On a crisp winter’s day in February, our three Rugby Teams were excited for their trip to Kingston Park. Everyone was prepared with warm clothes on this last day of term, expecting a full afternoon of rugby at the home of the Newcastle Falcons.
There was unexpected delay when we arrived, but the children enjoyed watching the Falcons 1st Team complete their training session. When the games started all of our teams were in top form. Opposing schools struggled with their handling in the ‘chilly’ conditions, but our players showed fantastic catching and passing ability. Meanwhile, the support running was superb, whenever someone got tagged a team mate was in position to receive a pass.
Lucy Wright’s team comfortably won all of their Group games and stormed through to the semi-finals. All of the team managed to score tries, with Hayden Buckham, Erin Maines and Ben More very frequent scorers. The side led by Tabitha Severs also remained unbeaten, and played some wonderful rugby. Many of the team again scored tries, with William McDougall scoring in every match and Amelia Riley registering a brilliant hat-trick in one game. I was particularly impressed by the tagging, as we conceded very few tries, due to the wonderful defensive play. While Tabitha’s team finished joint top of their group, they unfortunately went out on tries scored, but they could still be delighted with their performances.
The side captained by Sophie Rowland met ‘Cleadon A’ in their final group match, with both sides having won their first three games. Cleadon scored first and made a bright start in what turned out to be one of the closest fought games of the tournament. However, we instantly responded with a Jake Waters try, before great defence forced a ‘turnover’ in the next play and Ella Wood scored a crucial breakaway try. Defence was again key in the next phase of play, where we managed to force a ‘knock on’ from the opposition, after 6 brilliant tags. With the ball back in our possession, we played some fluent rugby and Sophie Rowland touched down to put us 3-1 ahead. Cleadon continued to battle hard, but further tries from Alastair Moffitt and Nick Campbell meant that we finished eventual 5-3 winners, to top the group and qualify for the semi-finals.
The two St. Bede’s teams were separated in the semi-finals, and delightfully both progressed convincingly, to book their place in an all St. Bede’s final! The playing area was extended for the final and we witnessed a fantastic match on the Kingston Park pitch. Sophie Rowland’s team eventually clinched a 4-3 win over Lucy’s side, to claim the ‘King of Tags’ Cup. At the end of the game, it was wonderful to see both teams shake hands and share a laugh with each other, as they were rightly proud of their efforts.
All of our teams thoroughly enjoyed the occasion, played superbly on the day and were all unbeaten against other schools. They played the game in the right spirit and to finish first and second, was a special achievement. It rounded off a special week for school sport, after success in the Basketball and Skipping in recent days. Thank you to all of the players on the day and the family members who supported the teams.