The Year 7 squad travelled to Crossley Heath Grammar School, looking forward to a tough match. Crossley Heath Grammar School have a successful tradition in Rugby Union, competing well within a prestigious fixture list playing against the likes of Bradford Grammar School and QEGs.
On a large pitch, Crossley Heath started the brighter of the two teams, showing good continuity, running phase after phase of attack, orchestrated by the Crossley Heath fly-half. However, the Rodillian squad soaked up numerous attacking phases and a superb turnover resulted in a flowing counter attack and a try for Ellis Smithson (captain).
Rodillian then scored another well-worked try, working the ball from side to side, spreading the ball wide and allowing Naughton to power through a gap in the defensive line to score beneath the posts, converted by the impressive Harry Shackleton. Half time score 0-12.
After some stern words from their coach, the Crossley Heath team then mounted several attacks at the start of the second half and the sustained pressure resulted in a try in the corner for a Crossley Heath side, who now had their tails up. The onslaught continued through several drives from the Crossley Heath forward pack;the pressure resulting in a penalty which was taken quickly allowing the Crossley Heath centre to score near the posts (12-12).
With renewed energy, the Rodillian squad began to work harder at the breakdown and this increased possession allowed the Rodillian backs to penetrate through the defensive line. After a superb handling move, Rodillian moved the ball across the pitch and Oliver Philips ran half the length of the pitch to score under the posts, converted by Shackleton. The tide had turned and the Rodillian squad moved the ball with confidence. Again, dominance at the breakdown allowed the Rodillian Academy to develop phases with Lunn, Hagan, Naughton and Shackleton demonstrating their superb handling skills, putting Lewis Houlker in for an outstanding try in the corner. With the score at 24 – 12 the game seemed dead and buried. However, there was still time for Crossley Heath to score another converted try, which led to a nail biting few minutes, which saw some excellent tackling and counter rucking from the Rodillian team.
Coaches and parents are incredibly proud of the efforts of all of the squad and congratulations must go to all of the boys who have worked so hard in training. The Academy would also like to thank Hunslet Warriors Rugby League team for their support in developing many of the boys who play for the School team.
The Year 7 rugby team will now play in the Yorkshire Cup Final on Saturday 22nd March – 12:00pm – Queen Elizabeth Grammar School.