Category: The League

Lockdown – A Players perspective

Riding the wave of our success, our sense of achievement, our sense of brotherhood, the Roundheads felt confident in ourselves and the future. Training together was paying off, our bonds were solidifying, our friendships putting down roots, our skills starting to blossom. And then Coronavirus. Our training sessions were postponed, our games cancelled, our league was called off. Lockdown had arrived.

At first it was no big deal. No one knew what to expect, how long it would last, how it would affect us. Then the truth of the situation became clear. People were sick. Worse: people were dying. It became clear this wasn’t some passing experience, this was going to be a battle the entire country was facing.

The Roundheads is a team, a family of differences. Despite the trying times, and despite our differences, we knew that even divided by roles, separated by symptoms and space, support was there. It came in many forms: The Group chat: a place where every member of the team can talk. The checking in, are we ok? How are we doing? Is anyone struggling? The conversations about drag race, about Boris, about the weather, anything and everything helped. The reminiscences about past games and moments, looking back on fond memories we share, talking about our future and the plans to make more.

The Zoom calls: whether it’s a conversation over our Sunday roasts, some online training and coaching or the weekly quiz, these virtual get togethers keep us close and conscious of each other’s state of mind. As well as an excuse to show off how few brain cells we’ve lost to tackles and tries and teamwork.

The challenges: from the creating challenges (trash bag fashion show), the recreating challenges (album covers, film scenes and art works) as well as the lip sync challenges. All gave us something to work together to create. They cured the boredom for a while, they created a sense of camaraderie between us that we missed, they provided solidarity in the wider community and they provided an insight into the team for those outsiders considering a future with the Roundheads. The pictures and videos serve to entertain, to distract and remind us we are a team.

Ball, Kick, Kit, Studs (Music Video)

We are sorry that we have been a little silent on our challenges recentlty, we felt inspired by this quote and have been working on something big:“????’? ??? ?????? ?? ???????. ??? ??? ???? ???????? ??? ???? ??? ?????? ? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ??? ?? ??, ??? ???’?? ???? ??????? ?? ???? ???? ???????” – Todrick HallFrom our homes, for our friends. From the Roundheads with love. ?❤️

Posted by Hull Roundheads RUFC on Saturday, 16 May 2020

The birthday celebrations: birthdays in lockdown could easily be something overlooked, forgotten about or even resented. As a team we come together and celebrate each players birthday, maybe just a collective singing of happy birthday or a risky roast of each other but whatever form it takes the message is the same: each player is respected, appreciated and loved.

It wasn’t until the hard times began that I realised the meaning and the depth of feeling that was tied up with my team. I didn’t realise how much time I spent with them. I didn’t realise how much I depended on them all. I realise it now. Now I know how close we are. Now I know how important each player is to me, how important we are to each other. If anything, this time apart has done nothing but confirm how necessary the Roundheads is for me. I cannot wait to arrive at training and see their faces. I cannot wait to play a game, and win or lose, embrace my brothers afterwards. I cannot wait to see them in person and share their smiles.

To anyone thinking about joining a team, I’d say “do it as soon as you can” if that team is the Roundheads I know you’ll be welcome. We’re a team, a family, a home. A time to get together is still far off, and each of us has to get through this. I’m proud to play alongside key workers that are vital in the fight against Covid-19. I’m proud to play alongside those players that clap for the NHS, those that do what they can to help who they can. I’m proud to be a Roundhead.

Hadrians Cup – A Players perspective

The Hadrians Cup saw the lads in umber from the Humber head up to Newcastle. The Roundheads were excited to play against our many friends from across the country and the IGR.

The weekend was an amazing experience of socialising, bonding and playing. There were far too many moments across the tournament, outside being the only team to win each of their tier games, to relay and relive all of them here. Each Roundhead that played contributed to our success. To reach the semi-finals was beyond our imagining, only hoping to play and have fun: we were successful on all counts and I have tried to summarise a moment or an attitude of each player that makes us such a strong team.

Ben – Ben lead the team with a calm confidence that belied the fresh nature of his captaincy. His words at the beginning of the day, before each match, after each victory and after our loss were, like the tournament itself, encouraging, exhilarating, electrifying. He played his heart out, and brought heart to the team, gaining his first try and the respect of players on the Roundheads and other teams alike.

Louis – An anchor: holding his place and pack together in the scrums before leading the drive forward. His consistency saw him weather each match prepared for the next.

Nath – beloved of Roundheads and Referees: Nath’s talent shone on the pitch. He ran rings, danced circles and weaved around the opposition. Quick to congratulate good game play to players on either team, he defines good sportsmanship.

Mitchell – his first competition for the team saw Mitchell triumph. Skilled on the ball, strong in the ruck, tackles, kicks and tries; he proved his worth that weekend.

Joe – never afraid to tackle, in the penultimate game Joe put his body on the line once more to defend the teams victory. He stood strong, steady and stout against the forward bearing down on him at speed. Bones were not as strong as Joe’s will, and he broke his clavicle in the collision.

Jamie – Jamie’s strength was invaluable in the games. Imposing and intimidating in defence, reliable in a ruck he stood like a sentinel in our half of the pitch.

Harrison – another player making his debut, Harrison was a player to be reckoned with on the pitch, defending and attacking with strength, scoring his first try in his first match and cementing his place in the team.

Adam – Like pale lightning, striking again and again Adam ran in try after try. Avoiding Duracell comparisons it is enough to say he recharged flagging spirits each time.

Polly – dependable and dedicated, Polly commits to every tackle and strives to support his team mates, eager to make space and options, through rucks, runs and passes.

Ash – Almost unstoppable, Ash tore through opposition lines like a falcon through a flock of flamingoes. Scoring a try, popping passes, lifting in lineouts and smiling all the way until the whistle blew.

Toby – Toby’s talent for tackling stood out on the wing. Timing and technique triumphing over many a man on the opposition, his confidence is rightly growing.

David – a mad dash down the wing, David came so close to a hard earned try. Tackled almost on the touchline, he was robbed of a try but the team got one due to his efforts.

José – Fast, agile, with glue on his hands, repeatedly José caught the ball and gained ground with stretching strides across the pitch. Gaining Roundhead tries and confidence with each game.

Steven – making breaks on his own as well as assisting his team mates, Steven was a whirlwind: yards, injuries and points were picked up as often as the ball.

Liam Sutherland – Liam played for the first time as well. He held his own on the pitch with more experienced players. Intercepting, targeting and tackling attacking players as they tried for tries against us.

Rob – flying high in the lineouts, confidently and competently competing for the ball, Rob allowed us to dominate possession in the games.

Liam S – unable to play due to injury, the torment of watching each game from the sidelines is unimaginable. Yet, Liam is our greatest supporter. Never missing a training session or a game, he embodies the rugby spirit: rushing injured players from the Roundheads’ and other teams to hospital when necessary and back to cheer the team on after each journey.

Each write up ends in a similar fashion, but so does each game, tournament and competition. Win or lose: we have each other. One of the best moments of the weekend wasn’t on the pitch at all. It was the post match lull, when ecstacy and exhaustion are fighting within each player. The team were sprawled three to a bed in an Airbnb feasting on KFC. We sat in contemplative silence sometimes, sometimes recounting moments of the day through smiles, but mostly happy being in each others company.

Being a Roundhead is to know that there is a team that has your back: support, encouragement and friendship from every player.

Tritons – A Players perspective

Flexibility and adaptability were the requirements of our last league match; we had players in new positions and Ian standing in as captain. Yet not a man there that morning was unhappy, unsure or unnerved. We laughed our way through the warm up with never a dropped ball. We supported each other and encouraged each other and appreciated each other. Above all that ensuring the team were ready with kind words, assertive actions and a motivational outlook was Ian. The order of events are blurred in my mind and I shall relay them in the confused way in which my memory of that game unfolds itself. The one thing I am certain of is: that in the first five minutes Nath, a player that cannot be held down, who bounces off tacklers, slips from loose grips, who is back on his feet if not brought down securely, stormed his way through the Tritons, who seemed to have underestimated the spirit and skill of the Roundheads, scoring our first try of the match.

Earning himself one of the awards for back of the match. As our spirits were raised, so was Liverpool’s game. They fought back hard. From that moment the game is a tumult of tackles and trys and two teams’ toil. A second try was scored by the committed captain in yellow, eager to continue his streak. Amidst the myriad line outs, most conceded, ground was gained in excellent runs by Steven and Ash, gaining Ash one of the Forwards of the Match. Through the furore of the match, and though the tritons dominated possession of the ball. It was clear: the Roundheads relish a good tackle. Toby: unwavering, defended the line, almost defying the laws of physics, he rendered a towering Triton transfixed. Ben, hunting down a giant of the forward pack, pouncing with strength and skill and commitment forcing a knock on. Ben again, with Polly this time double teaming a triton on the try line. Polly playing on with a split cheek and loosened teeth after some friendly fire in the fall out. Joe, constantly improving on the wing, unafraid to wrestle with mountains as they try to pass him by, often winning the tackle if not slowing the player down.

The defensive line was much improved, and they were quick to react as Mark steered the team through the game with a calm and quiet authority, never needing to roar to be heard. An honour he’s earned more than once, Morgan received the other Forward of the Match award for bravery in facing down the enemy, unflinchingly taking the ball and tackles to players twice his height and weight. Ben deservedly won the second back of the match award for the shift he put in as fullback, his first time in such an important position and a challenge he rose to and conquered. The Tritons played fast and physical, their forwards were heavy machinery moving at pace. The team taught us a lesson or two about diving on balls, defending contact and dominating rucks. They won the game. Our last league match was over.

We’re comfortably bottom of the league. Why did we end grinning, and laughing and embracing each other? Why did we celebrate in cold sunlight? Why was the pleasure clear in every face? Because we supported each other and encouraged each other and appreciated each other. Because we’re Roundheads.

You can see the full gallery over on our facebook

Images provided by EMH Photography Hull

Templars – A Players perspective

The Roundheads rocked up to York ready for for a good game with good friends. The atmosphere was somehow different, maybe it was the absence of pressure a league game entails or maybe just a sense of easiness around players that have joined us on the pitch as teammates before. Whatever it was, the weather reflected the spirits of the team: the day was fresh.

Waves of blue and yellow smashed into each other as the game began. The Templars were quick on their feet, but Roundheads had the size and the strength. Like lightning striking mountains, the yellows fended off each attack scoring several tries in quick succession but not without injury.

First blood to the Templars, Adam finishing the friendly sporting a blacked and bloodied eye. Studs and stern words flew on both sides as the stress started to show. The Templar’s pushed the Roundheads hard, forcing us to get the basics spot on, keeping the defensive line tight and up, supporting the ball carrier close and continuously.

Liam Sutherland was thrown in at the deep end: playing his first match as winger against the swift and speedy side in stripes. Players were put through their paces, and lacking sufficient subs, teammates carrying injuries picked up in this or previous games prolonged their play past the point of pain.

Many of the forwards were limping by the end, some before: Rich already carrying an injured leg made it onto the pitch in the final quarter to play with pride and passion for his brothers alongside Ben who returned to play with a recovering hamstring gaining a head injury in the process.

Try scorers for the Roundheads were: Jamie who seemed to part the Templars like Moses did the Red Sea, scoring his first try for the team. Polly who pushed his way through for his first. Adam was another first, getting his try despite his eye injury. Ash an experienced League player scored his first try in real rugby. And Nath, scored a try (far from his first for the team) with an epic run, catching the ball from the kick off and dodging his way down the pitch.

Unable to choose singular players, multiple men of the matches were awarded: Steven was a forward whose runs and passes and tackles were exemplary. Sam for amazing efforts defending his team. Morgan and Adam’s stamina gaining them both their second match awards in as many weeks.

Mark’s excellent efforts as scrum half cannot go without comment, it was his first start at 9 and his link play with Billy who moved to 10 helped assist the team to victory.

Honourable mention has to go to Cheryl, the teams first aider who put a shift in carrying water and medical supplies on and off the pitch, clocking up as many steps as the players at the same time as easing aches and injuries.

One can only apologise to readers for this account, which seems like a roll call of Roundheads players, and to the players not mentioned. The entire team should be proud. Not because we won, but because we found something that we had lost recently, an ability to play well for each other. If the Roundheads can claim to be proud, then it is a pride we share with the Templars. A team with great strength, greater spirit and the greatest sportsmanship.

Typhoons – A Players perspective

An early start for the Roundheads, as they convoyed their way across the Penines to Preston for the penultimate league game of the season. The dark hours could not dim the bright enthusiasm in the players eyes, and the weather seemed to reward us with a bright crisp day at the Grasshopper’s grounds, where the Typhoons play.

This game meant a lot to the Roundheads. With a place at the bottom of the league looming the pressure could be felt in the air. The warm up was less warm, and the players were on edge. Blink, and we were meeting the ref. Blink, and he was blowing his whistle to start the game. Blink again, and the Typhoons had scored. The try so early was proof, this team was not to be underestimated. This was a team ready to fight a war, and they’d brought an army of players to face us.

The Roundheads were left reeling, and had to respond or retreat. Never a team to surrender, we rose to meet our foes. The Typhoons strength of numbers, strength of skill, strength in general was evident and their power in the scrums took its toll on the experienced and inexperienced alike. Without the numbers to refresh the forwards, we continued on courage and cooperation alone, but at the cost of cohesion.

Forward of the game was awarded to Ian, the Roundheads’ defence against a clean sheet, who played his heart out and scored each try battered, bloodied and bruised.

Back of the Match was hard earned by Adam, who came into his own this game with epic runs teamed with some tough tackles winning him his third post match pint.

Man of the Match went to Morgan, whose versatility of skill and build was all too clear this game, he could easily join the forwards if the backs would let him go.

Each player deserves a mention for the effort they put in. However, honourable mentions go to Nath whose efforts are always relied upon wherever and whenever we play.

Ben France who ran a trial by fire, on his second outing he ended up on the front row against the strongest scrums we’ve yet to face. Every other player that’s nursing strains, scrapes and scabs: this week’s war wounds.

The Typhoons fought hard for their victory, and they deserved the win. Each loss the Roundheads has gained could break teams with less invested players. Each one of us gives everything. When there are no subs to come on, when there are pains to be overcome: we respond, we react , we retaliate. We’re low in the league, but our spirits and determination have never been higher.

Last game of the league is approaching and the Roundheads’ will meet it with the same excitement and exhilaration we have every other. Win as a team Lose as a team Grow as a team.

MCR Village Spartans – A Players perspective

The pre-game nerves, that usually wake me before my alarm on Saturday game days, started early.

It was Wednesday. That familiar fluttering feeling began in the shower after training. It came to work with me on Thursday, and kept me company on Friday. It came to bed with me, and excitedly shook me awake on Saturday morning. It wasn’t fear. It was excitement, enthusiasm, eagerness. A mixture of anticipation and adrenaline. This was going to be a hard game.

Having faced Manchester before, they play hard and fast and fierce. I felt ready. Joining the team in the changing rooms, it was clear to see we all felt ready. We were focused; we were content. Waiting in that calm space between the warm up and the game, we were prepared. Walking out onto the main pitch at Brantingham Park, felt different, and not only because the people in the stands had come to watch us play.

All of us have since commented, but there was something between us in this match: sense of cohesion that had been growing, but felt at last as though it had found root and started to thrive.

Though I wish I could, I am unable to relay everything that happened in the game. In my mind it was like two wolf packs competing, if those wolves moved, at times, with the grace and style of ballet dancers and at other times the raw brutality of stampeding sumo wrestlers. I will however describe with pride the moments I can see vividly still. Back of the match went to Ben, who not only achieved some beautiful ball handling and runs but proved it’s not only the forwards that can tackle; unafraid to sacrifice his back in the process.

Liam, who made off the with the ball down the wing, outrunning Spartans in a mini marathon to the try line. Nath, consistently taking the ball and the battle into the Spartans half. Joe, an agile winger, plugging a hole in the scrum when needed. Sam, another back who stepped up to second row when duty called, as well as fending off a couple of Spartans with some terrific tackling.

Forward of the Match went to Steven, another man willing to put his body on the line for his team and his sport. So many excellent runs and at such pace it’s no wonder his ankle couldn’t keep up.

With no subs the forwards were hard pushed, but consistently defended and attacked with passion and potency. The tackles they took and made were many and merciless.

Ian’s true sportsmanship, fighting hard and scoring two tries, but also modestly making sure he acknowledged his team mates efforts that made it possible.

Man of the match sponsored by Furley & Co went to Ash who made many a run, gained much ground, and usually with a couple of Spartans on each leg.

From the sheer joy on our faces at the end of the game, I know there are things I will have missed. Whether it’s the kickers going without water to try and get a conversion, the coach that sprints the water over to us, the captain and vice that had words of encouragement at every step of the way, or just each player that pats you on the back after you’ve done something, anything, for your team. Thank you.

The Spartans won. They deserve that credit, but they didn’t find the win easy by any means. And they shall find it even harder in the future. I realised why I played rugby on Saturday, and it was in the wearied, muddied, bruised and battered faces of my teammates in that end of game huddle. Every player with his arms around his brothers and a grin on his face. It didn’t feel like losing at all.

You can check out the full match replay on the Roundup TV page, and all the photo’s of the action, taken by local photographer EMH Photography Hull, in our photo gallery.

Come Out Active Week

The 23 November – 30 November is come out active week.

For the second year running the Roundheads will be proudly supporting the campaign, once again our players will be buying and wearing their laces in aim of helping make sport everyones game. Have you got yours yet? by doing so you’ll be helping to;

Challenge anti-LGBT language. Celebrate LGBT people in sport. Show you care. Share your story. Play your part.

You can find out more by visiting the Stonewall website here

Leeds Hunters – A Players perspective

Like an older brother that leads the way,

the Hunters are our rivals, our friends, our family. They were there at the birth of the Roundheads and the bonds of brotherhood, care alongside competition, have always been strong between us; and like a younger brother, the chance to compete, the opportunity to show our progress, the desire to win, was burning strong within us.

There was a chill in the air as we walked from the changing room to warm up. As always happens, it passed in a blur of stretches, drills and run-throughs. Our first home game and the nerves and the adrenaline were high. From on the pitch it is hard to talk about whole games, but from the off this was a battle. The Hunters are a formidable opponent and the bravado of the players and the enthusiasm of their supporters were clear for all to see and hear.

Undaunted, the Roundheads walked onto the pitch ready to give heart and soul. From the kick, the Hunters dominated possession of the ball. The tackles were brutal, and many a player was left bloodied and bruised before the ball was lost or secured. The forwards of both teams were waves of strength, courage and determination, collisions and carnage ensued. The Roundheads’ forwards’ performance, if not rewarded by victory, was noticed by Billy the Captain who demanded each and every forward be awarded a pint for Forward of the Match. However, this level of intense play could not last without injury and both sides lost players in he first half. José hobbled off to applause for his energetic performance on the pitch, his broken ankle, proof of his commitment to the game.

Whilst the forwards fought for ground in the centre of the pitch the Hunters consistently utilised their superior speed and the space on the wings to get the ball through. Not to say they went unchallenged. The backs had a hard game of it too, all having to take on players, sometimes two, with experience and usually weight on their side. Morgan, Toby and Joe all gained a tie for playing their first game for the team, and we’re proud to have them sport our colours.

There are moments of imperceptible change within the game sometimes, and whatever it was, the last ten minutes seemed to bring about a renewal within the team and they threw themselves into the last moments with reckless abandon. Finally, it was a back that allowed the Roundheads to avoid a clean sheet. Back of the Match, Nath, broke through and scored a hard won try. As one of the Hunters said “it took them 80 minutes to score” which is the truth. But this only serves to prove the Roundheads determination. Our heads don’t drop and our spirits don’t die because the whistle is looming. Both teams ultimately lived up to their reputations, the Hunters deserved the win, but both teams left the pitchheads held high and with smiles on their faces.

Newcastle – A Players perspective

With a belly full of butterflies

and bouncing with nervous pre-game energy, I joined the team as we made our way from the changing rooms to the pitch. The atmosphere was at once jovial and serious, momentous but merry. Some faces were set in a contemplative composition, while for others the excitement of the game to come broke out in broad beaming smiles.

I was feeling both. Wearing grins or grimaces, we began warming up in the September sunshine. Shouts, chants, calls and whistles filled the air, as we stretched and ran through our drills. Liam catching the ball with his face (something that is becoming a bit of a training tradition) reminded the boys of home and provided a sense of comfort, rather than the sense foreboding of danger to come. A quick huddle, a positive word or two, a reminder to have fun and the game was off: Ravens V Roundheads. Writing days later: the memories are a blur of black and yellow.

The first moment of clarity comes as a player goes down, the previous pain forgotten, Liam limps off with ligament damage. As the game progresses, the Ravens must have wondered which hospital the Roundheads had raided to fill out the team. Subs were rolling more than Tina’s river, Steven taking a knock to the head and Jose biting bloody chunks out of his own cheeks. The Ravens took an early lead, but fighting back, the Roundheads pushed forward allowing Nath to show off some of his skill when it comes to running, dodging, palming off the enemy and getting the first try for the team in yellow. He was met back on our side of the pitch with jubilant handshakes and proud pats on the back. It really was a battlefield, and tackles were hard and fast. Both teams taking them in their stride, but Ben’s Back of the Match winning performance was noteworthy for the courage and agility he showed in taking down opponents that dwarfed him on the pitch. Thommo’s presence is always felt by both teams: intimidating opponents and spurring us on, gaining him his third award for Forward of the Match. Ian scored a cheeky try, in the second half that revived the Roundheads energy and passion, but too soon the game was over and the Ravens had won.

The constant praise and advice from the strong Captain and Vice-Captain and their leading examples of good play alongside good sportsmanship ensured the team left the pitch with our heads held high and smiles on our faces. The Ravens were humble and kind in victory, their magnanimous attitude makes it clear to see why they are one of the most well liked teams in the league, and we could not hold their well-earned victory against them. The fought hard and won. Our first IGR League game was over, but out thirst for the game was realised. Our passion re-ignited. Our enthusiasm renewed. I hope the Hunters are ready.


2019/20 IGR North Fixtures Announced

To mark the start of what promises to be an eventful road to Bingham 2020, the Roundheads travel to the home of the IGR North’s current champions the Newcastle Ravens, followed by our yorkshire brothers, The Leeds Hunters.

Friendly and Developmental games will be updated soon.

To stay up to date check out our full fixtures list HERE