The OA Colts reach the half-way point of the season in good heart and making progress on several fronts. This season has seen OARFC for the first time combine the u17 and u18 age groups into one Colts set up, whilst retaining the separate age group teams in the various u17 and u18 leagues and cups. It is hoped that the new set up will enable more flexibility and greater scope to keep more young players engaged at OARFC and starting to make the transition to adult rugby.
The most significant measures of success are participation focused, and I am pleased to say we have approximately 95 players registered at u17 and u18, and of these, 18 x u18 players and 2 x u17 players have so far played rugby for the senior sides this season. I am very hopeful that this number will rise still further after Christmas as Saturday school rugby tails off and more u17 players reach their 17th birthday and become eligible to play senior rugby if they wish.
On the field, all teams have had playing success:
- U18A: This team is undefeated and top of the Herts Middlesex Division One. It has won all its games in the LV= Cup group stages and is now in the semi-finals. Most significantly, it has reached the 4th round of the National Cup which is to be played at Ipswich on 31st January.
- U18B: The team sits mid table in the Herts Middlesex Division Three, having won last weekend away at Hertford in a thrilling 22-19 victory.
- U17A: The u17A team has played just one league game so far as several games have been postponed for one reason or another, but this game was won convincingly 32 -13 away at Hitchin. The team is looking forward to competing in the National u17 Cup after Christmas.
- U17B: The team has played several friendly games and has won its two league games to date against Stevenage and Biggleswade. Like the u17A team, the team looks forward to a good run of competitive league games after Christmas.
OA Colts aspire to play fast open rugby with ball in hand and go into every game with the intention of scoring at least four tries. I am pleased to say that, across all games so far this season, the various Colts teams are averaging in excess of five tries per game. The top individual try scorers to date are Alex Rich in the u18s who has scored 8 tries, and Calvin Hibbard and Jasper Williamson in the u17s who have both scored six tries.
All Colts players and teams are looking forward to the second half of the season.