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Worthians Rugby 2013/4 Season Report

Worthians Rugby 2013/4 Season Report

Afer a good set of warm-up matches against the Young WOBS, Old Johnians and Emanuel, the League

Season started with two high-scoring exciting games

against the Met Police and Old Radleians where, although

we scored 30 points or more, we found ourselves as ‘lucky

losers’ in each case. Our performances (if we ignore the

leaky defences) were encouraging – as indeed was our third

League game which we drew with Mitcham… but our

League position was not healthy at all. Alarm bells started

to ring as we then met the top 3 teams in the League and

suffered successive defeats.

Fortunately in the weeks leading up to Christmas, traditionally

a potential low-point in the season, the boys rallied well

with four successive League victories to secure a position of

safety in Surrey 3 – plus a momentum-building win in the

Surrey Cup and in a new year’s friendly. Sadly, this form did

not continue after January and, having avoided the twin

threats of relegation and promotion, we finished off with

some average performances only managing a win against

Raynes Park, and a draw to secure 6th place in the League.

Our run in the Surrey Cup continued with a close win against

Haslemere, but we were eliminated in the semi-final.

The team was led for the second Season by Jack Bodkin at

Number 8. When we had our best forwards available we put

in some high class performances, and the trick was to get

the same team playing week in week out. Our regular props

were the ever-dependable Peter Osborne and Giles Heather

– with Marco Boodramsingh putting in a lot of graft (and

some dubious up-and-unders) during the season. These

were partnered at various times by guest hookers Ed

Hackett, Andy Thick and Phil Swann who all made an impact

when they played. Richard Brown and Josh Taylor were in

the engine room of the second row much of the time, while

Dom Bosher was proving to be pacey and effective also in

A profile on Nick Walshe (B’92) WOBS RFC’s new President

Nick was born on 1st November 1974 in

Chiswick, London, studied at Worth from

1987-1992, and went on to graduate with

a BA Hons Business Studies from Kingston


He enjoyed a flourishing rugby playing career

playing for Harlequins, Saracens and Bath. He

showed his versatility by covering both half

back positions, winning two England caps, six

days apart, on tour in Australia and also

representing and captaining the A team that

has since become England Saxons.

Since his appointment as a National Academy

Coach with the RFU Elite Rugby Department last

September, Nick has played an important role in

assisting England U20 Head Coach Rob Hunter

and guiding them to the IRB Junior World

Championship title, beating Wales in the final.

In January this year Nick was

presented with Performance

Development Coach of the

Year Award at the UK Coaching

Awards 2013.

For 2014/15 he has taken up

the post of attack coach at

Gloucester Rugby.

the 2nd row, until an injury curtailed his season. The back

row was well supplied with skipper Jack Bodkin once again

making the hard yards with his pick-ups from the base of

our (sometimes retreating) set piece scrums and always

leading by example, flanked by guest Ken Marshall and,

variously, Giles Sacarello, Dan Pring (both of whom were

limited by injuries this season) and newcomer Raffaele

Marino – our versatile Neapolitan flanker and sometime

prop, who hands were always first to get to any loose ball

(and, for that matter, they were often the first to get the

referee’s yellow card too).

Behind the scrum, the regular half-back pairing was Ollie

Owen (guest), who marshalled his forwards well throughout

the season, and Harry Killoughery who wrote his name on

the No 10 shirt for the season. Adam Braverman, our ‘prop

in waiting’ provided the bosh at number 12, partnered at

different times by guests Giuliano Russo, Rory Garratt and a

sprightly Ed Kemp and, later in the season, the veteran Lee

Howard. Rob Rooney soon tired of waiting for the ball to

reach the wing, preferring instead to hunt relentlessly for

the ball in midfield, eventually shifting into the Centres

himself, as well as covering scrum half too. Wing duties

were shared between Ben Calnan (at start), Tomek

Nawrocki, Eoin O’Connor and Ben Derbyshire and (when

available) Chris Brown. Like many others, Chris played too

few games for the WOBS this year, but his 3 tries to win the

Away game against Mitcham almost single-handedly in

February will be hard to forget. In each case Chris had the

speed and (just enough) stamina to round the covering

defence with determined outside breaks on his right wing

to score in the corner. Kevin Danagher had a remarkable

season at full-back, playing in all but one League games,

showing great flair in attack, as well as making countless

decisive try-saving tackles, and deservedly received the

‘Paul Kozary Memorial Cup’ for Player of the Season.

Our annual ‘older’ versus ‘younger’ Worthians RFC match

took place on Sunday 14th September 2014 on the School’s

Rugby pitch. In a hard fought match the ‘olders’ claimed

victory with a 53 to 14 final score to win the Glenn

Robertson Worthians RFC Challenge Trophy with Fr Kevin on

hand to proudly make the presentation to ‘olders’ captain,

Adam Braverman (G’05).

One of the key features and benefits of WOBS RFC is

inclusiveness of the Club and the great number of playing

members. While this is certainly ‘a good thing’ for sociability

and diversity, it does not necessarily lead to consistent

results on the field – as the team has to adjust to the

changes week by week. The very long list of ‘occasionals’

playing for the Club illustrates this point well. Thus in the

forwards, players like Nick Elvidge, Dan Pring and James

Madsen made a big impact when they played – but could do

little to improve our League standing. Likewise in the backs,

the rugby talent of Chris Brown, Ben Green and Craig

Monteiro were vastly under-utilised.

The challenge in the coming season is to persuade these

players, and a dozen others, to commit to 10, 15 or even 18

games per season. That way we will get consistent results

and the opportunity to climb in the Leagues. Not an easy

task if you have heavy commitments to a new job or if your

place of study is 200 miles from our home ground in Surrey.

It should be added however that there was no shortage of

commitment to our Social events throughout the year –

which were all well attended by regulars, casuals and friends

with very little coercion. This was certainly the case in July

when ‘Twenty Years of the Worthians’ was celebrated in fine

style (see separate account of the Celebration Dinner in Pall

Mall), proving that the Club is indeed in good shape. And

the good news is that a lot of our younger members are

keen to take the Club forward into the next two decades.