Rosslyn Park Fesitival kicks off in the mud

The Festival Group Stages of the HSBC Rosslyn Park National School Sevens took place today in a mud soaked South West London. Holders Wellington College progressed along with tournament favourites King’s Worcester, while Brighton College, who were considered strong contenders, failed to qualify, as did last year’s runners up, Bryanston.

In spite of the atrocious conditions the quality of sevens on show was excellent, with Sherborne, Tonbridge and Wellington looking in particularly good nick. The state of the pitches did play a part though, forcing teams to adapt their style of play and creating lower scoring games.

This meant that ‘giant killings’ were far more possible than they might otherwise have shown, as is demonstrated through several of the group favourites heading back to their respective schools this evening.

The biggest shock of the day was without a doubt the knocking out of Brighton College, though in fairness to them a number of injuries rather halted their momentum. Trent and Eltham ended up fighting it out at the top with Eltham just pipping it through points difference, their reward is a last 32 tie with Eton, who held off St Columba’s to win Group P.

Bryanston were knocked out after matching Sherborne in Group X almost blow for blow, the two sides beat everyone they faced but a draw when they met each other left it coming down to points difference, sending Sherborne through to the last 16 via a bye in the last 32. They will meet Colston’s who won Group W and progress to the last 16 via a bye too.

Tonbridge’s good sevens form continued, most strikingly in victory against Barnard Castle, they topped Pool V and face Daily Mail Cup quarter finalists Truro School, who won Group U, in the last 16.

Wellington overcame the first hurdle in their mission to win the Festival three times running, they waltzed through Group A to set up a last 32 tie with Stowe, Group B’s winners.

Dean Close did their enthusiastic display tent workers proud; they topped Pool C and meet Pool D winners Ampleforth in the next round. In Pool E meanwhile, St John’s Leatherhead continued their good form from the Surrey 7’s to top the group and receive a bye to the last 16.

Waiting there for them will be Pool F toppers King’s Worcester, who also receive a bye, they emerged from one of the toughest pools in the competition, seeing off Uppingham, Cheltenham, Bradford Grammar and Ellesmere College, whose supporters were among the most enthusiastic on show.

Plymouth College and Reeds topped pools G and H respectively to meet in the next round, while Portsmouth Grammar School and King’s Taunton, who are starting to look like real contenders, meet in the last 16 after topping their Pools and receiving byes for the last 32, keep an eye out on King’s Taunton’s Mike Peek.

Abingdon did the business in Group S, progressing out of the Groups for the first time in their history. Their reward is a last 32 tie with Pool T toppers Denstone.

Radley translated their fifteen-a-side form to the sevens platform, topping Pool M in tidy fashion to set up a last 32 tie against Epsom who topped Pool N ahead of Rugby School.

Both Bedford and Cranleigh looked in excellent form too, both played well to top Pools Q and R respectively, two tough groups, and receive byes to meet each other in the last 16.

Tomorrow will see the knockout stages of the Festival take place, however the Colts tournament that was supposed to be played alongside it has been cancelled due to the state of the pitches, with a final decision on the Open tournament to be confirmed also.

For Photos of the Festival Group stages, please visit www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby

Rosslyn Park National School Sevens – Festival Knockout Draw

Last 32

Last 16

Wellington College v Stowe

 

Dean Close v Ampleforth College

St John’s Leatherhead v (bye)

St John’s Leatherhead v King’s Worcester

King’s Worcester v (bye)

Plymouth College v Reed’s

 

Prior Park v Wellington School

Portsmouth Grammar School v (bye)

Portsmouth Grammar School v King’s College Taunton

King’s College, Taunton v (bye)

Radley v Epsom

 

Eltham College v Eton College

Bedford v (bye)

Bedford v Cranleigh

Cranleigh v (bye)

Abingdon v Denstone

 

Truro School v Tonbridge

Colston’s v (bye)

Colston’s v Sherborne

Sherborne v (bye)

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