The opening day of the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7 tournament saw the Juniors take centre stage, as always.
It was a freezing start to the day, with a layer of snow across the pitches at all venues and temperatures perilously close to freezing.
Players, coaches, spectators, and officials were cold to the core, though spare a though for hardy commentators Nick Heath and Dave Rogers on the Live Stream, twenty feet above the rest of us from their commentary position.
Almost miraculously though as the day wore on the sunshine came through, perhaps a sign of a more forgiving week to come…whisper that though.
Regardless, the rugby was magnificent, as it always is at this grand old tournament, and hearts and minds were warmed further by the sighting of a few rugby celebrities, now least British and Irish Lions, England, and Wasps back, Elliot Daly.
Since the Prep Schools moved to Friday, the Junior Tournament on Monday stands alone as the curtain raiser for the week of rugby and what a curtain raiser it has proven to be.
156 schools entered the tournament, split into 26 groups of six. In accordance with RFU guidelines for age-grade rugby, at U13 level there is neither knockout competition nor any trophy awarded. However from the various groups a few headlines can be drawn.
Fourteen teams secured a perfect day, winning five out of five fixtures. Whitgift, for the second year in a row, did so in Group A. They saw off fantastic competition, Dubai English Speaking College, QEH, Rodillian Academy, Judd, and Royal Hospital School.
In Group B Solihull did the same, Prior Park, John Fisher, Hampton, RGS Lancaster, and Gyfun Plasmawr their competition.
There was an unbeaten Welsh side in Ysgol Gyfun Bro Myrddin, they topped Group, while over in Group F Portsmouth Grammar School were another with a perfect five from five record.
Yorkshire’s Prince Henry’s Grammar School had a perfect day in Group I, while in Group J Rosslyn Park stalwarts RGS High Wycombe were another to hit a perfect score for the day.
New Hall in Group M, so impressive across all age-grades over the last few years, took a 5 form 5 record in Group M, while in Group N there was further Welsh perfection from Brynteg Comprehensive.
Emanuel were in fine form in Group R, while in Group S Ivybridge Community College, who have been impressing at Rosslyn Park through the age-grades in recent years, did so at U13 level today going 5 out of 5 in Group S.
Group T saw Ysgol Gyfun Bryn Tawe fly through, while St Cenydd’s had their perfect record in Group U. Ysgol Dyffryn Taf, meanwhile secured their 5 out 5 perfect day in the final group, Group V.
It was a fantastic day of U13 rugby, despite the cold and the snow, the perfect start to the biggest week of school rugby in the world.
Tuesday sees the Colts take over, you can see our preview to that competition here: Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s Colts Preview.
Junior Schools Draw
|Pos||Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|1||Whitgift||Solihull||Churcher’s College||Penyrheol Comprehensive|
|2||Dubai English College||Prior Park Park||Dubai College||Waterloo Schools|
|3||Queen Elizabeth Hospital||John Fisher||RGS Guildford||Berkhamsted|
|4||Rodillian Academy||Hampton||Monmouth||St Joseph’s College|
|5||Judd||Lancaster, RGS||Leicester Grammar||Pitsford|
|6||Royal Hospital School||Ysgol Gyfun Plasmawr||Hill House||Sidcot|
|Pos||Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|1||Ysgol Gyfun Bro Myrddin||Portsmouth Grammar School||Cowbridge Comprehensive||Richard Challoner|
|2||Bramhall High School||Trinity||Wallington CGS||Dulwich College|
|3||Loughborough GS||Newbridge||Coopers’ Coborn||Stockport GS|
|4||Saint Cecilia’s||Bristol GS||King’s Macclesfield||Gordon’s|
|5||Aberdare||Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni||Ysgol Gyfun Bro Edern||Newquay Tretherras|
|6||Christ’s Hospital||Newcastle School for Boys||Rutlish||Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr|
|Pos||Group I||Group J||Group K||Group L|
|1||Prince Henry’s GS||RGS High Wycombe||Chislehurst & Sidcup GS||Bishop of Llandaff|
|2||RGS Newcastle||Ibstock Place||Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg||Finborough|
|3||Bedford Modern||Whitchuch HS||Bournemouth Collegiate||Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf|
|5||King John School||St Anselm’s College||Fulham Boys||Willows HS|
|6||Barry Comprehensive||Ryde with Upper Chine||Kew House||Dover College|
|Pos||Group M||Group N||Group O||Group P|
|1||New Hall||Brynteg||London Oratory||Dartford Grammar School|
|2||Monkton Combe||Oakham||Birkdale||Manchester Grammar School|
|3||Yarm||KES Birmingham||Wisbech Grammar School||KES Bath|
|4||St Batholomew’s||UCS||St George’s, Weybridge||Bishop’s Stortford HS|
|5||Y Pant Comprehensive||Campion||Warwick||Devonport HS|
|6||Lincoln Minster||Merchant Taylors’||Akeley Wood||St Benedict’s|
|Pos||Group Q||Group R||Group S||Group T|
|1||Blundell’s||Emanuel||Ivybridge||Ysgol Gyfun Bryn Tawe|
|2||Colfe’s||Porthcawl Comprehensive||Sir Joseph Williamson’s||St Olave’s Grammar School|
|3||Sevenoaks||Queen Ethelburga’s||Woodhouse Grove||The Oratory|
|4||Ysgol Sir Thomas Picton||Gravesend Grammar School||Perins||Wilmington GS|
|5||Reed’s||City of London Freemen’s||Cwmtawe||Hugh Sexey|
|6||Halliford||Mount St Mary’s College||Barnard Castle||Treorchy Comprehensive|
|Pos||Group U||Group V|
|1||St Cenydd||Ysgol Dyffryn Taf|
|3||Cokethorpe||King’s School, Worcester|
|4||St Dunstan’s||Red House Junior School|
|5||Taunton||Mary Immaculate HS|