1st XV

Ryan Watkins
Head Coach

What is your overall review of the 2021-22 season for the 1st XV?

I think it has been a very successful season. We’ve played some great rugby and put a lot of pride into the shirt. Our forward pack has grown and we’ve been able to rely on a strong set piece every week. Which is particularly pleasing as much of the pack has been together for a few years now and it’s been great watching them improve week to week.

Similarly with the backline, I can see that they’ve learnt how to complement a strong piece, particularly in the last couple of months they’ve learnt how to punish teams with ball in hand. They’re still relatively young and I’m excited to see how good they can get.

What was your favourite game of the season and why?

Beating Stourbridge at home. Great atmosphere and support. Closely followed by the home game against Fylde, which was another gritty performance. Think we could beat anyone on days like those.

Any standout moments for the season?

We’ve been able to give plenty of young lads an opportunity to gain invaluable experience of National League Rugby, which will put them in good stead for the future. I think being able to play so many young lads shows we’re comfortable at this level and can be confident they’re in a good environment where they can develop without feeling any pressures.

What are you most looking forward to next season?

The league restructure will be interesting. It’ll be good to play a few more local games, as well as some clubs we haven’t played before. Looking forward to going South for a change on the M5. See if the coffee and bacon rolls are any better!

The most exciting thing about next season is seeing how good we can get. We’ve got some clear areas to improve on for me, but the potential of this group of players is huge.

What are your goals for next season and beyond?

From what I’ve seen this season I think we’re all starting to grow some ambition. We’ve made big strides forward and shown we can compete with anyone at this level.

But the main thing for me is that we stay in the fight every single week and make the club proud of us.

 

George Thomas
Forwards Coach

What is your overall review of the 2021-22 season for the 1st XV?

I think there are an awful lot of positives to be taken out of this season, not just in terms of stats and league position but, more in terms of how the senior squad has developed and improved both in ability, work ethic and culture.

With no relegation this year, the coaching group set the goal of developing as many of our own home-grown players as possible, which we have accomplished and now we hope stands us in good stead for the future.

Purely from a rugby perspective, we are finishing mid table, which is a reasonable achievement particularly given where we were with some very young players during September-November. There were some difficult games and below average performances but the group stayed tight, kept working and are now really reaping the rewards.

Mortimer Park is once again a very difficult place for opposition teams to come to (just ask Fylde, Stourbridge and Hull!) which is massive and stands us in good stead for next season.

We have had some good results and run all of the top sides close, however the boys need to realise and believe they are no longer the underdog and are genuinely capable of beating anyone at this level.

However, what has impressed me most and what I get most enjoyment out of is how this group of players operate together. They now drive their own standards, work hard for each other and then fully enjoy their time off the pitch as well, it’s how it should be and how I remember playing in the Lucs 1st team when I was 18 and it was run by the likes of Jaquesy. You can see in their performances that the players play for the club and each other first and foremost.

Our forward pack are once again up there with the best in the league and getting better. In the likes of Joe White and Owien Harriott-Davis we have some genuine top level players who are a huge asset to us.

In credit to Smithy and Ryan, we have also had some great signings who have really bought into what we are about as a club; Tom Smith has been fantastic, as has James Wheeler and Rob Aikman when fit. The lads loaned in from Worcester this time have also contributed massively.

Tom Jones deserves a mention. He has really come into his own this season, showed huge character, fired up our attack and has worked hard on his own game defensively to really make that position his own.

Mat Hackley as Captain and his senior player group require a huge amount of recognition for where they have taken this squad in the last 3 years; the example and culture they have created is outstanding and the results are there for all to see. Mat himself, although unlucky to miss the last couple of games with another concussion represents what is brilliant about Lucs and should go down as one of the best and most successful players and Captains the club has ever had.

I believe we are in a great place to really push on and challenge next season.

On a personal note, Ryan and Crossy as well as OJ, Brett, Lukey, Ed and Molly all deserve a huge amount of credit and have been a pleasure to work for/with.

What was your favourite game of the season and why?

Fylde at home in November. Massive result in front of a great crowd, a real springboard for the team.

Scrum porn!!

Great Movember social afterwards too!

Any standout moments from the season?

Beating Stourbridge at home was great, Monkley and TJ combing for Grimes’ cross-field try was unbelievable. I’ve never seen Henry pass the ball before-I didn’t know he could!

Every scrum/maul try also gives me enormous pleasure 😊

What are you most looking forward to next season?

Seeing how far this group of boys can go.

Our pack led by Joe White are becoming a real force to be reckoned with and, with the backline beginning to properly fire, the team will be a match for anyone.

We have a core of outstanding young players. The likes of Ben Link, Connor Deignan, Rob Bengry etc all have made huge strides this year, pushing standards and are really operating at national league level on and off the pitch, which is brilliant for the club and a great example to the other young players that hard work pays off.

Equally importantly they epitomise the club’s ethos and will be what differentiates Luctonians from the rest, hopefully for many seasons to come!

I’m also excited about going into the new league, travelling to new clubs down into the southwest, avoiding the M1 and hopefully seeing some sun!

What are your goals for next season and beyond?

Challenging for a top 3 position in the league. I genuinely believe that with the squad we have and how hard they work, we will be promotion contenders within the next two years.

 


2nd XV

Owen Jones
Lead Coach

What is your overall review of the 2021-22 season for the 2nd XV?

A successful season again. I’m happy with the effort from all the boys, they work hard every week and it’s nice to see that the hard work pays off with winning the league.

What was your favourite game of the season and why?

My favourite game this year was Syston away. It was a must win game for us to stay in the running to win the league they had a strong team out and were confident of beating us. It was a tough game, where we were pushed all the way. The boys dug deep and produced a gutsy defensive effort at the end to keep the win.

Any standout moments from the season?

Tom Dines playing a game of rugby without getting a yellow card! I was impressed he made team of the week.

What are you most looking forward to next season?

Next season is going to be a good one, we’re moving into the league structure with 1st teams at level 7. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m sure the boys are too. Our goals for next year are to carry on producing boys to step up to the 1st XV and to keep improving as athletes and rugby players.

What are your goals for next season and beyond?

I want the team to contest for the league title and I’m excited to see how the boys cope. We will work as hard as we can to be the best we can. For the future, more of the same please.

 

Brett Prior
Coach

What is your overall review of the 2021-22 season for the 2nd XV?

From a results point of view, it’s been a very mixed bag. We have won all the games that we would be expected to win but lost all our games against teams that would be deemed equal to us.

From a players’ point of view, I cannot fault any player that has put a 2nd team shirt on this season. Every game was played with the intensity and desire that makes Luctonians special. The commitment to training has been outstanding too. 

What was your favourite game of the season and why?

Really tough to call, but I would have to say Hinckley away in the league. We were never in the lead until the end, and winning 17-20 was a great team effort. That victory put us in control of winning the league.

 Any standout moments from the season?

To name a few: Noisy James’s tackles, 20m scrums against Syston, our Defence and some of Richard Spencers’ tries (when he decides he wants to score). 

What are you most looking forward to next season?

The challenges of playing against 1st teams in the League. It is really exciting. 

What are your goals for next season and beyond?

For players to be competing for 1st team places – the desire the 2nd team show in training and matches can only add to the development and improvement of the 1st team

 


3rd XV

Trev Bufton
Lead Coach

What is your overall review of the 21-22 season for the 3rd XV? 

This season has been a really impressive effort from all the players who have worn a 3rd team shirt. We have over achieved on all our objectives set out at the start of the season, with some really gritty performances. To keep the high standards of performance week-on-week, with many different faces in each team selection, has been a massive effort from everyone involved.  

We have had some great performances throughout the season, aided mostly by our regular habit of letting the opposition score 7 points first before we took control of games. The players deserve massive credit for their commitment and drive. It was a squad effort with a remarkable output. 

Some big lessons were learnt, especially around the later season start dates for the lower league first teams, which scared us (some more than others) in our first two league games. However, this was the last time we lost in the league back in September. Mid-season tours really do gel teams together, so a big thank you to Dave Edwards and his gang of support staff for this.  

From a player’s perspective, we have seen lots of development with players putting their hands up to try new things or positions and give it their all in true Luctonians spirit. The lads have all been fantastic, all looking after each other and making sure everyone is ready to perform, welcoming any player into our group from the Colts coming up to taste senior rugby or to returning players.  

 What was your favourite game of the season and why? 

This is a tough one with so many to pick from, as there have been some very impressive results, many that were essential to keeping us chasing the league title. Medics at home, Wolves away, both Newport fixtures were massive occasions, but Hereford away is my personal favourite.  

The result was not what we wanted or deserved but, to deal with the occasion, against a team of majority First Team players that were put in front of us, coming down to the last seven minutes of the match trailing. We had three setbacks in their 22 during this time, before scoring with the last play of the game to secure an important draw. It was an incredible effort from all involved, a tremendous show of character to not give up, to get at least the draw and remain undefeated in the league since September.  

The squad showed the talent and composure this group of players now possesses.  

 Any standout moments from the season? 

Aside from the Hereford game there were some big moments over the season. Alex Vaughany’s drop goal attempt (if you can call it that) against Birmingham Medics in a very tight match. Ben Lewis’ hit on the Malvern goliath with never be forgotten just for the sound it made. The first half of rugby against Cinderford at home was one of the most impressive halves I’ve seen from any Luctonians team, playing with structure, pace and control. The defence against Birmingham Medics as a team was outstanding, Vaughany made up for his abysmal drop goal effort to out-sprint two outside backs to make a try saving tackle down the touch line. This season was littered with highlights. 

 What are you most looking forward to next season? 

Competing against other club’s first teams, being the premier match on a Saturday afternoon especially in more local derbies. Being in a competitive league where our players can further challenge and progress themselves. Enjoying our rugby, mixing social and developmental rugby levels and sharing a few beers on the way. 

 What are your goals for next season and beyond? 

Targets for next year are to win more than we lose, making sure we make Luctonians the hardest place to travel to. Continue the progress and enjoyment of the players and build strong links with the 2nd team for our aspiring players. We aim to build a fierce competition for places within the squad and support the regeneration of the 4th team next season. 

 


RMS COLTS

Kieram Hallam
Lead Coach

What is your overall review of the 2021-22 season for the Colts?

It’s been a decent year for the boys. Winning the double Cup/League and making the last 8 of the National Cup cant be sniffed at, but I feel there was more there. We never really got going with a string of tough games that would have given us that top end performance we all wanted.

What was your favourite game of the season and why?

Builth Away. This was the game where it all started to come together and the boys started to believe how good they could be. Builth are the Welsh Champions and the boys took it to them, and more, in their own back yard! If the game had gone on for another 5 I honestly think we would have nicked it.

Any standout moments from the season?

The performance at Stafford away showed what a strong squad we had. They called in all their big guns and we took them on and, in the end, ran out comfortable winners. Having a back three of a Prop, Hooker and Back Rower to finish the game showed how adaptable and committed the boys are. Seeing some of the TikTok videos at the end of the year made us all smile!

What are you most looking forward to next season?

Seeing the U17s step up into the senior roles within the colts and demanding/pushing the current U16s to earn their place in what we hope will be another strong year at U18s.

What are your goals for next season and beyond?

To keep the Colts coming through into senior rugby at what ever level they feel comfortable with. We want to develop the style of play in attack and really have a focus on individual player development.

 


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