Cranleigh sealed their first ever HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s title as they beat Harrow in a thrilling final 27-19.
It was a deserving victory for Cranleigh, who had gone through the entire first day without conceding, and then made a strong statement in their opening Quarter Final pool game, beating the much fancied Kirkham Grammar School, before seeing off last year’s Champions, Wellington College, 22-15 in their second.
That meant that a win over a Queen Ethelburga’s outfit, who had been one of the real stars of the tournament, both in terms of style of play and in their results, would see them into the semi finals. They did so in style, winning 31-10.
On the other side of the draw Harrow were grouped with Millfield, Hartpury College, and Sherborne in their Quarter Final, after an eliminator win over Coleg Sir Gar.
Harrow started off well, beating Millfield 14-10, and Sherborne before a controversial game against 31-5, before a controversial final game against Hartpury College, where Hartpury lead only to then see a red card reduce them to six men. Harrow fought back and won it late on through a try that was well created, but possibly just with a foot nearing the touchline.
It mattered not though, like Cranleigh they were undoubtedly one of the very best sides in the tournament and had more than earned their spot in the semi finals.
Alongisde those two were the two group runners up, Harrow faced Kirkham Grammar, whose win over Wellington in their final game saw them sneak through, while Cranleigh faced Millfield, who had beaten Hartpury and Sherborne.
Craneligh made short work of the 2014 Champions though, putting in argubably their best performance of the tournament to crush them 30-0, scoring an impressive four tries before the half time break.
Harrow on the other side were also in fine form, with the pace of Callum Sirker a real thorn in the side. They saw off Kirkham Grammar 26-14 to reach their first final too.
Come the final, Harrow started the brighter, and actually opened the scoring in what was a hugely entertaining game of rugby. As the game went on the scores piled up for either side, but once Cranleigh had turned the 7-0 deficit into a 12-7 lead they never genuinely looked like giving that lead up as they kept Harrow just far away enough to keep them requiring two scores.
Two scores was the margin in the end too, a brilliant 27-19 win for Cranleigh, who could scarcely have deserved it more. They had got to the final the hard way, and are only recently in the Cup rather than the Vase, beating the likes of Millfield, Wellington, and Kirkham Grammar, three schools who have dominated the scene in the last few years. A quite brilliant achievement.
Stowe picked up the Plate, they won the Vase last year but moved across this year and proved their value, beating a strong Barnard Castle side, how good it was to see them back at the business end by the way, 24-12 in the final after topping a tough semi final group that included St Joseph’s College, John Fisher, finalists 2 years running, and Coleg Sir Gar.
Over in the two girls competitions, Hartpury College maintained their grip on the Girls AASE tournament, beating Bishop Burton 28-0 in the final, while over in the main Girls competition Dyffryn Aman won, beating Christ’s Hospital 29-7 in the final after a 26-12 win over Peter Symonds’ in the semi final.
The final day of the 2016 tournament also saw the conclusion of the inaugural U14 tournament, which a brilliant Ivybridge Community College side emerged victorious from.
They beat Warwick 26-14 in the final, a side who had actually topped their Quarter final group, that included Ivybridge, despite only qualifying yesterday as a best runner up.
Ivybridge were good value for the title though, they were physically imposing and played with real pace, their 14-0 win in the semi final over Wellington College really was a fine example of seven-a-side rugby.
The story of the day though was, without doubt Cranleigh, winning the flagship HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s title for their first time in their illustrious history. Their side had clearly put a huge amount of time and effort into their campaign, as their emotional celebrations demonstrated.
A word too though to Harrow, who were quite simply outstanding, as they have been all season. Many wondered how they would fare after picking up a few titles whilst other schools had international absentees, but they were answered firmly – this is a very good Harrow side who deserve every last bit of praise.
The last word must be Cranleigh’s though, their blend of good 7s mixed with real intensity and physicality was simply too good for just about anyone to handle. Harrow came as close as anyone, but ultimately this outstanding Cranleigh side were just too good, as they were all tournament.
You can see photos from the final day of play at Rosslyn Park on our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby
2016 HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s U18 Cup Winners – Cranleigh
Cranleigh 27-19 Harrow
Cranleigh 30-0 Millfield
Kirkham GS 14-26 Harrow
|U18 Cup Quarter Final Groups – Final Standings|
|Pos||Group 1||Group 2|
|2||Kirkham Grammar School||Millfield|
|3||Wellington College||Hartpury College|
Plate Winners – Stowe
Barnard Castle 12-24 Stowe
|U18 Plate Semi Final Groups – Final Standings|
|Pos||Group 1||Group 2|
|2||Sedbergh||St Joseph’s College|
|3||Woodhouse Grove||John Fisher|
|4||Merchiston Castle||Coleg Sir Gar|
Wellington College 31-5 Woodhouse Grove
Sedbergh 7-29 Queen Ethelburga’s College
Cranleigh 38-0 Merchiston Castle
Kirkham Grammar School 35-17 Barnard Castle
Millfield 17-12 Stowe
Coleg Sir Gar 7-29 Harrow
Hartpury College 42-14 John Fisher
St Joseph’s College 14-42 Sherborne
2016 HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s U14 Cup Winners – Ivybridge Community College
Ivybridge 27-19 Warwick
Wellington College 0-14 Ivybridge Community College
Whitgift 19-24 Warwick (AET)
|U14 Cup Quarter Final Groups – Final Standings|
|Pos||Group 1||Group 2|
Plate Winners – Cwm Rhymni
Cwm Rhymni 26-14 City of London Freemen;s
|U14 Plate Semi Final Groups – Final Standings|
|Pos||Group 1||Group 2|
|1||Cwm Rhymni||City of London Freemen’s|
|4||Bishop Vesey’s||Reigate GS|
Dean Close 20-14 Sherborne
Bishop Vesey’s GS 7-31 Wellington College
Whitgift 27-5 Cwm Rhymni
Hampton 12-17 Berkhamsted
Millfield 7-29 Ivybridge
St Paul’s 41-0 Reigate GS
Crypt 19-14 Epsom College
Warwick 33-5 City of London Freemen’s
2016 HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s Girls Winners – Dyffryn Aman
Dyffryn Aman 29-7 Christ’s Hospital
Dyffryn Aman 26-12 Peter Symonds’
Simon Langton 0-32 Christ’s Hospital
|Girls Groups – Final Standings|
|Pos||Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|1||Dyffryn Aman||Peter Symonds’||Simon Langton||Christ’s Hospital|
|2||Bro Myrddin||Llandovery College||Bryn Tawe||Perins|
|3||Dewi Sant||Blessed Hugh Farringdon||Gower College||Reigate GS|
|4||St John’s Leatherhead||Ashbury College||Pangbourne College||Epsom College|
|5||SHertfordshire & Essex||Haileybury College||Maidstone GS||Y Strade|
2016 HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s Girls AASE Winners – Hartpury College
Bishop Burton 0-28 Hartpury College
Bishop Burton 33-19 Filton College
Hartpury College 36-7 Swedish School
|Girls AASE Groups – Final Standings|
|Pos||Group A||Group B|
|1||Bishop Burton||Hartpury College|
|2||Swedish School||SGS Filton College|
|3||Worthing College||Brockenhurst College|
|4||Nearth Port Talbot||Coleg Sir Gar|