2014/2015 1st XV rugby

Another season of rugby has (almost…) drawn to a close at Worksop College; it won’t be too long until we are hit our 100 year anniversary. Momentum remains good, with Worksop having produced a number of excellent XVs over the past few years. This season has been a resounding success too and for the first time ever, the first XV have made it to round 6 of the NatWest (formerly Daily Mail) Cup. This fact alone spells out the obvious: 2014/2015 has produced a very fine team. Perhaps not as good as it could have been – our under 16 XV of two seasons ago was amongst the best in the country. Alas, a school the size of Worksop often struggles to fully convert successes at lower age groups into the first XV, due to (I assume) our small size of 60-70 boys per year and the impact of two or three good players leaving (in the case of this team, one former player recently started for the Leicester Tigers 1st team!).

Victories this year have included: OWs, King’s Grantham, Birkdale, Hill House, Ampleforth, Denstone 2nd XV, Mount St Mary’s, Ashville, Hartlepool VIth Form College, Manchester Grammar School and Lawrence Sheriff. Three reversals occurred against Nottingham High School (by 4 points), Cardinal Newman, Argentina and Trent College (by 4 points). So, two narrow losses against our biggest rivals and a bigger loss against a big (and aged!) tour side from Argentina is disappointing, but on reflection not unexpected. Trent and the High School are well-established rugby schools and the results could have gone either way (let’s not forget that Trent are the reigning Daily Mail Vase champions). But let us also not forget that the season hasn’t finished yet. Worksop entertain Lymm High School (at home) in January for a place in round 7 in the Cup – this mirrors the under 15 XV of 2011 whom also faced the same opponents in the same round at the same location (and lost by a solitary point on that occasion).

So, how does the 2014/2015 1st XV Compare to past seasons? Favourably for sure, and I would say the team would certainly sit in the top 5 XVs from the last 50 or so seasons. Since the beginning – perhaps they’d edge into the top 10 – but it’s hard to compare. Let’s bear in mind that the fixture list this year is slightly weaker than normal – no Oakham, Stamford, Silcoates or Hymers and no Denstone 1st XV – but the victorious NatWest Cup encounters against Ampleforth and Manchester Grammar made up for these omissions. And vitally, in the close win against MGS, Worksop are into the last 32 nationally. A win against Lymm in January would put us into the last 16. When you take the latter into consideration, perhaps this team should be higher in up in this all-time list.

Some previous XVs to compare this team to (I am in the process of adding all our results to Schools Rugby – this takes lots of time..!)

  • 2009 – Daily Mail Vase Quarter Finalists, narrow loss to eventual winners
  • 2007 – unbeaten season
  • 2000 – some big scalps
  • 1996 – strong season
  • 1956 – unbeaten against school sides
  • 1942 – unbeaten, captained by future England captain, N.M. Hall
  • 1941 – unbeaten, inflicted the largest ever defeat on Sedbergh (28-0)
  • 1938 – unbeaten against school sides
  • 1937 – unbeaten against school sides

And here are some of the best Worksop College rugby Tweets from 2014 – all inspired by the new Worksop College rugby Twitter account…

3 thoughts on “2014/2015 1st XV rugby

  1. Martyn Basher Cleasby

    16th January is a Thursday not a Tuesday…clarification please as we would like to be there in support!
    Basher / GBL


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