Match Report
The Manchester Grammar School U16 vs  The Grammar School at Leeds
On: Saturday, 07 Sep 2019
Venue: at Home

A relatively warm Saturday morning with a slightly wet pitch set the stage for the U16's opening game of the 2019/20 season against Leeds Grammar, a strong rugby outfit. Kicking off swiftly, it was clear within minutes that this would be an excruciatingly physical contest between the two sides. A Strong start for both teams saw strong defensive efforts across the board with very few missed tackles, both teams look well drilled and confident.

After a sequence forward pods and gruelling contact, MGS made a break through the centres deep into Leeds's 22. The backs whipped the ball out right to Josh O. who was held up in the corner. MGS were not about to let their 3fforts go to waste, however, as George fed Ben M. off our 5m scrum and MGS were 2m out. Forwards piled in making inch after inch until a short pop to George allowed him to step the guard and dive over for the first try of the game in the corner. A sensational conversation from Mo put MGS 7-0 up after 10 minutes.

For the next 10-15 minutes the backs seemed to see nothing of the ball as the forwards worked hard in both attack and defence. A miscommunication and a few flimsy tackles then allowed Leeds's big man to go crashing through from 15m out to score. A relatively easy kick for the Leeds's 10 put the scores level at 7-7.

After resetting the same scrum for a good 3-4 minutes Leeds had the last attack of the half before giving away a penalty 5m out and allowing MGS to kick the ball out of play.

The second half opened with even more intensity then the first, strong defence and good attack. Leeds, however, caught MGS napping and took a quick penalty, span it out wide and scored in the far right corner. Leeds 10 missed the conversion to put the scores at 7-12.

A relatively uneventful next 5 minutes set place for Isaac to make a break on our own 10m line and then step, swerve and spin almost every Leeds player at least once on a staggering run which was finally brought down on Leeds 5m line, but not before giving an offload to Harry M. Who ran a very good support line. Players were closing in and Harry jumped for the try line, scoring an amazing try but simultaneously being shoved into the post by a Leeds player, an action the questionable referee thought wasn’t illegal. Mo slotted the simple conversion and MGS were 14-12 up.

Throughout the game, especially in this second half MGS seemed on top, winning scrums on the head and disrupting the Leeds lineout.

15 minutes into this second half half Leeds found their third try when another few poor tackles allowed a Leeds player to run in 15m out from the left touchline. Leeds, again, missed the conversion putting the scores at 14-17.

A few minutes later Leeds decided to kick for posts from a penalty 30m out and right in front of the posts, but pulled it wide, only being 3 points behind MGS new everything was still to play for.

Both teams worked immensely for the next 15 minutes and Leeds managed to keep MGS out. It was last play and all Leeds had to do was catch their own lineout and put it out, but MGS had other plans. We threw a jumper up at 2 caused the Leeds jumper to knock the ball into the 5m channel where Mo collected and ran through being brought down 5m out. From here it was a slugfest of pick and goes with all 30 players on the pitch inside the 15m channel. After a good few minutes George popped the ball to Mo who managed to drive through the tacklers and reach for the line. Another outstanding touchline conversion from Mo saw MGS finish the game 21-17.

Overall it was a gallant effort from every MGS boy who played and an exceptional performance, especially for the opening game of the season.