Y8 who got a run out, the following lads put in a great shift against more experienced sides:

Luke Steane
Finley Chadburn
Kurtis Rich
Owais Fiaz
Nader Ali
David Santana
Owen Bailey
Saleh Ali
Dawood Rashid
Armaan Ali
Josh Humphries
Isaac Ahmed
Dylan Whatley
Ben Robinson
Coby Godber
Reece Seymour
KC McShane

The team played two games one against St Bernards the other Oakwood and the story of games were pretty similar. All of the Clifton team were happy to get their hands on the ball and run good solid lines trying to find the gaps in the opposition defence. All the lads were playing heads rugby and looking for the offload to keep the ball alive, which did see us make progress up the field. However The oppositions experience and expertise at the breakdown ment we came off second best and conceded too many turnovers to get complete any drive going forward. As seen in the photos the games were played at a high pace and tempo, which the lads coped well with.

I can’t fault any of the lads in terms of their conduct, which was excellent, or their determination to put in a good performance. Unfortunately Clifton’s hard work throughout both games wasn’t reward with the tries it deserved and we ended up on the wrong side of 10-0 and 20-0 scorelines. These score lines did flatter both opposition teams as both games were really tight affairs and showed the raw rugby talent that Clifton has. The determination to make tackles and make the hard yards were clear to see along with the natural ability of players like KC McShane to read the game.

Rugby For All Festival at Herringthorpe

Last night Mr Duroe had the pleasure of taking 14 Y7s to the Rugby For All Festival at Herringthorpe. Having only a handful of sessions of Rugby in their PE lessons and being up against more experienced teams outlet lads were going to be up against it.

We started the first game against St Bernard’s well-controlling possession well which eventually resulted in a try for Lewis Richardson who made a superb breakdown wing and finished well in the corner. Unfortunately, St Bernard’s were able to control territory and possession better for the rest of the game as they switched to more direct approach with several of their players able to execute a Samoan sidestep to good effect. However, they did have to work hard for their 3 tries as the entire Clifton team defended as if their lives depended on it. Definite bodies on the line stuff and none of them gave up and deserved better than the 15-5 scoreline.

The second fixture against Aston started as the last game ended with Clifton unfortunately not getting their hands on the ball enough to get anything going. Aston capitalised on a few tired bodies and their superior rugby knowledge at the breakdown. The game ended 10-0 to Aston.

For those with limited Rugby knowledge it’s 5 points for a try, so in footballing terms we lost 3-1 and 2-0.

I can’t fault any member of the team in terms of their effort and determination. This team has a lot of potential and already has an attribute that can’t be coached, grit! All of the team were willing to get stuck and make the tackles, against players that were in most cases were twice their size.

If you see any of the lads please congratulate them on their efforts, as myself and Mr Fisher have high hopes for this group. For a first game with little/no experience in the team they were excellent and it was a definite team effort. No passing to the big lad who can run through 3 people at a time. Our lads were trying to and succeeding at playing some proper Rugby!

Kae
Lewis
Sebastian
sebastian
Boris
Tyler
Kenzie
Alfie
Ahmed
Kain
Rene
Kyle
George