Blundell’s School secured the 2018 Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Vase after a brilliant set of performance over the two days.
They were one of the pre-tournament favourites and showed just why with two days of utterly dominant sevens. The Devon side were outstanding from start to finish, but had to deal with some outstanding sides along the way.
The final was their toughest of all though as they met a confident St Peter’s York side and went behind early on. They fought back into the lead though, but only led 12-10 at half time.
They then stretched it out to 24-10, and though they conceded a couple of late scores, the reality is that they had the game sealed before those late St Peter’s tries.
It was fitting that it was one of their players, the outstanding Troy Sixton, that won the Akuma Player of the Tournament award. He had an outstanding tournament, along with a number of others in the team, not least the flamboyant Barry Karea, whose stunning out of the back pass against Stowe in the semi final pool stage helped his side out of a bit of a hole from 12-0 down.
Perhaps the toughest challenge of all though came in the quarter final groups, where another of the big pre-tournament favourites, Cheltenham College, stood in their way.
Blundell’s put in one of the performances of the day to secure that victory and with a win over Durham too, they were into the semi finals.
The semi final stage saw them lose their skipper, Sam Maunder, to injury, but the team battled on the dominant style we had come to expect after that stunning opening day. They saw off Stowe and The Leys to reach the final in outstanding fashion, even if things looked tense for a while against Stowe.
St Peter’s, meanwhile, had seen off King’s Canterbury and St Edward’s Oxford in the quarter finals, and eyed up a semi final pool with Oakham and Sir William Borlase’s in a formidable fashion.
Two strong victories followed to send them into a final that both have probably been desperately keen to get to, in more than just the normal sense. In the fifteen-a-side season both had endured their heartbreak, St Peter’s being knocked out of the Schools Cup to eventual finalists QEGS Wakefield on the away rule, while Blundell’s were strongly beaten by Dulwich College in the Champions Trophy final.
Here was a chance for redemption in the short form of the game, and both had seized it gleefully. In the end though, sheer quality was the deciding factor, Blundell’s were simply too good, as they had been over the whole two days.
At times for those on the sidelines they were a joy to watch, a warming presence on what became a very chilly day in South West London.
For Blundell’s themselves, this was the major trophy they have been craving, the reward for all of those hours and hours of work, and the trophy that demonstrates the brilliance that they showed not just here at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s, but throughout the season.
Over in the Bowl competition, for those who lost Wednesday night’s eliminator games, Eton College claimed the title, beating a good Kingswood side 31-17 in a superb final.
They had come through a quarter final pool that included AKS Arnold and Colston’s before they beat Berkhamsted and a very handy Millfield 2nd VII in the semi final group, while Kingswood had come through a particularly tough semi final pool against St Paul’s and RGS Newcastle.
In the end though, Eton had just that bit too much nous and, crucially, pace in the final and, though it was a close opening half, they pulled away in the second half for a comfortable win and a deserved piece of silverware.
U18 Vase Final:
Blundell’s 24-20 St Peter’s, York
U18 Bowl Final:
Kingswood 17-31 Eton College
U18 Vase Semi Final Groups:
|Vase A||Vase B|
|Blundell’s||St Peter’s, York|
|The Leys||Sir William Borlase’s|
U18 Bowl Semi Final Groups:
|Bowl A||Bowl B|
|St Paul’s||Millfield 2nd VII|
U18 Vase Quarter Final Groups Final Standings:
|Vase A||Vase B||Vase C|
|Cheltenham College||Ysgol Y Preseli||Epsom College|
|Durham||New Hall||St Peter’s, Gloucester|
|Vase D||Vase E||Vase F|
|St Peter’s, York||Oakham||Sir William Borlase’s|
|St Edward’s, Oxford||KES Stratford||King’s Worcester|
U18 Bowl Quarter Final Groups:
|Bowl A||Bowl B||Bowl C|
|St Paul’s||Kingswood||RGS Newcastle|
|Bishop Wordswoth’s||Downside||Gower College|
|Bowl D||Bowl E||Bowl F|
|Berkhamsted||Eton College||Millfield 2nd VII|
|Christ College||AKS Arnold||Coleg Gwent|
U18 Vase Elimination Round Results:
Cheltenham College 28-7 Monmouth
Durham 31-7 Bishop Wordsworth
Blundell’s 43-0 St Paul’s
King’s Macclesfield 17-33 New Hall
Kingswood 17-19 Ysgol Y Preseli
The Leys 31-5 Downside
Epsom College 45-7 Oundle
St Peter’s, Gloucester 26-12 Gower College
Stowe 29-14 RGS Newcastle
St Peter’s, York 55-0 Christ College, Brecon
King’s Canterbury 33-14 Ampleforth College
Berkhamsted 14-31 St Edward’s, Oxford
Oakham 19-7 Eton College
Loughborough GS 31-26 AKS Arnold
King’s Worcester 31-7 Tonbridge
Sir William Borlase 34-12 Millfield 2nd VII
KES Stratford 21-14 Colston’s
Coleg Gwent 5-36 Felsted
U18 Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s Vase Final Group Standings:
|Pos||Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|1||Cheltenham College||Monmouth||Durham||Bishop Wordsworth’s|
|2||RGS Lancaster||Eltham College||Bromsgrove||Dean Close|
|3||Trent College||Regent House||Brynteg||Prior Park College|
|4||Shebbear College||Seevic College||Campion||Trinity|
|5||Bassaleg||Harris City Academy||Regent House 2nd VII||Plymouth College|
|Pos||Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|1||Blundell’s||St Paul’s||King’s Macclesfield||New Hall|
|2||Felsted||Bristol Grammar||Eastbourne College||Sutton Valence|
|3||Weston College||Merchant Taylors’||Cardiff HS||Sir Thomas Picton|
|4||Tiffin||Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr||Ravens Wood||Framlingham College|
|5||Milton Abbey||Birkdale||Yarm||Emmanuel College|
|Pos||Group I||Group J||Group K||Group L|
|1||Kingswood||The Leys||Downside||Epsom College|
|2||Hymers College||Manchester Grammar||Marlborough Colleg||Taunton|
|3||St George’s, Weybridge||Portsmouth Grammar||Brighton College 2nd VII||KCS Wimbledon|
|4||Colfe’s||Sevenoaks||Mount Kelly||Nottingham HS|
|5||Llandaff Cathedral||Ryder Upper with Chine||Royal Wootton Bassett||King John|
|Pos||Group M||Group N||Group O||Group P|
|1||Oundle||St Peter’s, Gloucester||Gower College||Stowe|
|3||Bishop Gore||Mount St Mary’s||Windsor Boys’||Gresham’s|
|4||Gravesend Grammar||Cokethorpe||Wellington School||Pocklington|
|5||Lycee Internat’l de Londres||Ysgol Gyfun Bryn Tawe||Liverpool College||Simon Langton GS|
|Pos||Group Q||Group R||Group S||Group T|
|1||RGS Newcastle||St Peter’s, York||Christ College||King’s Canterbury|
|2||Wisbech Grammar||Queen Ethelburga’s||Abingdon||RGS Worcester|
|3||Reed’s||Norwich||Duke of York’s RMS||QES Barnet|
|4||King’s Bruton||Wallington County GS||Pangbourne College||Stonyhurst College|
|5||UCS||The Perse||Ipswich||Torquay BGS|
|Pos||Group U||Group V||Group W||Group X|
|1||Ampleforth College||Berkhamsted||St Edward’s, Oxford||Oakham|
|2||Giggleswick||QEGS Wakefield||RGS Guildford||Bryanston|
|3||King’s College, Taunton||Christ’s Hospital||Wellingborough||Truro|
|5||Burford||Reigate Grammar||Strode’s 6th form College||Leicester GS|
|Pos||Group Y||Group Z||Group AA||Group BB|
|1||Eton College||Ysgol Y Preseli||Loughborough Grammar||AKS Arnold|
|2||Welbeck||KES Bath||Malvern College||Shiplake College|
|3||Bradford Grammar||Hill House||Hayes||Magdalen College|
|4||Langley Park||Worth||QEH||Bedford Modern|
|5||London Oratory||Akeley Wood||Ridley College||Rossall|
|Pos||Group CC||Group DD||Group EE||Group FF|
|1||King’s Worcester||Tonbridge||Sir William Borlase’s||Millfield 2nd VII|
|2||Wimbledon College||Churcher’s College||Worksop College||Wirral GS|
|3||Richard Huish||Coopers’ Coborn||Uppingham||Emanuel|
|4||Lord Wandsworth||Ellesmere College||Sir Joseph Williamson’s||Dyffryn Aman|
|5||Queen’s College, Taunton||Rutlish||Shrewsbury||Stockport GS|
|Pos||Group GG||Group HH|
|1||KES Stratford||Coleg Gwent|
|2||Seaford College||Peterborough Regional|
|3||St Olave’s Grammar||Cardinal Newman|
|4||Wrekin College||Pembrokeshire College|
|5||Royal Alexandra & Albert||Ashville College|