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Tiffin Sport is back again for the New Year! It’s given us a chance to reflect on our first term and we are very proud of our participation numbers thus far – we have had 680 students take part in a sporting fixture so far, an amazing figure, with 384 of those representing the school on the rugby pitch! That’s 40 more than the last academic year, an 11.6% increase and 56.4% of all those that have taken part in a fixture – we are so passionate about participation and we’re so glad to see it continuing to rise, and it’s leading to some very exciting results! At the top end, Kai Smith, the 1st XV captain, is the latest recipient of the rare Gold Tie, awarded for 25 wins total for the 1st XV – a massive congratulations to him.

Even though we’ve recently been met with a Baltic blast of weather which unfortunately affects our block fixture this coming weekend against John Fisher, it doesn’t stop us eagerly reporting on some brilliant results following rugby fixtures vs Glyn and Hampton School in the couple of weeks prior to the cold snap!

The very first weekend back in the New Year, rugby fixtures against Glyn got us straight back into the rhythm that we created before Christmas. As Grists was unplayable, the away teams had to hold down the fort and the results that followed were mighty. The 13A’s (40-5) and 13B’s both won, and the 14A’s worked hard for a 35-5 victory and the 16A’s ran out 40-0 winners – more to come from them later. In midweek, the wins didn’t stop there with a comprehensive and controlled 34-0 victory from the 1st XV alongside a more compelling match in which the 2nd XV came out the right side of a 31-20 scoreline.

Those matches warmed us up nicely for a much more difficult task ahead, the block fixtures vs Hampton School. What followed that Saturday was one of the better mornings for Tiffin Rugby in recent memory.

Year 7, who’ve been due good results following their hard work and development shown in training, started off the morning with two exhilarating victories. The 12A’s were down 10-5 at half-time, but regrouped and took the match right to Hampton – they were propelled to victory (25-15) with the help of two phenomenal tries from Dan in the corner and the ever influential Jake who controlled the match with such poise for a player his age. The 12B’s comprehensively won with good performances from Max, Arjun and Luke in particular, but all played well!

The 13A’s keep going from strength to strength and rose to the challenge of a tougher test against Hampton, producing a heartracing 25-15 victory, helped by the driving force of George on the day. This was backed up by a 13B victory, furthermore highlighting the strength in depth of Year 8 in particular – they are really turning into a very good outfit as time goes on and we are excited by this progress shown.

The 14A’s got off to a brilliant start in their match, led by Zach who put in a great captain’s performance, scoring after some great handling from Tife. As ever, they were driven forward by Ethan and Faran sharing the carrying load between them, with Tiffin finding themselves up 19-0 and then holding on for a nail biting but much deserved 19-12 victory. The 14B’s fought back from being 22-10 down to draw 22-22 in a great comeback but, perhaps frustratingly, could’ve even taken the win at the end!

Unfortunately the 15A’s and B’s were outclassed by an extremely strong Hampton year group despite valiant efforts from Tiffin – no shame in losing to sides of such quality at times! Their day will come – we are particularly impressed with the aforementioned participation in this year group with around 40 attending training sessions, further reiterating that mantra of participation.

The 16A’s, who’ve never beaten Hampton before, defied the odds and produced a stunning last-minute comeback to seal a one point win against a seemingly impossible opponent to beat. Despite finding themselves down three tries to one early, they rallied together and found the heart, desire and the skill to win the match by a point in the dying seconds after sustained pressure resulted in a Chadi try to seal the victory. Alex in particular controlled the game perfectly and is certainly one to keep an eye on in the future regarding that 1st XV 10 shirt. The boys were elated and so they should be, results like this really show how far they’ve come as a team in their time at Tiffin! The 16B’s fought bravely against a strong Hampton side in a 33-5 loss that was probably a somewhat harsh scoreline based on the play.

Despite many injuries, the 1st XV put up a stoic and stubborn performance against an extremely physical Hampton, finishing just the wrong side of a close 19-12 scoreline. They have still enjoyed a really strong season with their record now standing at 13 wins and 5 losses and with upcoming fixtures against Latymer, Harpenden and perhaps a rescheduled match against John Fisher, they have a real chance to take it to 16-5, marking one of the strongest 1st XV seasons in recent Tiffin Rugby history.

It was wonderful to see all three netball squads compete in tough fixtures against St George’s this week. The girls showed phenomenal teamwork, strength and skill whilst battling sub-freezing temperatures. It isn’t easy to retain feeling in your limbs when outside for 50 minutes in -2 degrees in netball dresses, but they made it look effortless – well done girls!

That concludes our first sports roundup for 2024 – winning the block in rugby against Hampton School is definitely something to cherish and is a result of the hard work of all the athletes as well as the staff. Onwards and upwards for Tiffin Sport in 2024!