Rugby 1st XV


1969-70 1st XV 

By J. Checkley

69-70 should have been a good year for Saints, who had all the prerequisites for an outstanding team — Strength in depth and outstanding individuals including five county players — Checkley, Harvey, Miller, Pooley and Roscoe. Indeed the season began satisfactorily with a hat-trick of successes but the strongest fixture list in the school's history seemed to reduce a potentially good recard to a very ordinary one.

It is difficult to analyse why exactly the team failed to win any of the really difficult fixtures against teams such Windsor, Reigate, Northampton, St. Benedict's and Llanelli. Although bad luck is often blamed it can be said that a good team makes its own luck and this Saints failed to do. Perhaps a certain amount of fundamental hardness was lacking from the team in general, a lesson for future years, in that the team seemed to feel more respect for the opposition than was deserved. The days of 'participation' have long since left 1st XV rugby and whether good or bad, the team that wins is invariably the team that hates to lose.

In the duration of the season Dennis again proved to be among the most penetrative wings in the country and the inadequacy of county selection was once again underlined by the fact that he never received county recognition. Of the younger players Warby in particular and Szelewski improved immensely and should be class players next year. Harvey, Pooley, S. Hughes, and in the late stages of the season Goulding were the main stays of the forwards, and the backs, Cannon (vice-captain). Roscoe, Warby, Harris, M. Hughes, Miller and Dennis were collectively probably the best threequarters in the county.

At the end of the season a depleted XV made a short tour of Bristol where it had the misfortune to encounter St. Brendan's who, with three England players, would rate as the best team in England. This defeat and a second by Bristol G.S. tended to bring the Season to an anti-climax. The most satisfying win was probably that against Hampton, the first in many years.

Although a large proportion of the team is due to leave school there are plenty of good younger players who should fill the gaps more than adequately next year.


1970 School Magazine


School Rules

Brian Tilbrook's note

Photos of Staff

School Fair (1962)