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Rugby Round Up

Rugby Round Up

Matt Marriott27 Mar - 13:46
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The weekly newsletter that keeps you up to date with our rugby family right across our wonderful club.

Welcome to East Grinstead Rugby Round Up. If you are reading this on the website, or via Facebook, please sign up to receive this Newsletter via email, which contains loads of pictures and other content, please email and we will add you to the list.

A sold out pre-match lunch on the club’s Ladies Day, meant the terraces were full to greet visitors, Hove, on Saturday. An important match to determine which Sussex side could finish highest and claim the season’s bragging rights. To read what happened, please click here: Match report

On Sunday, our Ladies had a really important match against Sutton & Epsom, who were sitting several places higher in the table. Every point is vital now as we scrap for survival! What happened? Wait no longer - read about it here: Match report

For Ben’s pics of the match, follow this link: Match pics

Next week is a break for the whole club as we relax and enjoy Easter before we go again for the last few league matches, and then concentrate on the cups where our 1’s and 2’s are both very much in the mix.

This weekend was a hugely busy weekend across all the junior sections with the annual Sussex Minis Festival weekend. This year Sussex Rugby has chosen East Grinstead as one of the host clubs for the tournament with Saint Hill as the venue for the U9’s from across the county. All the other sections were dotted around the county at the other host clubs.

Finally the rain held off for most of the week and actually gave us some sunshine for the actual day of the festival. Despite a cold wind it was a fabulous day at the club with East Grinstead hosting 40 teams from 16 clubs meaning we had around 350 players taking to the pitch. Once again, our thanks to our grounds staff for making this happen.

With the dry weather, Rob Ward sparked up the BBQ and was doing a roaring trade in food. Nikki was equally busy upstairs in the kitchen with a rotation of hot food being ferried out to the hungry hoards. Both bars were full too serving hot and cold drinks. A personal thanks to Rex, who as always, donned his high viz to manage the parking. With our neighbour's car park being unusable, they stepped in to help us by providing buses to ferry guests back from Birches Industrial estate to the club. Thanks to Liz Osterman for running this on the day.

Even the brass stepped in to help with our Chairman, Bob Marsh taking his unmissable car (well almost) down to Birches Industrial Estate to let people know where to park and President, Derek Hughes who manned the bar for the duration. As always a huge thanks to all the parents who volunteered to help out sweeping paths, serving food and drinks and putting out cones and barriers.

We had a lot of compliments from our visitors on the day and it couldn't have happened without you.

The club would like to thank all of our visiting clubs. Players and parents alike were model guests. With a few late drop outs across a number of teams, all the coaches were amazing at accommodating the last minute changes to make everything work. Even the last minute changes to pitch layout. Thank you guys, there is a fair bit of stress to organising these and your help made it easy.

On the Pitch, the U9s fielded 3 teams to take on teams from around the county. Once again most of our matches were close affairs despite some very strong opposition.

Again tackling remained strong across all 3 teams and we even witnessed some nice offloading out of the tackle that resulted in some very commendable tries.

With 3 teams there were a lot of stand out performances but on the day the awards went to:

Coaches' Pick - Freddie Mason, Chloe Adkin, Sam Walding
Parents' Pick - Nate Driver, Ethan Scott-Hosking, Sam Walding.

East Grinstead U10s took three strong teams to Crawley RFC, to face teams from Jersey and across Sussex, at the annual Sussex U10 festival.

All three teams dominated their respective pool games, playing some brilliant rugby. Coach Gareth Arthur noted, “The players should be proud. They worked hard as a team and displayed high levels of energy and skill, with controlled aggression in attack, as well as in defence. All whilst having fun. Well done!”

The U7’s travelled to Chichester with 3 teams ready to tear it up! In complete contrast to last week the weather was glorious - perfect for rugby.
Coach Ky Oliveira added, "All their hard work at training is really showing through, the handling was excellent with quick passes after tackles and the boys and girls running excellent attacking lines. Defensively they were pushing up on their opposition and making life hard for their opposition."

Tim Morris added, "A few of the more eager players have discovered that it’s easier to take a tag if you knock your oppo down first, but we’ll iron that out at training….."

Both coaches wanted to say a big thank you to Chichester RFC for hosting a well organised event!

EGRFC was well represented at the Sussex Minis’ U8s Festival in Haywards Heath on Sunday. The boys continue to go from strength to strength with every festival appearance and this week saw notable improvements in defensive play and general ball handling skills as they took on teams from across the county.

Our travelling supporters were treated to plenty of tries but it was the team work that really shone through and it will hold us in good stead as we look forward to our home festival in two weeks’ time.

The U11’s went down to Hove RFC to compete in the 2024 Sussex Festival. With the sun out, a rare occurrence in recent weeks, and harder ground, both teams were looking forward to some fast running rugby. Coach Dan Arnold added, "I'm glad to report that is exactly what we got from both teams. Throughout the day, both teams listened to the coaches and then put into practice what was asked of them, from speeding up the ruck ball to increasing the pressure on the attacking line in defence nothing seemed too much for the players on the day. After about an hour of rugby for all players, I think we had some tired but happy players. Well done all."

We take a break for the Easter weekend now but we are back at HQ for our own junior festival on the 7th April which will feature all the sections from U7s to U11s. It will be a very busy day and we would welcome any help in the running of it. If anyone would like to help out with the event, please contact me. Tom Goldsworthy,

Our U15’s lost the rearranged league game at Hastings and Bexhill 23 -17.
Limited squad numbers and injuries took their toll on the G’s. One benefit from a frustrating day, was gaining a losing bonus point, ensures that we maintain our top flight league status.

Our U16 Girls played Worthing in a highly anticipated clash, our ladies team unfortunately faced a challenging opponent. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to secure a victory against the formidable side. The match was fiercely contested, with both teams displaying their skills and determination on the field. G’s fought valiantly throughout the game, showcasing excellent teamwork and resilience. We displayed great sportsmanship, never giving up despite the difficult circumstances. Our players demonstrated their commitment to the game, giving their all and leaving everything on the field.

However, the opposing team proved to be a formidable force. They showcased exceptional skill, strategy, and execution, making it incredibly difficult for us to gain an advantage. Their relentless pressure and precision in their plays put our team on the backfoot, making it challenging to regain control of the match. While the result may not have been in our favour, this match serves as a valuable learning experience for our team. It highlights areas where we can improve and provides valuable insights into our strengths and weaknesses. We will use this setback as motivation to work harder, refine our skills, and come back stronger in future matches.

It is essential to remember that every defeat is an opportunity for growth. Our team will regroup, analyse the game and focus on areas that need improvement. We will continue to train, develop our skills, and strive for success in future matches. Every member of our team played their part and contributed to the game, never wavering in their commitment to the sport. Despite the disappointing outcome, it is important to recognise the efforts and dedication of our players. They gave their best and faced a formidable opponent with determination and grace.

Although all our teams are having a well earned Easter break this weekend, if you are desperate for rugger, then get up to Saint Hill, Saturday 30th March to watch East Grinstead Schools under 18’s playing a touring side from Spain - Rugby Club de El Salvador from Valladolid, nr Madrid, Spain. Kick off is at 2pm.

A sold out pre-match meal was a huge success last Saturday. With Ladies Day, also celebrated with great gusto, it was a brilliant and raucous occasion. Women’s captain Steph said “Ladies Day was a great success for the club and the womens and girls section. Thank you to all.”

Garry Gordon managed to get a short window of quiet to address the throng about STAR*, a brilliant initiative involving the club. To find out more, please read the article below.

star* scheme knows that the coaches, officials and community at EGRFC already achieve amazing things with young people every season.

Our specific area of focus is on supporting young people (and through this, their families), who have been/are going through Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) including poor mental or emotional wellbeing and/or who are financially disadvantaged.

We know from extensive research that for young people to overcome the impact of traumatising experiences, the building of resilience is crucial. Engagement with grassroots rugby is the perfect space for this to happen, as young people are able to build this resilience through relationships with trusted adults. What we do is to essentially “support the supporters” in this. We do it by addressing any practical barriers to their participation – kit or transport needs.

We also work with rugby clubs to provide specific training to ensure adults are informed and equipped to provide the support and space that a young person needs. We are committed to ensuring that ACEs are mitigated by being involved in sport, with everyone at the scheme committed to developing young people into leaders of the future.

In your area, star* scheme supports clubs to form links with local schools through The Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation, and provides funding, training and support to the clubs to enable the young people to transition to their local community rugby clubs, and to continue to achieve.

We got to see the scheme in action on Tuesday, as several schools came to Saint Hill from across London and the South East to play a tournament. It was a great success to see star*, Tackle London and MRRF working so beautifully together.

You can get involved to increase participation in both the junior boys’ and girls’ sections, offer training for all coaches in engaging with young people, AND provide a wider connection with our community as a rugby club. Interested? - You are invited to attend a club event at 8pm on 10th April 2024 in the clubhouse to explain this great scheme! Please click this link to download your invite: star* invite

A couple more cracking pics from our Touch team. Thanks to Tom and Ben for giving us all FOMO!!

We recieved this message from former G’s player Alan.
“I’m writing to you as a former playing member in late 1960’s early 70’s. Along with Pom Marshall, Pete Wickenden, George Brooks, Eddie Pitt and many other ‘legends’. To tell you a fellow club member and teacher at Imberhorne School, John Somers sadly passed away earlier this month. Your club may still have followers that would remember him fondly.
Alan Plester”

If you have any news about any aspect of our rugby family here at East Grinstead, get involved and email See you next week!!

Further reading