The first of many thanks goes to Adam Perrin for leading the charge in organising a hugely successful day. I think many underappreciate how difficult it is to organise such a day with enormously tight timings, huge numbers and all sorts of contributing factors. So many thanks, Reggie.
On behalf of the senior set up, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the Vets for lacing up their boots and coming down to put on a wonderful showcase. We are most grateful for your attendance and as a huge part of our club we welcome you back at any time. It was great to see people travelling from all different parts of the country to represent the OC's. I hear Marc Jones travelled from a place called Nantwich in Cheshire - which i looked up, and the first thing that comes up is 'What to do in Nantwich,' believe you me there isn't a lot. Whilst others, Darren Ramen, Gary Forge and Sam Keohane to name a few, we can't seem to get rid of. And by the looks of the young Ramen's and young Keohane, we probably won't get rid of them for a long while. I can guarantee the future of Ruts is bright.
The match was played in a the truest of rugby spirits, with the Vets putting a try on the 2s early, showing great strength around the breakdown with some bruising runs. I wasn’t particularly interested in tackling Sam Keohane, to be honest. We fought back well and put two on them before half time, Jenks finishing off a fine move in the corner. Braddock was instrumental in this try and generally upon his return. Darren Ramen then put the vets over shortly into the second half with a well worked try in the corner, reaching over in fine fashion - a flash back to the glory days. In my opinion there is still some decent playing years left in him, maybe Sam would disagree. The mighty 2s soaked up a significant amount of pressure and went over to reach the final score of 21-12. The game was close and well fought, a significant improvement on last year.
The fantastically spirited game didn't stop at the final whistle, with the customary team photo (to follow) and a rousing 3 cheers for Ken, whose sad passing was the dawning of this fine day. And as usual, probably the highlight of the day is Kens Mum and Dad's Chinese meal, which is customary on the Rugby Day. They do a tremendous job out of the kindness of their hearts, so we are hugely grateful to them.
The 1s followed up with a emphatic victory over close rivals Old Cats, giving us some breathing space at 2nd in the league. We made a very good team look quite ordinary - so well done to those guys. We are marching on towards promotion, we play Met next week who are unbeaten so all hands on deck. Please get down to Imber Court and support the boys on Saturday if you can.
- Written by George Vaughan-Barratt
It's been a busy few weeks for the Seniors, some great victories and some fine performances to note. Last weekend we faced an unbeaten Woking side in the quater-final of the Cup - it is worth saying they are dominating Surrey 4, putting 100+ points on some teams so we knew we were in for a dog fight. I'm sure they will be in Surrey 3 next season, I hope we won't be seeing them there.
They came out at home, in dreadful conditions, with a point to prove against their Surrey 3 foe. Ben put us over early on and took the wind out of their sails, but they responded confidently and put two tries past us. Henry, our resident international, then scored a wonderful try from within our own half, dancing around 5 players to put us level at half time. Noah then put us in the lead with a fine score, showing his youth and guile. With about 5 minutes to go Woking scored again and drew level at 17 all. Heart in the mouth stuff. The Ruts drew close and won a penalty in the last play, which Henry cooly slotted with nerves I could only dream of. I had to look away.
Final score was 20-17 and we have a home draw with Croydon in the Semi-final.
Saturday 17th was a double header of league games, the 1s away to WOBS and the 2s at home to Sutton and Epsom 4s.
The 1s comfortably beat their close suitors 42-24, and are now on the home straight to promotion. The 2s faced a Sutton and Epsom development side with a mix of youth and experience, as well as a winger who scored 4 tries and was clearly of an ilk well beyond his team-mates. At one point we were 33-31 ahead but it wasn't to be and we lost 43-33 in the end. It was a hugely encouraging performance and one we can build on for the next few games. Stand out performances from the young Will Donegan, Ross and Thom Bricknell.
Well done to everyone involved.
- Written by George Vaughan-Barratt
The Club is hosting a free event on Sunday 25th February 2015 inviting any U6 to U13 girls who are interested in contact or tag rugby in Wimbledon.
An initiative led by Surrey Rugby and aimed at encouraging girls who have not previously played rugby to give it a go, as well as for girls already playing to train and play matches alongside girls in other clubs. Surrey Rugby will be letting their clubs know about it and we are promoting it with clubs local to us in Wimbledon as well as primary and secondary schools, girl guides etc . There will be both training games and matches. There will be BBQ and bar during and after the training.
If you'd like to see more about what Girls' Rugby at Old Ruts have been up to then you can visit out webpage at https://oldrutsrugby.com/teams/minis/girls-tag
- Written by Jason Besant
Old Ruts vs Old Wimbledonians
Final Score - 22-19
Firstly, a huge thank you to the coaches and players of the U9s who put on an excellent spectacle. There was some brilliant rugby on show and it is safe to say the future is bright for Ruts.
As usual the side-line was packed with Ruts and Wimbledonians supporters, trying their best to shake of the Christmas hangovers and as a reward they were gifted with a lovely sunny day.
The Boxing Day fixture is equally a chance to show off some of the new Christmas presents, none took this opportunity more than 1st XV veteran Beany who was proudly sporting a new sheepskin jacket and t-shirt from the Mrs Whiteman to be. It is great to see so many people continually coming down to this fixture, many of the opposing players are friends, as too their families. Both sides have always been, and will continue to be, excellent friends off the pitch and fierce rivals on it.
The 1st XV fixture kicked off about 12.30, festivities were in full flow by this point. Captain James Kearney led out a young but unfamiliar looking squad, some returning players from years gone by and a few Boxing Day debutants – notably the fresh faced but well established Caolan.
Old Wimbledonians were the first team on the scoreboard; the Ruts defence was sloppy and let in a soft try to let them go up 7-0. I think the boys still had their Christmas hats on for the first few minutes, but it didn’t take them long to get into 5th gear as James Kearney ran over from a wonderful counter-attacking move started by Ollie Jordan and assisted by internationally capped Henry. 7-7. Some more poor defending let fixture veteran George Fairbairn run in under the posts for Old Wimbledonians – he’s been a mainstay for OW’s in recent years, a fine chap indeed. 14-7.
The mighty Ruts almost immediately returned with an emphatic score from Asher, who had a brilliant game. I actually saw him in a ruck within the first 5 minutes, a Christmas miracle of the highest order. Either he was trying to impress a girl or his family, I later found out that he had his mum, cousin and brother down to watch. They will have been mightily impressed with his performance. The kick was missed so it was 14-12 at half time to OW’s.
The second half was all Ruts, MOTM contender Ollie Jordan ran over for an excellent score on the break. Almost immediately Tom Richards, who was still taking off his London Irish kit, ran over in the corner for a brilliantly worked try to make it 22-19.
The finest display of the day was undoubtedly from young Benji Sumrie, who is 18 by the way. He doesn’t do anything fancy, not for lack of trying, but he is constantly providing support for his team mates all over the pitch and doing the jobs no one wants to do. He doesn’t even look tired at full time either.
Merry Christmas and Happy New year from everyone at Old Ruts.
- Written by George Vaughan-Barratt