Playing away against an experienced Melbourne RFC 2nd XV side pushed the new team but many positives were gained not ignoring the fact that the side included many players whom had drifted away from playing. Player retention is a national issue with many players dropping out from the club game after under 18s or school rugby. Old Leamingtonians have now created a vehicle for those players to play together when returning from university or for players starting new jobs or apprentices who struggle to commit to playing and training regularly. It is hoped this bridging team will play fixtures throughout the season and draw players back to club rugby during college holidays whilst providing a link team with the first XV players and players who have recently left Colts.
This inaugural fixture was very competitive with some wise older heads in the Melbourne pack controlling the game making the difference by scoring three times late in the game from the back of their dominant scrum. Highlights from an Ols perspective were the tenacity of Old Leamingtonians defence, this has become a trademark for the club particular mentions for Sennen Scobie, Nathan Chant and Matt Sawyer whom were a thorn in the Melbourne teams side by thwarting breaks and over turning the ball at critical times. A classic interception try from Archie Semple and a line break try from Kieran Hazell kept OLs in the game with only seven points the difference until two late scores by Melbourne secured them a home victory.
The team travel away to Southam next week and any players interested in joining the squad please get in touch through our website (www.olrfc.co.uk) the view is that all players available will get game time.