At the end of a long league campaign Heath u15s undertook a tour to play their counterparts at Jersey RFC over Easter weekend.
After an early Saturday flight out of Gatwick the squad were straight into action with a private training session at the local sports ground with former Saracens and French international fly half Thomas Castagneide who put the team through their paces whilst working on some key aspects of the game to seek to improve overall team performance. The Heath boys responded well to the drills and finished with an inspirational talk from Castagneide urging them to take the opportunities given to them by the sport of rugby and to play with a smile on their faces.
The squad then moved on to Jersey Rugby Club for lunch and to watch the Championship Match between Jersey Reds and Richmond RFC. The Reds emerged victorious in an entertaining encounter notwithstanding former Heath mini & junior player and Warden Park pupil Ali Chisholm scoring a well taken try in the corner for Richmond.
Having reassembled at their hotel in St Helier the Heath squad ended the day with a team dinner, end of season awards and the ubiquitous tour kangaroo court .
Sunday's game saw a slightly jaded squad face a full strength Jersey side in glorious sunshine but on a rock hard pitch. The first half was a tight affair with Heath defending hard, absorbing a lot of Jersey pressure and counter attacking well. After 20 minutes the teams were tied at 5-5 but two late tries for Jersey before halftime saw them take a 19-5 lead.
Disrupted by a couple of injuries Heath fought hard but were ultimately overrun by 40 points to 10 by a well organised and physically imposing Jersey team. The game was played in good spirit and the teams lunched together after the game. The Heath squad returned to St Helier and ended the afternoon with some beach rugby before flying home the next day.
Back in the UK three of the squad who had not travelled to Jersey were playing for Harlequins Academy Under 15s against Bristol and Bath Academies. The Heath captain Dylan Thomas, who had the honour of skippering the Quins side, together with Andrew Fadera and Hugo Cordeschi all played their part in the matches which resulted in wins by seven tries to nil and five tries to nil respectively for the Quins team. All three players have been retained in a cut down squad for a round of matches against sides such as Saracens, Wasps and London Irish in a couple of weeks time.
With the league season over and tour now finished, the U15s will be entering some sevens tournaments over the next few weeks and then after a well-deserved break will reconvene for summer pre-season training and look forward to taking on the new challenges at U16 level next season. New squad members always welcome – see hhrfc.co.uk for details.
Remember Heath Rams take on East Grinstead 2 in the final of the Sussex Vase next weekend. Kick off is at 2.30pm at Uckfield RFC – all support welcome for what should be a great cup final.