The 2023 rugby season began on Saturday 2nd September with a block fixture vs St. Gerard’s Dublin. These were the first matches, following an extensive period of preparation in pre-season, for our twelve teams. In the nine weeks up to half term we have played some eighty-one matches and much credit must go to our coaches, referees, parents and players for making this happen.
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Highlight of the 2023 season so far!
The highlight of the season so far must be our U16 team reaching the final of the U16 Cup. Following on from last year’s U16 Cup success, Wallace entered this year’s competition as holders and were drawn in a group with Ballymena Academy, Dromore High School and Methodist College.
A tricky assignment at Barban Hill, Dromore, brought a hard fought 22-17 victory with two tries apiece for captain James Gould and Ollie Fitzsimmons. Alex Stephenson kicked one conversion.
The pivotal game of the U16 campaign was home to Ballymena Academy in the middle of
Storm Agnes. The game was played in torrential rain and gale force winds. The hard work of the forward pack through Isaac Brett, Charlie Thompson, Alfie Wallace, Elijah Herdman, James Gould, Ollie Fitzsimmons, Thomas McCambley, Ben Ross and Sam Ravey led the foundations for an excellent 12-0 victory. James Gould powered over for another two tries and Alex Stephenson kicked a conversion.
In the final match of the group stage, Wallace beat Methodist College by 33-7. Luka Matchett was the man of the match, scoring three tries while Luke Wilson, James Gould and Alex Stephenson got the others. Alex Stephenson kicked four conversions.
The final was held at Pirrie Park, Methodist College against Campbell College. This turned out to be a fantastic spectacle with the lead see-sawing between the two teams before settling at 26-26 with fifteen minutes remaining. Campbell then got the upper hand and ran in three tries to give them a 45-26 victory. For more details on the final please click the link to the match day programme from Ulster Rugby.
Our forward pack and set piece were excellent, with Isaac Brett outstanding at hooker, Charlie Thompson superb in the second row and Ollie Fitzsimmons and James Gould ever present in the loose.
Our current Year 12 endured many chastening defeats in their early Wallace rugby careers but have shown much resilience, hard work and ability to learn and adapt in their five years.
Their progress has brought much pride and enjoyment to staff, parents and supporters.
Senior Training Camp
Our Senior 1st and 2nd XV’s enjoyed a four day training camp in Manchester. The highlights included spectating at the St.Helens vs Warrington rugby league eliminator and training at Sale RFC. A big thank you to Mr.Monteith, Mr.McIlMurray, Mr.McCall and Mr.Suffern for making this training camp a great success and on the trip.
Finally, on the representative front, a massive well done to the following boys who represented Ulster Schools’ U18 and Ulster U19 in the Interprovincial Series in August and September:
Josh Hanna Ulster U19
Lewis Stevenson Ulster Schools U18
Rio McDonagh. Ulster Schools U18
Quinn Armstrong Ulster Schools U18
Sam Warwick Ulster Schools U18
Josh Geddis. Ulster Schools U18
James Gould. Ulster Schools U18
Also, huge congratulations must go to Rio McDonagh who was selected to be part of the IRFU National Talent Squad for 2023/2024 season and to Quinn Armstrong who played for Ireland U18 Development at Cardiff Arms Park vs Scotland and Italy in August.
Finally, a massive welcome to our Year 8 players who have made a great start to their Wallace rugby careers. They have already enjoyed some encouraging performances against CCB, MCB, ERGS, BRA, Ballyclare HS and Sullivan at A,B and C level. They are looking forward to playing RSA, Dromore HS, St.Mary’s, MCB, Ballymena Academy and RBAI before Christmas.
Head of PE
Master i/c Rugby
Last modified: February 8, 2024