Rosslyn Park 2019
Year 8 Rugby Sevens Squad:
The Year 8 Rodillian Rugby Sevens squad travelled to Rosslyn Park in high spirits following successful outings when competing in tournaments at both Hymers College and Woodhouse Grove School. The squad defeated a strong outfit from St John Fisher School, London before playing Cowbridge School from Wales. The boys again performed incredibly well and played some superb sevens rugby to come out on top. Victories over Newbridge School and the Dubai English Speaking School filled the boys with confidence and Pool G built to a crescendo. Warwick school were also unbeaten in the pool and the final game, played on the show pitch and televised would pitch the two top teams in the pool going head to head for the honours.
Warwick started in superb fashion and they never looked back. With the score at 10 – 15 to Warwick and with Rodillian camped on the Warwick try line, a knock on saw the Rodillian stop playing, presumably awaiting the referee’s whistle. However, Warwick pounced on the spilled ball and ran the length of the filled to take the score to 10 – 20. Rodillian heads dropped and Warwick scored two further tries before a superb solo effort from Ben Findlay took the score to a respectable 15 – 30. Although disappointed, the boys loved the experience of both their hotel stay and also the amazing experience taking part in this unbelievable tournament gave them. It’s fair to say the boys have ‘caught the 7’s bug’ and they look forward to travelling down to Rosslyn next year with the U14 squad.
Year 9 Rugby Sevens Squad:
The U14 Se7ens squad travelled to Rosslyn Park as Yorkshire champions and in high hopes following their triumph in the previous weeks cup final.
Following a restful evening, the boys first game was against local Yorkshire independent school, Mount St Marys, Sheffield. As expected, the boys had the first game jitters and didn’t really get out of 2nd gear despite winning 38 – 0. A dominant start, and an exciting prospect for the remainder of the day. The remaining games in the group deemed not much of a contest for the lads as they finished top of their group winning all 3 games, scoring 139 points and conceding only 5. Target 1 complete, qualify for the Day 2, when the rugby gets really serious.
However, firstly, the first knock out game, to determine whether or not they would play the following day in the main cup competition or in the runner up plate competition. This final game and most important of the day against Finborough School again proved no test for the young men as they played some exquisite attacking rugby, running out 54 –5 winners.
Following a long, exhausting, never the less very successful day of rugby in the sun, the boys headed back to the team hotel for a very chilled night, starting with a feed of chicken at Nandos and finishing with a movie at the cinema, early to bed and early to rise for Day 2.
The morning of Day 2 began with the lads showing maturity well beyond their years, as they took the opportunity to collectively and scrupulously analyse and identify Kirkham’s’ threats as they played Berkamsted School. Following their breakdown of the opposition, the young men put to practise a first half defensive performance that the national team would have been proud of, spending the entire game, patiently waiting, defending on Kirkham’s 22 metre line, waiting to pounce on a Kirkham error. Which they did, taking full advantage of any errors and taking the 1st half 19-0. As expected the Kirkham came out in the 2nd half following a chewing by their rugby master, and clawed the game back, with the help of Mr Graham not knowing the rules, to 19-15. However, the young men retained their composure, and finished the game with the closing try.24-15. Lessons learnt from the second half performance, including Mr Graham.
Game 2, against Berkamsted school, played on the grand stage, streamed live across the World !!! with the opportunity to progress into the ¼ finals, no pressure. With every tougher opponent they faced throughout the competition, the young Rodillian men really started to show their class as they seemed to get better and better, and they didn’t disappoint on the big stage, as large numbers of staff& students watched at school and parents watched at work, the Rods lads put Berkhamsted to the sword 29-0, which progressed them to the ¼ finals against school rugby giants, Warwick School. “Where could this go?”, Mr Oxley giggled giddily.
Having only had a 45 min rest between all the games, paired with the 22 degree London sunshine, it was clear to see the players’ legs were beginning to seize up. However, they determinedly continued to play another outstanding performance against Warwick, showing attacking maturity, defensive discipline and an old round rugby Se7ens master class beating monsters of school boy rugby, Warwick school, 21-5. Rodillian Academy were in the semi-finals, the last four, of the National 7s.
Jurmierah English Speaking School from Dubai, the opposition in the Semi’s, from a country known specifically for its Sev7ens calibre and players, well used to playing in high temperatures, again played on the grand stage, streamed live, Rodillian looked exhausted. Having only conceded 30 points and scoring 274 across the 2 days and 7 games of rugby. The semi proved to be a game too far for the Yorkshire champs, physically and mentally drained from the rugby and heat and saving two days worth of mistakes and bad decisions for a single game, they lost 31-7 to the team from Dubai. Now feeling emotionally drained added to the bruised bodies, the boy the boys’ spirits were kept high by the incredible reminder of what they had achieved and the support shown from the parents that travelled down to cheer the boys on over the two days.