Fixtures, Results and Match Reports
6 March 2020
College Makes History with Rugby Semi-final Victory
On Wednesday, 4 March, Ivybridge Community College hosted the National Schools’ Rugby Cup competition semi-final between the U15 Academy Rugby Team and Harrow School. It was a hugely close and competitive event with Ivybridge progressing to the final, by the narrowest of margins. The game ended in a draw, but Ivybridge were announced as the winning team, as they had scored the first points of the game.
Chris Brown, Director of Academy Sport at the College said, “The day was a fantastic advert for schoolboy rugby and the values the game teaches you. Our team should be as proud of themselves as we are of them”. He added, “The College provided a fantastic event and Matt Shepherd, Director of Rugby, and our Rugby Coaches have done a great job. Thank you to the students, staff and visitors who watched the game and of course the players who played. The Team thoroughly deserves their day at Twickenham”.
The final will be held at the home of English Rugby, Twickenham, on Thursday, 19 March. We wish our Team the very best of luck!
The victory secured a first final for any Devon school side and the first West Country state school ever. Ivybridge had qualified for a home semi-final after an impressive away win at Wellington, 12-8. They were then placed with the daunting task to play Harrow, a team who had not lost a match in 2 years and were the Roslyn Park Sevens champions.
Match Report 1
The match kicked off with the rain pouring down and the home supporters loudly cheering on their team. Ivybridge shot out of the blocks with energy and aggression to give them an attacking opportunity; they took this with both hands, as a well worked maul brought them to the 22 metre line, where a backs move saw Matt put Jeremy into a gap as he slid over for a try underneath the post. Unfortunately, a poor kick by Ed left the score at 5-0. However, this was a game in which both teams showed their attacking power, as Harrow ran the ball back into Ivybridge’s half. Poor discipline by Ivybridge allowed Harrow back into the game with a penalty in front of the post; the Harrow kicker slotted the kick with ease to place the scores at 5-3. Ivybridge continued to assert pressure on Harrow, with a big defensive effort from the backrow and the centres, leading to Harrow knocking the ball on just inside their 22.
Ivybridge held their own against a huge Harrow front row, securing possession allowing Ethan to storm down the blindside with a destructive carry leaving Ivybridge 10 metres out. Sharp plays within the forwards brought Ivybridge inches away from the line before Ethan squeezed over from short range. Ed held his nerve to convert to put the home team 12-5 up. They continued to look sharp throughout this period of the match but struggled to convert. This gave Harrow an opportunity to play rugby within Ivybridge’s half. A lack of discipline at the lineout gave Harrow a strong platform for their forwards to drive them over for a try. A good kick left the score 12-10. Continued pressure from Harrow put them back deep within Ivybridge’s half and despite brilliant defence from Ivybridge they were able to burrow in from close range. The try was converted leaving the score 17-12 to Harrow going into half time.
The match was still very much in the balance as Ivybridge kicked off for the second half, both teams going at each other with intense aggression in defence. Shouts of appreciation came from the lively home supporters when big tackles were landed by the home team. This spurred the team on as they pressed deep into Harrow’s half, and a very well executed maul allowed Ivybridge to attack through the forwards, Ethan scoring a second try to the delight of the home supporters. Matt missed with a difficult conversion leaving the score at 17-17. The game opened up with frantic defence and attack from both teams with 10 minutes left. Harrow gained momentum, carrying the ball with pace and intent up the pitch, enabling them to release their backs into space, as their winger dotted down near the touchline. The conversion was missed, leaving Harrow 22-17 ahead.
Ivybridge knew they needed to score soon with 5 minutes left to play; they were able to retain possesion due to immense defence from Nick and Freddie, which allowed the team to attack within the Harrow half. Some strong carries by the forwards enabled space for Matt to run into, charging down their half before offloading to Jeremy who ran in to score. An explosive roar erupted across the pitch as the home supporters relaxed after a tense couple of minutes. Matt hit the post with the conversion, 45 seconds remaining with the home supporters in full voice sensing a victory.
A tense finish to the game as Harrow gained possession but a spirited Ivybridge defence held strong, as Freddie put a strong tackle in, allowing Ed to win a penalty. Matt kicked the ball out as the team were engulfed with supporters who were overwhelmed with emotions, as their team made history by securing a first ever spot in the final, playing at Twickenham. The team are now in the final 2, of the 256 teams that started the competition.
A player later described the supporters as “the 16th man”, due to their passionate involvement throughout the match, spurring the team on to a victory. Credit goes to all the players involved, particularly the backrow who defended incredibly well against very strong opposition.
Additionally, to the coaches, who have been an inspiration and encouraged the team throughout the competition.
Good luck to the team in the final who seek to be first school in Devon or Cornwall to win the National U15 Schools’ Cup since the competition began in 1988.
Match Report by Ed
Match Report 2
The first try was achieved by inside centre Jeremy, who ran an outstanding line off of fly half, Matt, who’s perfectly weighted ball allowed Jeremy to slice through the Harrow centres and place the ball down underneath the posts. Harrow then responded with a penalty kick, to bring the score to 5-3. Ivybridge then extended the lead to 12-3 when No. 8, Ethan, went over from close range.
Harrow then grew into the game after a series of strong carries leading to a penalty; they elected to go for the corner and managed to drive over with a strong maul which was then converted to bring Harrow within 2 points. They then built upon this momentum to take the lead going into half time, as prolonged pressure inside Ivybridge’s 22 led to a try following some incredible defence and fantastic ball retention.
Half time allowed both sides to regroup and following the break the messages provided by coaches were well received and implemented as the second half provided some great attacking rugby. Ivybridge made the better start and were able to level the scores after putting some great power play together, resulting in Ethan getting his second score of the game. The momentum then swung back to Harrow leading into the final stages of the game and they capitalised upon this and scored with less than 10 minutes of the game remaining.
With the score 17-22 to Harrow the support of the 800 strong crowd got behind the boys with minutes left. After a failed maul inside the Harrow half the visitors made a break to deep inside the Ivybridge half, a strong double tackle from flankers Freddie and Nick dislodged the ball and enabled Ivybridge one last attack to try and rescue the result. After retaining the ball, fly half Matt threw a great dummy and broke through the defensive line. With the full back opened up Jeremy appeared on Matt's outside shoulder to receive the crucial pass and had the pace to finish the break.
With a minute left on the clock Harrow threw everything they had at the home side, but managed to hold out and win the decisive penalty. After a brief discussion with the referee it was confirmed that Ivybridge would go through in the result of a draw, and Matt was able to smash the ball into touch.
The full time whistle was followed by an eruption of emotion from the crowd as parents, siblings, past players and significant members of the community all burst out in cheers of joy.
Match report by Dan
17 February 2020
Ivybridge Qualify for National Schools’ Rugby Semi Finals
On Thursday, 13 February the Ivybridge Community College Year 10 Rugby Team played Wellington College in the quarter final of the National Schools’ Rugby Cup competition. We are delighted to announce that Ivybridge won 12-8 in a superb game of rugby. Good luck to the team for the semi-final next month, which will be played at home, against Harrow.
The team impressed World Cup winning player, Will Greenwood, who gave them encouraging words after the match, “That spirit you’ve got, epic! Defending on your own try line, with all the senior boys leading the chants…. the scoreboard says you won; just wanted to say outstanding effort”.
The Year 10 Rugby Team played reigning champions, Wellington College, on a windy afternoon, after a brilliant run through the cup. Parents and supporters travelled up to aid the team in their bid for a first ever home semi-final.
The game kicked off with Ivybridge making a good break through the centre of the pitch, as Jeremy offloaded to fellow centre, Will, who drove to five metres out from Wellington’s try line. But they were unable to capitalise and released the pressure on Wellington. Wellington soon had their own chance and took it, with a perfectly weighted ball to the winger who beat 2 players to score in the corner. It was not converted, leaving the score 5-0. Territory and possession was then dominated by Wellington for most of this half. But an unbreakable Ivybridge defence, led by their captain, Freddie, and fellow flanker, Nick, kept Ivybridge in the game. With the end of the first half looming, Ivybridge were looking to put some points on the board. Excellent defence from the Ivybridge centres left them with a centre field scrum, and slick passing from the backline released Kyle on a storming run, before a high tackle stopped him deep in the Wellington twenty-two. This allowed the forwards to carry the ball close to the line increasing the pressure slowly, before Matt threw a great pass to Ed who beat two defenders to score in the corner, to the delight of the away supporters! Ed was unable to convert his try, leaving the score, 5-5 at half time.
After good feedback and strong messages from their coach, Mr Shepherd, the second half started as the first had left off, with Ivybridge gaining territory and holding possession, but Wellington’s set piece allowed them to relieve pressure every time Ivybridge pressed them, giving them confidence to move up the pitch. With the wind advantage, Wellington advanced within Ivybridge’s half, poor discipline allowed them to move 3 points clear (8-5). But Ivybridge didn’t drop their heads and took the fight back to Wellington’s half. The defensive wall of the Ivybridge team stood firm again allowing Brandon to intercept the ball and make a break down the touchline, feeding Ed who was unable to keep hold of the ball, just outside the 22. Ivybridge kept their position, with a strong run from Tom at fullback, before a penalty put Ivybridge 10 metres out. Ivybridge were then able to win a free kick. Allowing the forwards to carry the ball, before Kyle carried the ball to just a metre out, and with the power of captain Freddie pushing him through, Ed was able to slip over the ball, just visible to the referee, giving Ivybridge their second try. Matt converted, putting the away team 12-8 ahead with minutes left to play. Despite a tense finish to the game, with Ivybridge camped on their try line, and Wellington knocking the ball on over the whitewash, Wellington were unable to reduce the deficit. The final whistle blew as the lineout was not straight. Ivybridge players were swarmed by replacements, coaches and supporters, as they sealed a spot in a home semi-final.
The team impressed World Cup winning player, Will Greenwood, who gave the team encouraging words after the match, “That spirit you’ve got, epic! Defending on your own try line, with all the senior boys leading the chants…. the scoreboard says you won, just wanted to say outstanding effort”.
A massive performance and congratulations to all involved, especially the pack who faced a team twice their size, finding it hard in the set piece. Additionally, there was a strong defensive effort across the board, everyone putting their body on the line in a well-earned victory. Special recognition should go to Ollie and Nick who are both Year 9 students, who have played exceptionally well. ‘Man of the Match’ goes to Jeremy, who put in an important defensive effort as well as being a big threat in attack. The team had amazing support from parents, and their 3 coaches, Matt, Dan and Adam who inspired the team to a home semi-final.
Good luck to the team in the semi-finals!
Match report by Ed
13 January 2020
Resilient Ivybridge Qualify for National Schools’ Rugby Quarter Finals
The Ivybridge Community College Year 10 Rugby Team travelled to Chippenham on Thursday, 9 January, to play against Beechen Cliff School, Bath, in the National Schools’ Rugby Cup competition.
The game ended in a 10 -10 draw with Ivybridge going through to the quarter finals, due to having scored more tries.
Matt Shepard, Rugby Coach said, “I am extremely proud of the players, they stuck to process and showed a great amount of passion to come out on top. We have now entered the last eight in the country and hopefully we will stick to our aim and keep the ball rolling in the right direction.”
The next round will be played on Tuesday, 4 February with the venue and opposition yet to be confirmed.
Ivybridge claim victory over Beechen Cliff School in the National Schools’ Rugby Cup competition. The Man of the Match was Captain Freddie, leading his team to a 10-10 draw, with Ivybridge going through to the quarter finals, due to having scored more tries.
The team travelled up to Chippenham, with the hope of securing a quarter final position. After victories over Redruth and Crediton, the team felt confident going into the match. A large group of supporters travelled up to watch the game and encourage the team.
Playing conditions were very difficult, with both teams having attacking opportunities in the opening part of the game but neither team were able to come away with any points. Ivybridge dominated the territory game, but struggled to execute any chances, allowing Beecham Cliff to get back into the game due to poor discipline. They took this opportunity with a well worked maul resulting in a converted try that put them 7-0 ahead at half time.
The second half saw changes as replacements came on to add more energy. This created early pressure from Ivybridge, who were still winning the territory battle, but struggled to keep their discipline. This allowed Beechen out once again, but strong defence from the Ivybridge players kept them in the game, with Ethan and Nicky putting in some strong defensive hits. Beechen Cliff kept their scoreboard ticking when they got an opportunity due to an offside penalty. Their scrumhalf nailed the kick to put the home team 10-0 up.
Ivybridge knew with 15 minutes left that they had to capitalise on any possession or territory. This soon came from the ever-accurate boot of Matt, who once again kept Beechen Cliff in their own half, giving the away side an attacking scrum on the oppositions 22. They grasped this opportunity with many attacking runs through the centre of the field, with both Kyle and Freddie making big dents, before Ethan snuck over from close range. Unfortunately, Matt was unable to convert, putting the score to 10-5. Shortly after, with minutes left on the clock, Tom put Jacob into space with a pinpoint pass, and he ran past his opposite man, down the wing before being tackled. A penalty was awarded to the away team shortly after his break, giving them an attacking line out 10 metres out. A maul from the hard-working pack gave Matt a strong platform to play off. He took the ball to the line before hitting Ed, who carried the ball over the line to level the scores to 10 -10. Ed hit the post with his own conversion. This try was a key example of the versatility of the visitor’s backline who had restructured due to injuries.
The team struggled defensively in the last passages of play with poor discipline letting them down again. This left the team with a scrum, 10 metres out from their line, to defend. Nicky came off the scrum quickly, and with the help of Ethan, they dragged the opposition number 8 down. This gave Captain Freddie an opportunity to get his hands on the ball and win a penalty. A big performance from the Captain, who led by example and had an amazing game defensively. Matt kicked the ball out, with the team moving through to the quarter final (because they scored more tries). Ivybridge now wait to see which opponent they will face in the next round.
Match report by Ed.
19 December 2019
Rugby Team Through to Next Stage of Natwest National Schools Cup
On Monday, 16 December, the Ivybridge Community College U15 Rugby Team sealed a victory in the Natwest National Schools Cup over rivals Crediton, securing their place as one of the last 16 schools in the tournament. A last minute try from Matt, converted by Ed put the home team in the lead 17-12.
Last Gasp Win for the U15s
Following a tense and physical game against Redruth, the team moved forward with confidence into the next round against QE Crediton. Proving to be a very competitive game as the two teams met earlier this year in the Devon Schools Cup Final, with QE Crediton claiming the victory. The Ivybridge team had suffered injuries going into the game with a number of players unavailable; however Ollie and Niki stepped up from the Year Group below - becoming key members of the squad.
The match took place in front of a large group of home supporters. The game kicked off, with Ivybridge keeping the pressure on Crediton and playing some good rugby but failing to come away with any points. This gave Crediton an opportunity to attack, and poor discipline from Ivybridge allowed Crediton to take a 5-0 lead. Ivybridge responded quickly with some well worked attacking plays, releasing their wingers in space, before Jeremy made a break in the 22, offloading to Will to tie the scores 5-5. Ill-discipline let Ivybridge down again, but good defence allowed them to go 5-5 at halftime.
The second half began with early pressure from Ivybridge, giving them an early lead with Kyle scoring in the corner after some slick hands in the backline, putting them 10-5 up. Crediton came back strongly; scoring a well worked maul off a line out. The try was converted, putting them 12-5 up. Ivybridge then struggled continuously to get out of their half, again getting on the wrong side of the referee, this time resulting in a yellow card. Despite being a man down the team remained resilient, with a brilliant defensive effort allowing them to get good field position and an attacking opportunity. A strong effort from the Ivybridge pack at the set piece allowed the home team to regain possession. With seconds left on the clock, Kyle made a break down the touchline creating space for Freddie to run into and he carried the ball into their 22 before offloading to Matt, scoring in the corner, to the delight of coach, Matt Shepherd. Ed converted the try to seal a close fought victory!!
Match report by Barney and Ed