Former British Lion and boys’ school rugby coach, John Bevan, is officially “ready for Christmas” after an incredible season saw his 1st XV team achieve a flawless set of results.
The Master i/c Rugby at Monmouth School has watched his “fearless” players endure an exhausting season of highs and lows to ultimately emerge victorious in 100 per cent of their school fixtures.
Their success comes despite losing team captain, Lloyd, to injury at the end of the first game, along with centre, Edward L.
Presently, the School lies in fourth position nationally in the Daily Mail’s Schools Rugby Trophy, having most recently beaten Bromsgrove, Blundell’s, Marlborough, Cheltenham and Millfield Schools.
Monmouth also remains unbeaten in the NatWest Schools Cup, having reached the last 32 following the team’s victory against Stowe School.
John said: “I have been coaching for 40 years and never seen a defensive display from a school boys’ side like this.
“It has been amazing.
“They weren’t phased or upset by the reputations of schools like Millfield who have national players on the team – whatever was in front of them, they knocked down.
“Their commitment to defence meant that very little got through and they never gave up.
“They take pride in each other’s performances and never criticised anybody – it sounds clichéd, but they have a very good team spirit.
“When things got tough and they were down, they all dug in and supported each other.”
John described losing two of the team’s best players at the start of the season as an “expensive” blow.
He added: “That was a real low point – it was a pretty devastating and expensive first game.
“It’s a good job we had a lot of points on the board anyway.
“I really felt for the lads – it’s their last year in the school.
“I thought we would be struggling after that, but the boys really stepped up.
“The main reason we won was down to the tackling.
“It was fearless and I can’t think of anyone who shirked a tackle – those schools must be really frustrated they didn’t beat us.
“But they couldn’t cross our line.
“Venji, Owen and Tom made for a formidable front row.
“They were so strong, the technique was superb and they were resilient – they just live for scrummaging.”
Henry and Ben, who together weigh in at over 200kg, played their weight throughout the season and Callum was named Player’s Player of the Season.
“Lewis was the communicator,” said John.
“And Hywel and Ed H, the youngest players, never looked out of place.”
One parent, Tom Sawyer, was so thrilled with the season, that he was moved to write to John, saying: “The wins in the last seven days stand testimony to the boys’ resilience and spirit.
“They were utterly fearless and the unrelenting vigour of their defensive game will live long in the memory. Their unity, selflessness and pride shine through; they do you great credit.”
But the thrilling season has taken its toll on the proud coach.
John added: “I was never this tired when I was playing – I’ve been like a zombie after some of the games.
“I and co-coach, Paul Morris, feel we are definitely ready for Christmas.”
Milan scoring the 1st try for Monmouth School against Millfield on 29 Nov 2014
FIXTURES & RESULTS
|Sat 6 Sept 2014||Home||Marlborough College||Won 25-10||Daily Mail Trophy|
|Sat 13 Sept 2014||Away||Cheltenham College||Won 39-12||Daily Mail Trophy|
|Thurs 18 Sept 2014||Home||Wycliffe College||W/O||NatWest Cup – Rd 2|
|Sat 27 Sept 2014||Away||Bristol Grammar School||Won 43 – 0||Daily Mail Trophy|
|Wed 1 Oct 2014||Home||Christ College||Won 39 – 0|
|Sat 4 Oct 2014||Home||The King’s School, Worcester||Won 22 – 0||Daily Mail Trophy|
|Sat 11 Oct 2014||Home||Sir Thomas Rich’s School||Won 20 – 9||Daily Mail Trophy|
|Tues 14 Oct 2014||Away||Beaufort Co-operative Academy||Won 50 – 7||NatWest Cup – Rd 3|
|Sat 8 Nov 2014||Home||Colston’s School||Won 20 – 0||Daily Mail Trophy|
|Sat 15 Nov 2014||Away||Bromsgrove School||Won 13 – 10||Daily Mail Trophy|
|Wed 19 Nov 2014||Away||Backwell School||Won 31 – 12||NatWest Cup – Rd 4|
|Sat 29 Nov 2014||Home||Millfield School||Won 10 – 8||Daily Mail Trophy|
|Wed 3 Dec 2014||Home||Stowe School||Won 11 – 7||NatWest Cup – Rd 5|
|Sat 6 Dec 2014||Away||Blundell’s School||Won 24 – 12||Daily Mail Trophy|
Monmouth School’s 1st XV crowned Samurai Sportswear’s Team of the Term
The players – who have just accomplished an unbeaten season – beat five other schools to win the title, achieving 40% of the votes.
For the interview with delighted Master i/c Rugby, John Bevan, follow this link. (below)
Monmouth School’s 1st XV crowned Fifteen Rugby’s Team of the Term
Thousands of votes were cast through Fifteen Rugby’s website, with nearly a third of them going to Monmouth School.