Hartpury College slow out of the blocks but bounce back to pick up BUCS...

Hartpury bounced back from a slow start at the BUCS Sevens to pick up the Plate – Hartpury’s fourth piece of silverware this week! With the College rugby first team taking the AASE Sevens title, the Under-18s rugby second team winning the AoC National Cup final with a 23-12 victory against Truro College and the Under-18s football team winning the English Schools Football Association Boys Colleges Trophy, the University Centre rugby team were looking to follow in their golden footsteps. Mike Luxton, who scored the try to secure the BUCS Sevens Plate for Hartpury. They were always going to be up against it after a 5.20am start and a four and a half hour bus journey to Leeds, and, although they kicked...

National 1 Week 29. Review

As the season closes, pride and passion remain evenly distributed in that all 8 National 1 games ended in close scores. 6 home wins; Blaydon triumph in the north east derby by the biggest margin of the day, beating Darlington MP by 4 tries to 2 and 13 points. Cinderford leading by 24 points into the final quarter generously allowed Henley Hawks to cross for a hat trick of tries in as many minutes to close the gap to just 7 points. The strangest of games where the away side dominated the first and fourth quarters, scored more tries but lost. Coventry boosted by 1500 or so supporters, plugged away to beat high flying Ampthill sharing 6 tries but...

National 1 Weeks 28,29 &30. Preview

Just one tenth of the 2015/2016 National 1 season to go; 3 X 8 matches, most now of little significance for the majority of clubs, safe from the perils of promotion or relegation. For Richmond(1st) to lose 2 games is the only way relative newcomers, Hartpury(2nd), could ease past and gain promotion. Last year's arrival in National 1, Ampthill(3rd) need to win all three matches where the leaders fail to win thrice. For today at least Ampthill, hosts to Fylde will be banking on a maximum 5 point win, whereas Richmond travel to Hartpury; the game of the season? Expect no change in the order. Blackheath(4th) also have an easy finish and should add 14 points taking them to 1 point...

National 1 Week 27. Review. No changes

Top or bottom, there were no National 1 surprises. Coventry alone beat form forecast, pleasing their expectant supporters with a home win over Darlington MP; both mid table and sharing ambitions for upward progression next season. Richmond 1st were tested by Loughborough Students 12th and missed the fifth bonus point as showers intervened. Hartpury 2nd won, crossing for the single try against 5 try opponents, Rosslyn Park. An extraordinary 4-2 outcome crafted by the boot of Gareth Thomson. Third placed Ampthill 3rd ran in enough tries to stay just ahead of their hosts Hull Ionians 12th by 2 points. Blackheath 4th cruised away at Blackpool, generous to their hosts who kept home support alive sharing equally the 12 tries in the...

National 1.Week 27. Preview

Its turned out nice again! In a general sense at least as the RFU decide to scrap the unsupported proposed changes to the league structure. National 1 clubs can now plan for better rugby and improved facilities for all. Change however is the name of the game. Promotion for Champions, relegation for the 3 clubs holding the bottom 3 league positions. Richmond should be comfortable at home against Loughborough. Hartpury,10 league points behind are also at home. Rosslyn Park are going nowhere now this season and as opponents have nothing to prove. But they did beat the College at home in December last. Could the double be a big enough incentive? Both sets of students are still on their Easter...

Aiming even higher for Hartpury College: Barnes relishing new role as director of rugby

John Barnes is clear he will not be making any sweeping changes to Hartpury’s proven recipe for success as he steps up to the role of Director of Rugby. The current head coach, who has helped mastermind Hartpury RFC’s climb into the upper echelons of National League One – they currently sit second after a fifth placed finish last season – will take over from Alan Martinovic, who is heading to Bristol Rugby to become their Head of Talent Identification. He will be supported by current RFC forwards and defence coach Mark Cornwell, who will move into the head coach role. Barnes will continue to coach the RFC backs, as well as overseeing all aspects of the rugby programme at Hartpury in...

National 1 Week 26 Review. High scoring returns.

Hardly a week of National 1 surprises other than down in the Forest. Esher left feeling no doubt robbed on the occasion. Perhaps a touch of Robin Hood generosity as they crossed for 4 tries yet conceded the win and 3 league points to Cinderford's 3 tries & 4 Chris Eden penalties (see match report below) . The other 7 games went with expectations although victories were more ruthless than magnanimous. Nothing for the losers except for Wharfedale, another struggler, whose loyal community of fans experienced a nail bighter of a finish, closing in on Richmond upon Thames to within a single point. The Student derby at Loughborough went with form and expectations. Hartpury then eased ahead. Whatever happened to...

National 1 Week 26 Preview. Snakes & Ladders

National 1; April showers; perhaps not but five final fixtures to savour.When its raining, have no regrets. When the sun shines and the spring is here, expectations are for the weather to take a back seat in its intrusion into form and expectations. What remains as variables are the "team of 3", their agenda on the day and the motivation of the teams. In that, relegation worries exceed the concerns of qualified entry into the Championship or even  the biggest snake of all,  descent as "administration" is declared. For the first Henley, Cinderford and Wharfedale contemplate the real possibility; for the second Richmond have declared their intent not to change status in any sense; for the third Plymouth are...