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Wellington College crowned School Sevens Champions

Wellington College became officially the kings of the schoolboy sevens circuit today after they beat Sedbergh School 17-5 in front of a bumper Twickenham Crowd.

An early Nick Haynes try, magnificently converted by Charlie Wicks, gave Wellington a 7-0 lead after just a minute of play, setting the tone for what was to be a commanding performance.

Unfortunately though a couple of handling errors from both sides began to stifle their play at crucial moments, understandably so given the pressure of a full house at Twickenham.

Both sides looked completely settled as we moved towards the break though, and one player who had looked particularly comfortable under the Twickenham spotlight was Wellington College’s Simon Sexton.

He had led his side out with a slow walk, reminiscent of David Sole with his Scotland side in 1990, and was clearly ready for the battle after missing the entire fifteen a side season with a knee injury.

In the dying seconds of the first half though he produced the moment of the match up to that point with a stunning last ditch tackle and turnover to deny Sedbergh a certain score and the chance to level the game at the break.

As it was though, that tackle preserved the Wellington lead right through to the half time ‘elephant trumpet’ (in honour of the Safari theme here at Twickenham), after what had been a half full of adventure from both sides.

Like in the first half, Wellington came flying out of the traps again in the second and is was not long before Sam Aspland-Robinson went darting over to score their second.

If it sounds like it was all Wellington though, this was far from the case, Sedbergh had had plenty of ball but had struggled to convert possession into points, such was the ferocity of Wellington’s play.

More good work in defence led to some turnover ball for the three-in-a-row Rosslyn Park Festival winners and Ed Forshaw showed fantastic footwork to go cruising over to make it 17-0.

With just 3 minutes to go that felt like the end of the game, with Wellington College, the Rosslyn Park Festival winners, looking like crowning themselves school sevens champions over Sedbergh, the Rosslyn Park Open winners.

However, you do not win the Rosslyn Park Open without having bucket loads of heart and determination, and so Sedbergh showed as they sent Rob Stevenson (surely one of the best school sevens players in the country?) cruising over, giving them significant hope, knowing that a try can come from nowhere in sevens.

Sadly though for Sedbergh no more points were on offer as Wellington did well to close out the remaining minute or so to confirm their status as the number one school sevens side on these shores.

The calmness of their play with the ball in hand was noticeable to all, with several fans commenting on their surprise at just how good their ball skills were.

One fan who had come along to watch his native Hong Kong side play noted that: “Skill wise these guys are so far beyond what I was expecting, it was really impressive.”

It truly was impressive, and was a fantastic advert for schoolboy rugby, to have a game of that quality between two excellent sides at the Home of rugby showed our school game at its very best.

Scorers:

Wellington:

Tries – Nick Haynes, Sam Aspland-Robinson, Ed Forshaw

Conversion – Charlie Wicks

Sedbergh:

Try – Rob Stevenson

Man of the Match:

Simon Sexton (Wellington College)

Teams:

Wellington College:

Simon Sexton (c), Buchan Richardson, Charlie Wicks, Sam Aspland-Robinson, Nick Haynes, Tom McClean, Ed Forshaw, Pat King, Sam Trowbridge, Alex Corner, Charlie Barrow, Jack McClean.

Sedbergh:

Edward Smith (c), George Renwick, Rob Stevenson, Harry Skelton, Charles Greene, James Christie, Tom Brown, Johnathan Marshall, Miles Lloyd, Tom Wootton, Oliver Field, Alex Albrecht.

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