Lost 43-33.

We opened the 2018/19 season with a closely contested match against Merlins RFC in Barnes, with a squad group spanning 10 Sherborne year groups. A Pilgrims kick off into the wind was followed up by a head first crunching tackle from Chip Zimmer, resulting in perhaps one of rugby’s quickest concussions, just 15 seconds into the game (it wasn’t all too bad as a certain George North sent Chip a personalised best wishes message). The game resumed and the points came flooding in. An opportunistic chip over a high Merlins line from Ben Nott (the youngest member of the team and debutant) was followed up and touched down by the man himself, who then duly converted. Unfortunately, Merlins bounced back immediately and an interception try from one of their centres cancelled out our lead. Much of the remainder of the game was played in the middle of the park but the more organised Merlins unit targeted some gaps in the Pilgrims defence and we were forced to play catch up. Although the game resulted in a 43-33 loss, positive signs of things to come were evident, especially among some of the younger team members.