On Friday 24th February the U18s 7s Rugby Squad travelled to Gordon’s School having been invited to their first Gordon’s Invitational ‘U18 7s Under Friday Night Lights’. Nestled on the Berkshire Surrey border, Gordon’s boasts a fantastic floodlit artificial pitch, surrounded by high viewing terraces, making for a fantastic atmosphere throughout the night. With the first tournament at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School before half term yielding both positives and areas to improve, there was an overwhelming sense of confidence in the squad with captain Noah E (Winfield) leading a very able group from the front.
The first match against The Oratory School saw the team concede first which, in hindsight, worked very much to our advantage as the team quickly kicked into gear scoring 34 unanswered points before the final play, running out 34-10 winners. The second match which was televised through NextGenXV’s Youtube channel ended in a nail biting 15-17 loss to Eton College. Having gone 10-0 up through the quick thinking of Matty W (McClure) and a strong carry from Noah E (Winfield), a yellow card and in turn fatigue in defence saw Eton find themselves with a 10-12 lead. As quickly as we had conceded, Fifth Former Harry O (Priestley) caught the Eton restart and scored immediately. However, a final try for Eton and our subsequent last attacking opportunity from an Eton offside led to us being dragged into touch and although the squad were disappointed at the 15-17 loss, an encouraging performance with Eton in our Rosslyn Park group on Monday 20th March. A 19-33 loss to a very impressive Wellington College team also provided reason to be optimistic going into the last group stage match against an Ipswich team who have made huge movements in schoolboy rugby over the past two to three years. A very composed and complete 39-5 win meant a Plate final against the hosts Gordon’s beckoned.
In a match that ebbed and flowed for a large part of the first half, a well-placed cross field kick from Toby S (McClure) landed safely in the hands of Sebastian T-S (School) to score under the posts and take the team more than a converted try ahead going into the half time break. A further tackle jackal try rounding off an impressive evening from Hugh M (School) in the second half took the game away from Gordon’s and a first piece of silverware in the 7s season the deserved reward. Congratulations to the team!
Mr Goldberg (Teacher of Physical Education)