Mar 29, 2020

St Peter’s York Claim Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s Colts Title


St Peter’s York secured the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools 7s Colts title with a thrilling 15-12 victory over Millfield in the final.

It was their first ever title at Rosslyn Park, having reached the Vase final at U18 level, a brilliant achievement made all the more special for them through beating Rosslyn Park’s most successful side in the final, Millfield.

Indeed St Peter’s had almost been checking off legendary sides of this tournament on their way through, heading up Group G yesterday before beating Durham in yesterday’s last 32.

On Thursday they kicked off their day with a 26-21 victory over a very good Epsom College side that had attracted plenty of attention throughout the Colts tournament thanks to their superb touchline support but had then attracted even more due to their play.

Up next for St Peter’s were the reigning champions, Sedbergh, and another thrilling game that ended again in a 26-21 victory for the York school. It was a superb performance against a side that had been playing some utterly brilliant rugby over the two days.

Then came a semi-final against the surprise package of this Colts tournament, Uffculme. Uffculme had been superb throughout, including a brilliant 40-14 victory over Langley in the quarterfinals. They came unstuck against St Peter’s though, the champion side showing their class to score some delightful tries for a 31-5 victory.

That set up the final against Millfield, who had to get there the hard way, facing some absolute stars of this Colts competition. On Wednesday they had come through Group Y before an impressive 29-10 victory over Dean Close in the last 32.

Thursday brought yet more top Colts sides against them, first a 31-5 victory over Barnard Castle before a meeting with Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf, who had sailed under the radar yet their results at U14 and U13 level here in the past should have forewarned people.

Millfield was unbowed though, coming through a really tough game to win 14-10 setting up a semi-final against Hurstpierpoint College. Hurstpierpoint had been brilliant and was again in the semi-final, only some stellar defence at the end from Millfield stopped the south coast side form making it through, again Millfield scoring some great tries and showing that stoic defence for a 19-14 victory.

So to the final, and what a final it was, St Peter’s took a 5-0 lead within seconds of kick-off but Millfield levelled and then converted for the lead midway through the half. Already the tension was bubbling.

St Peter’s only added to it when they scored right on the stroke of half time for a 10-7 lead, but already it was clear that this was a Colts final of the highest quality, mistakes were at an absolute premium.

St Peter’s extended their advantage to 15-7 early in the second half, but again Millfield struck back, this game was on a knife-edge. At 15-12 with a couple of minutes on the clock, it was anyone’s game still.

Millfield had the ball, and among the St Peter’s support, there was almost a sense of dread as the patience and ball skill shown by Millfield became mesmerising. However equally patient was this outstanding St Peter’s York defence. No matter how often Millfield pushed and probed, St Peter’s were resolute, and when the opportunity to make the tackle came they made it and then were ferocious on the deck.

It worked a treat, eventually, they forced the turnover and all that was left was to kick the ball out. It was heartbreaking for Millfield, over two days they had worked so hard and had been outstanding in the final, as they had been all tournament.

Ultimately though this special group of St Peter’s York players just had a little too much. In both attack and defence, they were spectacular and in the final, their clinical edge in when they scored and how they defended proved the difference.

It marks a proud day for St Peter’s, their first Rosslyn Park title and won in style across the two days. All across both Wednesday and Thursday conversations about this St Peter’s York team could be heard. When even the neutrals are talking about you, you know you are doing something special.

In a special competition too, the Colts competition was superb right across both days, the rugby was absolutely outstanding and played in blazing sunshine it added up to a lot of very happy faces. No wonder, what a wonderful tournament it has been, and always is.

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