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Surprises on Day 1 of the Open Tournament at Rosslyn Park

The third day of the HSBC Rosslyn Park National School Sevens saw the start of the Open tournament and with it some high quality performances and a few surprising results.

Group H was the focus of much of the pre tournament build up, it featured Filton, Henley, Ivybridge and Woodhouse Grove alongside Peter Symond’s.

It was quickly dubbed the group of death and so it proved, with Filton, Ivybridge and Woodhouse Grove all finishing on 12 points leaving Woodhouse Grove to qualify due to their superior points difference, after some impressive in-game calculations during their match against Ivybridge.

Group N also produced another tight end, Mount St Mary’s Neath Port Talbot and St Benedict’s all took points from each other to fall level on 12 each, Mount St Mary’s were always in control though, such was the superiority of their points difference.

The big shock of the day though was the loss of Millfield School at the group stages, probably the most prestigious team in Rosslyn Park history, they raced away at the start of the day only to blow a strong half time lead against Cwm Rhymni in their final match.

Llandovery College were another side to cause a few surprises with a group stage knockout, their defeat to Hurstpierpoint left them unable to qualify from Group E.

With those two sides gone, along with Filton and Ivybridge, the competition is as open as ever with Sedbergh looking the most likely side to really take advantage. They finished top of group M without conceding a single point all day and scoring 179 of their own in a quite remarkable day’s play.

Oaklands and Hampton were two of the pre tournament favourites, they have been paired together in the last 24, meaning that one of them will end up in what looks like being a classy Plate competition.

Bicton and Hartpury have also been paired together in what looks like another barnstorming game, while Group H’s qualifiers, Woodhouse Grove, face City of London Freemen’s. After escaping that pool, Woodhouse Grove will be expecting great things.

Whitgift were another early favourite for the tournament, they blitzed their way through their Group in fine fashion and their reward is a tie against Solihull.

Defending champions Coleg Sir Gar had to take advantage of the new rule allowing the top two runners up to qualify, they came second to Bicton in Group A but sneak through to set up a fixture with London Oratory, the other runners up.

Sir Gar are one of four Welsh sides to progress but after their victory over Millfield it maybe Cwm Rhymni who lead the Welsh charge, the challenge from north of the border is from Merchiston Castle who face Liverpool College.

If you are looking for a dark horse though Cwm Rhymni’s opposition tomorrow, St Joseph’s, might be worth a shout, though that fixture will be tricky given the confidence that must be surging through Cwm Rhymni.

Finals day looks set to be an exciting day of sevens, with a few of the favourites out it is a real chance for a few of the outsiders to get really stuck into this great tournament.

HSBC Rosslyn Park National School Sevens – Open – 1st Elimination Round

10.20

10.40

11.00

Bicton College v Hartpury College

Hampton v Oaklands College

Rydal Penrhos v John Fisher

USA HS All American v Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr

St Joseph’s v Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni

Bishop Wordsworth v Truro College

Hurstpierpoint v King’s School Macclesfield

Sedbergh v Mount St Mary’s College

Whitgift v Solihull

City of London Freemen’s v Woodhouse Grove

Liverpool College v Merchiston Castle

Coleg Sir Gar v London Oratory

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