Next weeks guest on The Lions Den Podcast is England U20s and Harlequins Second rower, Hugh Tizard. I have had the pleasure of coaching Hugh throughout his journey both at Guildford County School and with Guildford Colts in the 2016-2017 season.
It was the 2nd of May 2017 at Bedford Blues home ground and we were 11 nil down at half time against York in the Final of the National Colts Cup with Guildford U18’s…
We had a strong side which was overflowing with talent. That season we only lost one game in the league against Cobham RFC in the league. Which at the time was devastating as we had the ability to go the whole season unbeaten. But on reflection that hard-fought out game where we narrowly lost helped us build foundations to prepare our mindset to not waver being behind in the final against York.
It was York’s second year in a row in the final, which was played at Bedford blues where they narrowly missed out. With their experience, they knew well about the slope into the bottom right-hand corner which when playing down into it was around a 15 point advantage. We also had this little gem as my childhood teammate Pat Tapley plays for Bedford and let me know about this through some reconnaissance before the game. One thing we weren’t prepared for was the length of the grass - all of our mercurial backs wore moulded boots which didn’t give good traction on the pitch and resulted in us tiring easily!
The second half was as brutal as the first but knowing the 15 point advantage we decided to play up the slope to start with and now it was our turn to play down into the right-hand corner. Having kept the York side below 15 points we were confident...
Down the slope, our bruising forward pack steered from the sidelines by former Harlequins prop Tim Davis. We held onto the ball well and barnstormed through the York defence.
As the second half continued we scored two tries after busting with our forwards through the well-drilled and York team. Missing both of the conversions, Bedford still led 11 points to 10.
With less than 10 minutes to spare and both teams throwing in every bit of energy they had to finish as the national champions - the tackles were ferocious, the crowd was loud and the sweat was pouring off the players.
The Guildford pack stormed down the pitch again. The backs attacked with hard running lines to get close to the York try-line. Picking from the base of the ruck was the current England U20’s and Harlequins second row, Hugh Tizard. The large second-rower picked and pirouetted more like a ballerina than described as a second row forward. He beat 2 defenders and dived to score to the right of the posts. The ball sailed through the posts on the conversion and Guildford became the 2017 National Colts Champions
Hugh will be joining us on The Lions Den Podcast this week to talk about his rugby journey. If you have any questions you would like us to ask please get them to us by 12.30 pm on Wednesday 20th.
Please send questions to Andy@lionssports.academy