Fri 07 Apr 2017 15:45

Bournemouth Rugby Reports


Rugby at Bournemouth has been a real success both on and off the pitch this year.

It all started so well with a super pre-season, administered by the new coaching team of Jon Sanchez, James Croker, Jo Burns and Eddie Edwards. Our aim was to increase participation and interaction between the teams. This was done by introducing a 'Gold' Squad and a 'Black' squad, with the players that were targeting playing second team rugby or higher making up the 'Gold' squad. This concept has really worked and has created a very strong foundation on which to build unity and team spirit. With training numbers high and boosted by an influx of new players we were able to tackle challenges for all three gold squad teams successfully.

The first team finished in a very respectable 5th position in the league, which baring in mind we had a very new team, coaching team and game plan was extremely pleasing. In truth we showed ourselves to be one of the most talented sides, beating Brixham, Barnstaple and Lydney all of whom finished above us. We will definitely be better placed next season to kick on as the players become more familiar with each other and the game plan. I would expect us to be challenging for a top 2 place.

The second team had a record breaking season, being the first team to go through the league and cup campaign undefeated in the history of the club. What was also so pleasing was the movement between the second team and the first team. This is in no small part down to the commitment of the players to attend training and create competition, which is always healthy. The ongoing work by Jo and Eddie also ensured that those playing well in the 2nds got pushed forward and their impact cannot be underestimated. Next season, in the search for better, more challenging rugby, the plan is to enter a new SW 2nd team merit table, where the 1sts and 2nds will be able to travel together where appropriate. This standard will be very high and will better prepare the boys for 1st team rugby.

The third team also became representative of the transient nature of the teams, often being filled by almost entirely by 'Gold' squad players. They had a super season too under the watchful eye of Ian Moore and Pete Grant and finished third behind the 1st teams of Yeovil and Weymouth. The icing on the cake came with a 3rd XV D&W Cup final win over Swanage and Wareham. This coming season the 3rd XV will be playing in D&W 1 a real step up in standard and yet further proof that the quality of rugby on offer at Bournemouth Rugby is improving.

Finally the 4th team had another strong season and this side made up from the 'Black' squad enjoyed good hard rugby, mixed with a fun social environment. Simon Carkeet and Mark Palmer continue to foster a side that is committed and players with aspiration are being pushed through to bolster the 'Gold' squad. A third place finish was just reward for their efforts. As we ready ourselves for next season we, the management team, don't stop working. Already we are seeking to add two strength and conditioning coaches to the fold in order that we are the fittest squad we have ever produced. We are also looking to recruit new players to add to the competition and we already know of eight new signings. We are also working very closely with Wendy and her team to try and establish Bournemouth Rugby as a brand and help in the commercial aspects.

This year we have seen a number of changes in the structure of the club and coming under my remit is Stuart Gallagher who is the new community rugby representative for the club. Under his stewardship we are launching a number of very exciting initiatives to widen the rugby on offer at the club. So I am delighted to be able to say that we should be able to announce new projects in Womens/Girls rugby and disability rugby. We have also launched an apprenticeship scheme in conjunction with Worthing College which will see two of our youngsters Conrad and Scott working closely with Stuart in local schools and at the club. Whilst we all love a big hit, it has become apparant that the growth of Touch Rugby has meant that this variety of our sport is hugely popular. We have had a Touch Rugby section for a while, carefully and lovingly overseen by Siman and Ian, however we want to grow this, to incorporate as many men and women as we can and to create a whole club environment that pulls the Touch Rugby closer to the hear of the club. We are also looking at the possibility of setting up a corporate Touch league with a number of major companies expressing an interest. See below for Touch report.

Bournemouth Rugby Club is pushing forward with these objectives because we want to create stronger links with the community, we want to introduce rugby to those that may not have had the opportunity before and we want our club to be a beacon for how rugby's enduring pull of fun, friendship and teamwork can inspire.

Along with attracting new players and members, we also want to invest in existing players and coaches. So on August 7th we will be holding our inaugural Coaching Conference. This will be an opportunity for coaches of all age groups and standards to hear about brand mapping, club ethos and inclusiveness; listen to two key note speakers on coaching and mind set and to be involved in a coaching clinic held by senior coaches. Its this investment in people and the club that will help promote longevity and guarantee that our coaches and managers enable our players to be the best they can be.

It has been a fascinating first season for me. I have enjoyed it immensely and been blown away by the level of support, offers to volunteer and help build a legacy that will stand the test of time. Thank you all very much and I look forward to next season with optimism, ambition and confidence in all aspects of Rugby at Bournemouth.

Yours in rugby

Will Croker Director of Rugby

Bournemouth O2 Touch have had a good year, growing our database again and introducing a large number of people to O2 Touch and BRFC for the first time.

We have achieved this alongside a regular attendance from a core group, and have encouraged our members to participate in tournaments outside of the regular training sessions. This year we reached the quarter finals of the national O2 Touch Tour competition in June where we rubbed shoulders with Vernon Kaye, Jonny Wilkinson and Jonathon Joseph. We also got to the semi finals of the Ellingham & Ringwood RFC Touch Tournament on Good Friday and the Oaks Summer Touch Fest in July.

We have participated in the O2 Touch Rewards & Recognition programme, and work closely with O2 and their Touch Ambassador programme. Overall we are exceptionally happy with the progress made in what is our third year of operation and are anticipating a continuation of this success over the next twelve months. We see this as a real growth opportunity for BRFC with the potential to increase the number of regular attendees, introduce even more new people to the club and investigate concepts such as corporate leagues. There are exciting times ahead for Bournemouth Touch.

Bournemouth Rugby A&M Chairman’s Report; Season 2015- 6

The A&M section has had a tremendous season this year - from the perspective of the players, coaches, and parents alike – and it has been an extremely rewarding experience for me to be part of this. We have seen age groups grow in numbers, confidence and ability across all of the age groups – with some age groups welcoming in new coaching and management structures – so very much a season of change and success for all involved.

We are very fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and supportive group of parents that have been paramount to the enjoyment and successes of the players this year. On top of being there to support their budding rugby stars on the side of the pitch every week, come rain or shine – we have seen parents, relatives and friends roll their sleeves up and provide much needed support for key events such as the Bournemouth RFC Tournament (well done Julie Boddington and her team for another brilliant weekend of rugby and smiles!) – and the ‘mega’ fixture for which we welcomed both Farnham RFC and Cobham RFC Minis on tour – with also Fordingbridge, Basingstoke and Oaks bolstering the ranks. Our volunteers provided pitch side catering for over 1000 players and parents that Sunday – and collectively we made the tours for Chobham and Farnham very memorable – so a massive thank you to all those involved.

On the pitch we have witnessed our young stars excel across all age groups. Our U6s have seen a great influx of very enthusiastic players, and under the tutelage of a team of very capable and encouraging coaches they are positioned very well for their transition into the U7s and competitive rugby next season. Our U7s and U8s have continued to grow in numbers, skills and experience – enjoying fun filled TAG based training sessions and competitive fixtures and tournaments. The commitment of the coaching teams within these age groups is evident – with a significant number of coaches achieving Level 1 coaching awards this season. Their desire to learn and improve their own skills for the benefit of the children is impressive and motivating for all.

The U9s entered the world of contact rugby season this year, and with the support of a new coaching structure have done very well – and learnt a huge amount and hope to build upon the successes this year as they move up in to the U10s next year and the introduction of the scrum, the ruck and the maul. Well done! The U10s have performed extremely well as well – building upon a very strong season last year – with a number of semi-finals and finals reached in this year’s tournaments, including winning the Oakmedians Minis tournament in April. Their numbers have grown in terms of players and coaches – and I am sure that they will continue to grow and succeed next season.

The U11s and U12s experienced a fast and furious season – with the increased levels of physicality being very evident – especially against teams from further afield (really need to find out what they are feeding their players – raw steak by the looks of it!). Nonetheless our players stood up to the challenges well – and represented themselves brilliantly in fixtures and tournaments across the board – reaching semi-finals and finals in festivals and tournaments on a number of occasions. The U11s completed their season with a bang – being crowned both Dorset Champions and Dorset & Wilts Champions – a real testament to the ability, determination and teamwork of those players.

The U13s & U14s both started the season with new coaching structures, bringing new ideas and enthusiasm to those age groups. The U13s built on early performances with some great results against some tough touring sides, and the season highlight was reaching the semi-finals of our own Bournemouth tournament. The U14s enjoyed a very developmental season for the players and have, as a result, achieved a real team spirit and togetherness. The boys undertook numerous events to gain each other's trust such as rope climbing/paint balling – and also endured a stretcher carry event to raise funds for two charities that they have supported for the season – very commendable indeed – the boys are a credit to the coaching and management team - a job well done!

The U15s have a wealth of talent in their ranks – experiencing another very solid season – including winning our own Bournemouth Tournament and reaching the Dorset & Wilts final – a tremendous effort. The squad this season feature no less than seven D&W county players and also three Bath Academy players – and four players involved with DPP. Looking forward to next season to see what this talented group of players can achieve!

The U16s were expecting a tough season – but following on from their previous successes were very much looking forward to the challenges. The season started well, however a series of match cancellations led to a somewhat frustrating middle part of the season. Despite this the U16s ended up runners up in their pool for the D&W cup and continued into the plate competition - ultimately winning the D&W U16s plate against Sherborne RFC – a brilliant result! A number of the players were selected to play for the u17s in their cup competition which reached the national bowl semi-final - a great way to finish their excellent run in youth rugby for BRFC.

Finally, the Colts experienced similar successes – with the U17s winning the D&W Bowl allowing them to progress to the National U17s Competition Divisional Rounds. They subsequently were crowned the Southwest U17s Bowl champions – and were semi-finalists at the National u17 Competition Regional finals – and outstanding achievement. The U17s also had 6 players represent Bournemouth at county level.

The U18s enjoyed a great season of representational rugby – with three players representing the county at U18s – and two players representing the county at U20s. In addition, three players also made debuts for the senior sides – gaining very positive feedback from the senior coaches. Throughout the season the u18s were supported by the u17s who in turn were supported by the u16s. All players showed a significant level of flexibility - often needing to play out of position, with a number of victories obtained through their collective dogged determination. Very well done!

In summary, 2015-16 has been a truly exceptional season for the A&M section – and we are looking forward to continuing to build upon these successes next season. A massive thank you to everyone for making BRFC the club that it is – the club that every other club aspires to!

Yours in rugby.


Greg Pike BRFC A&M Chairman

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