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RPA edge out Teddington in 'barn burner'

posted 3 Apr 2014, 04:54 by Phil Broughton
Year 9 Richmond Borough Rugby League Competition 

Richmond Park Academy 42 Teddington 38 

Report by Mr Costello 

Rugby ball
The phrase 'barn burner' is often used in basketball to describe an outstanding match that in years past would have resulted in the gym 'barn' to be burnt down after the game in a frenzy of crowd fervour and excitement.

The rugby match between RPA and Teddington on the school field yesterday was indeed a 'barn burner' full of lead changes, massive hits, superb tries and outstanding examples of sportsmanship.

The game started with RPA conceding a converted try from the opening kick off. A preview of what was to come, Teddington's two excellent (and very big) county rugby players combined some silky ball handling, speed, sidestepping and powerful running to outflank the RPA defence to take the lead. RPA responded quickly with a try through Tim, and this set the precedent for the entire match. Teddington kept the ball alive well, using their well-drilled backline to pick holes in the RPA defence, only for RPA to respond time after time with powerful and unstoppable hit-ups, and despite drawing multiple defenders, they continued to manage to barge over the try line. Teddington led by eight points at half time.

RPA started the second half with consecutive tries following excellent kick-offs which forced two line dropouts from Teddington. This allowed RPA to briefly regain the lead, until a salvo by Teddington saw them take a 38-36 lead with under five minutes remaining. With the tension mounting, an excellent set of six culminated in Qerim forcing his way over, scoring what turned out to be the deciding try. Teddington had one last tackle to snatch victory, but unbelievable last ditch team defence saw the ball go into touch, sparking scenes of delight from the RPA faithful. Both teams clapped each other off the pitch and congratulated each other on a great game.

A massive amount of credit must go to both teams for the spirit in which they played the game. RPA, being relative rugby novices, were taught the gentlemanly conventions and etiquette of the sport. After a bone-jarring tackle which nearly snapped Alfie in half, the Teddington player helped him up, checked if he was alright and apologised for the force with which he made the tackle. On another occasion, Tainton scored a try by breaking through five or six would-be tacklers and going over in the corner, dragging both of Teddington's star players with him. Both players got up, tapped him on the head and said 'That was a great try mate'. It was great to see the RPA players reciprocate throughout the game.

Well done to all involved!

Team: Tainton, Tim, Alfie, Deolu, Giovanni, Alban, Kyron, Hashim, Josh, Ahmad, Daniel, Mason, James, Alex
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