Success for Perse 1st XV Rugby team
Wednesday 12th November: The Perse School 12 – 3 Northampton School for Boys
The Perse 1st XV travelled away to face last year’s beaten finalists Northampton School for Boys under floodlights in round four of the U18 Natwest (formerly Daily Mail) National Schools Cup.
Early nerves saw The Perse on the back foot, with Northampton going 3-0 up inside five minutes after an offence at the ruck by The Perse. For much of the first half The Perse struggled to gain a foothold in the game, with Northampton having all the territory and possession, being camped in our 22m for an extended period of time. Heroic defending saw us hold them out, with fly half Connor Sullivan making a superman style diving cover tackle in the corner to deny NSB an almost certain try. Sam Behagg stole the resulting lineout, with The Perse then managing to win a penalty to gain valuable territory and possession just before half time. A series of scrums and penalties in the Northampton 22 brought no reward but we were still in touch at the half time break, 3-0 down.
After half time we finally found our stride, with captain Harry Hitchcock leading from the front and The Perse pack increasingly getting on the front foot. Ten minutes into the second half saw the superb Perse scrum turnover Northampton, with Harry pouncing on the loose ball and running in a superb solo effort from 50m out. Pete Gordon slotted the extras to take us 7-3 up. The Northampton side look rattled as the underdogs grew in confidence and got their game going. More territory and possession saw The Perse build pressure on the Northampton line, a superb charge down by Sam Behagg almost leading to a try, narrowly disallowed by the referee.
The pressure eventually told as The Perse finally crossed the line for a well-earned second try, with fullback James Knoop executing a maverick between the legs flick pass to put partner in crime Tom Sherrington-Scales over in the corner. This time Pete Gordon was unable to convert the extras, score 12-3 to The Perse. A tense final 15 minutes saw Northampton throw everything but the kitchen sink at The Perse line but it held strong, an impenetrable wall of purple, black and white hoops shutting out the pre-match favourites. The final whistle rang out and there was a sense of relief and joy from all involved at a superb ‘backs to the wall’ performance on the road. The Perse will once again be on the road in two weeks’ time in round five, to face the winners of the Leicester Grammar Vs. Oakham clash.
Pupils can follow the team’s progress on twitter @SportPerse and @PerseRugby. The U15s continue their Natwest Cup run facing Bishop’s Stortford away this Saturday 16th, 2.30pm kick off