16 Sep 2022
Christmas Term 2022 - Sports Report Week 2

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge

Christmas Term 2022 - Week 2 Sports Report

Rugby v Marlborough College

The 1st XV recommenced their competitive programme on Saturday welcoming Marlborough College to Higher Park. This was a chance to blood several new players in the 1st XV, they started with good pace and movement of the ball, the ruck speed was high and our support to clear out intense. This created moments early on for Jack Robinson to scamper over shortly followed by Mark Kosgei following an impressive carry, Oscar Feingold switching from 15 last year to 10 slotted both conversions. This is where things started to go awry, playing too much in our own half and 22 invited Marlborough pressure in areas of the field we didn’t want to be spending time in. Allied with some ill-discipline gave our Wiltshire opponents a foothold in the game, their driving maul was quite productive from penalties to touch. This thread continued after half time with Canford struggling to win possession in the opponents half meaning our attacking threat was limited. We will improve from this performance particularly as we get fitter, the useful thing is that the first 20 minutes of this game give us a blueprint in attack. The more we can reproduce these moments the more likely we will be to win matches throughout the term. This week sees us renew our sporting rivalry with Craighouse from Santiago Chile and then new opponents on Saturday in Hurstpierpoint.

The 2nd XV continued their early season preparations with a useful run out against Marlborough. The touch and the grip quarters were a little frenetic, with some of the game conditions taking a bit of getting used to. However, when full tackling and then full game play were introduced there were some encouraging signs. Marlborough had more of the ball than Canford who were kept busy defensively, with Henry Steer, Ollie Fox-Pitt and Jamie Elviss showing plenty of aggression and intensity. When we did have possession, Frederick Bowater, Ollie and Jimmy Johnson carried well, with Jimmy picking a good line score one of our tries. Johnny Walster and Will Fountain were lively as half backs and kept the ball moving, and Tele Okubanjo showed flashes of brilliance with his fast feet. The moment of the game however, was Ivor Ritson’s try. Retrieving the ball from a cross field kick on his own line in the right hand corner, he beat several chasing defenders before showing a clean pair of heels to the Marlborough full back to go the full length of the pitch. We wish Jimmy and Angus speedy recoveries from their injuries and look forward to the season ahead.


A new departure for Canford and for Marlborough in playing a return to Rugby fixture that sees the sides made up from only Lower Sixth pupils and below. To their credit Marlborough brought a side that was pretty evenly matched with our boys. Both groups were willing to listen to the ref and that allowed for a purposeful match that allowed all to slowly return to contact on the back of limited training. Both sides had particularly good patches of game play, and the progressive game also definitely showed areas where both sides were more than a little rusty, and needed to do some work. A great afternoon.


The U15A side started their season with an encouraging performance at Marlborough. They played with high pace an enthusiasm. As the session progress to full contact it was clear that there was plenty of apatite to defend their line and work hard together. There were some glimpses of flair on show and they were unlucky not to come away with a win during our contact game at the end.


The twenty strong Bs squad travelled to Marlborough in good spirits. The boys were excited to get onto the pitch and ease into their rugby. During the boom touch games, they worked on trying to set a solid defensive line. Whilst most managed to get the right shape, we will be looking to increase the line speed for our first competitive fixture against Hurstpierpoint next week. In attack, the game plan seemed to be to look to pass to the strongest runner, rather than to play our set moves. This aside, there were some lovely runs from Oscar Ingarfield, Jacob Royle and Alfie Cochrane. In the last phase of the training session, we progressed to rucks and tackling. It was pleasing to see some excellent tackling. Tacklers of note were Luca Bartlett, Ben Cross and William Gulliford. The side was well captained by James Law. A great first run out which has given us clear goals for next week.


The Shells hosted Marlborough on Saturday in a return to contact session. The players’ effort and commitment was outstanding as they eased themselves back into contact, with some of the tackling by the end of session being exemplary. In attack the boys have a bit to work on but that is to be expected when starting the new year, never mind playing with people you haven't played with before. With the group facing the next few months and especially the next few years together, it will be exciting to see how they will fare, starting with Hurstpierpoint next Saturday!

With so many of the group new to rugby, it was a fantastic occasion for them all to experience a fixture against an opposing school on the opening weekend of term. Despite coming up against a competent Marlborough side, the team remained enthusiastic throughout and strung together some encouraging pieces of play. Most notably from Edgar Anpilogov, who carried the ball impressively into the heart of the opposition defence while Shay Glynn displayed a good understanding of defensive alignment. A huge learning experience for the group with massive improvement shown across the whole side.

Hockey v Bournemouth Hockey Club

A successful pre-season training camp, saw new faces incorporated into the squad and plenty of opportunities for the latest group of players to gel on and off the pitch, resulting in quality pitch time and three wins and a draw at the annual Cardiff Met University Invitational.

Following this, whilst all other year groups participated in training sessions to dust off the cobwebs, the first outing of the term pitted the 1st XI against Bournemouth HC Ladies 1st team. An unsteady start saw us struggle to gain territory or possession for prolonged periods as we adapted to a more physical and direct approach. This is exactly the variation we needed, however, and once we counter attacked a couple of times, the team settled and established more of a rhythm. Lulu Thompson reacted quickest to a short corner rebound to open the scoring, against the run of play, but the resilience evident from the squad was encouraging. Though BHC equalised after the break, we profited from another short corner conversion, smartly turned in by the impressive Tara King. Mia Ashby Rudd was dominant in goal and we were able to see out the game with a hard fought 2-1 victory.

This week sees us entertain our overseas friends from Craighouse as part of the official newly refurbished ‘Rossiter’ pitch opening celebrations, alongside the first block fixture of the term, versus KES Southampton.

Football v Wells Cathedral School

With the FA having decided to halt fixtures last weekend after the death of Queen Elizabeth II both schools used the scheduled fixture date as an opportunity to practise against each other, which both teams took a lot from.

Wells showed an ability to score goals, albeit initially fortuitously, when their player sliced a cross which went over Landale into the Canford goal. Canford upped their efforts with Merrell and Wittram working very hard in midfield. The hard work was rewarded when a poor clearance from the Wells keeper was intercepted by Sparkhall, who squared the ball to Kwan for an open goal finish. A further goal from a corner by Wells showed areas to work on moving forward for Canford.

Following a break for water and debriefing from the coaches both teams played a second period that was as competitive as the first. Both teams show good ability to create opportunities although not finishing as many as they would have liked with Wells eventually finding the net late on.

There were lots of positives to take from the session, which can be worked on in the coming weeks.

Running (X-Country)

It can often be mentally draining to get back fitness after the summer holidays, however pupils threw themselves into this week’s runs. To avoid the rain and wind on Thursday, we set off to Cannon Hill and ran around the maze of tracks and paths that meander throughout the woods. Tom C, Adrian, Abbie and Alex F picked up where they left off from last season, asking to run extra laps, and our new contingent of Fourth Form enjoyed the variety of ducking, side stepping and hopping over various obstacles. On Saturday, pupils headed north of the river to run around various loops through the fields. Cammy, Oliver, Ella, Henry S and Zac stood out from the crowd as they pushed themselves in the hot muggy sweaty conditions. Next week, we look forward to some sunnier weather, and a trip down the beach. For some, we continue to train for the first PEDSSA race at the end of the month.


The girls, both beginners and returners, have managed to show great determination and confidence whilst picking up their sticks after a long summer break. The new captains Milly and Anna are doing a fantastic job in inspiring their team to not only play to the best of their ability but to encourage all the players new to the sport. In particular, Fifth Former Hester Child has showed great natural ability and enthusiasm for the sport and deserves a special mention.

Canford Sports Department – Team of the Week

See the photos / attachments for the new team of the week. Across all the sports and year groups those who made the team were nominated by their Heads of Sport for standing out in terms of their attitude, commitment and performance.

This sports report is published weekly and is available via the Twitter feed and also on the dedicated sports portal www.canfordsports.com.

Twitter @CanfordSport Instagram @canford_sport_and_wellbeing

Christmas Term 2022 - Week 2 Sports Report