The Shiplake College Year 8 Rugby team travelled to Abingdon Prep School last week to take part in their annual Rugby 7s competition. The boys went into the tournament on the back of just one training session, but were still determined to give the tournament their very best shot.
The first match was against Christ Church Cathedral School. Shiplake won convincingly 29-5, with tries from Jerome Rocks, Matt Dalrymple and Seb Hjortland-Marks. Next up was St Thomas’ Clapham who provided a sterner test, but Shiplake once again showed the potential they have within the Lower School by scoring 24 unanswered points by half time. St Thomas’ then fought back valiantly, but failed to complete their comeback with the final score 34-19.
The final match of the group was against the tournament favourites, Abingdon School. The opponents played some simple but effective rugby, out-scoring Shiplake 22-0. Despite the loss, Shiplake came second in their group and headed into the knockout stages fully confident that they could win tournament. The semi-final was a thrilling encounter against the hosts, Abingdon Prep School. With the scores level at 19-19 at full time, it went to ‘golden try’. With nothing to choose between the two sides, the excitement on the sidelines had reached fever-pitch. Even the bus driver was getting involved! Ultimately, the size and power of Jerome was too much for Abingdon Prep and Shiplake were through to the final.
Shiplake went into the final against Abingdon School, who they had already lost to that day, with huge belief. Abingdon drew first blood, but a brace of tries from Matty Fitzgerald pushed Shiplake ahead at half time. Abingdon then scored three decisive tries in quick succession, and ran out deserved winners of the tournament.
Our young side learnt a lot of valuable lessons about 7s rugby and look forward to the next competition after Christmas. Mr Beckett was pleased with the team performance, and the effort shown by the boys on a cold day in November!
Back Row – Adam Porter, Josh O’Hare, Harrison Richards, Matty Fitzgerald, Robbie Cartwright, Jerome Rocks, Will Mullin
Front Row – Luke Mullin, Tomas Gorringe, Morgan Taylor, Seb Hjortland-Marks, Matt Dalrymple