Bromsgrove secured the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s U18 Vase title on Wednesday after an epically well-contested two days of rugby.
The Midlands side were sensational in the final, beating Rugby School 26-5 after a stunning first half saw them lead 14-0 before they really stretched out in the second half for a 26-0 lead.
Rugby deservedly pulled one back in the end for 26-5, a fitting score as they truly had been magnificent all day.
Indeed the Vase competition was completely draining for all sides, such was the effort they had been forced to put in. It was, perhaps, the most impressive aspect of their performance in the final, their sheer energy. With each score they showed superb zip and in defence their enthusiasm to bounce back to their feet and keep working for the men either side of them truly was a sight to behold.
They had reached the day after winning their opening group on Tuesday ahead of an elimantion round 38-5 victory over Ysgol Y Preseli, who would go on to the Bowl semi finals.
That left Bromsgrove in a quarter final pool alongside Norwich School and Cathedral School, Llandaff. The Vase competition consisted of six quarter final groups of three, from which the winners progressed to two semi final groups of three, with the winner of each of those meeting in the final.
Bromsgrove headed up that quarter final pool, while Rugby School finished ahead of RGS Guildford and Wimbledon College, who had both impressed so much on the opening day.
Rugby’s semi final pool was as tough as it gets, alongside Merchiston Castle and Epsom College, two sides that had come under some heat for their position in this Vase competition rather than the Cup. Epsom had come through a tricky quarter final pool ahead of George Watson’s College and Eton College, while Merchiston had been superb against Tonbridge and Cheltenham College.
Bromsgrove meanwhile found themselves in a semi final pool against Oakham and Seevic College. Seevic had finished ahead of Millfield 2nd VII and Durham in their quarter final pool, Oakham finishing ahead of Downside and Gower College in theirs.
Bromsgrove were in fine form against Seevic for a 32-12 victory, but Oakham, who had looked like one of the favourites, gave them probably their toughest game of the tournament. However this Bromsgrove side, who earlier in the season won the Solihull 7s, toughed it out for a 26-21 victory.
Over in Rugby’s Pool, things were tight, it seemed to be the pitchside view of many that either Merchiston or Epsom were the tournament favourites overall. As it turned out, all three were incredibly evenly matched, Merchiston edging out Epsom by a score before Rugby them did the same.
That left Rugby v Merchiston as the decider, and what a decider. Just three points separated them, Rugby were ahead 15-12 fairly early in the second half and then withstood a Merchiston onslaught for the rest of the game to hold on to that lead and secure their place in the final.
Perhaps that had simply tired them out too much ahead of that final, or perhaps Bromsgrove were just magnificent. Perhaps a bit of both.
Whatever the truth of it, what was certain was that Bromsgrove had played fantastic rugby all day and in the final the showed the very best of it, scoring some stunning tries and showing an intensity to their play that few could possibly have matched.
It was a wonderful achievement for this men in maroon and white, and a title that they have thoroughly earned.
For the sides losing in those Vase elimination games on Tuesday the U18 Bowl was the prize. There was some cracking rugby throughout, as shown by the quality of the sides in the Bowl draw.
Ultimately it was RGS Newcastle that took the title, beating Felsted 26-17 to add the U18 Bowl to the St Joseph’s Festival title that they won before Christmas.
They had to do it the hard way, coming through a brutal quarter final pool against Mount St Mary’s College and Berkhamsted, before heading into an even tougher semi final pool alongside St Peter’s York and Campion.
That Pool was as tough as it gets and that was shown by the way it was decided – on points difference. RGS beat St Peter’s but lost to Campion, who in turn had lost to St Peter’s, leaving them all level on points but with RGS progressing with a plus 5 points difference to St Peter’s plus 2 and Campion’s -7. There was some consolation for St Peter’s though, who claimed the Try of the Day through Barney Baker.
Felsted, meanwhile, had finished ahead of St George’s College Weybridge and Isle of Man Schools in their quarter final pool to set up a semi final pool against Ysgol Y Preseli and Exeter School, beating both to head into the final full of confidence.
It was a cracking final, with the score swinging back and forth with both sides giving it everything. Felsted had the lead at 17-14 and simply could not have given more to the cause.
RGS dug deep though, oh so deep, scoring for 19-17 and then hounding down Felsted, who looked like they might score themselves. Having won the ball back though, RGS slowly made their way downfield to finish off in magnificent style, scoring for a 26-17 victory and a brilliant U18 Bowl title.
The final plaudits must go to Bromsgrove though, who were quite simply magnificent in their final against a Rugby side that had been impressing all onlookers throughout the day’s play.
The zip and verve that they showed throughout the final was outstanding and left them the deserving Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s Vase champions, a stunning achievement.
U18 Vase/Bowl Results and Standings:
U18 Vase Final: Bromsgrove 26-5 Rugby
U18 Bowl Final: RGS Newcastle 26-17 Felsted
U18 Vase Semi Final Pools – Final Standings:
|Pos||Vase A||Vase B|
|3||Epsom College||Seevic College|
U18 Bowl Semi Final Pools – Final Standings:
|Pos||Bowl A||Bowl B|
|2||St Peter’s York||Ysgol Y Preseli|
U18 Vase Quarter Final Pools – Final Standings:
|Pos||Vase A||Vase B||Vase C|
|1||Epsom College||Merchiston Castle||Rugby|
|2||George Watson’s||Tonbridge||RGS Guildford|
|3||Eton College||Cheltenham College||Wimbledon College|
|Pos||Vase D||Vase E||Vase F|
|2||Norwich||Millfield 2nd VII||Downside|
|3||Cathedral Sch Llandaff||Durham||Gower College|
U18 Bowl Quarter Final Pools – Final Standings:
|Pos||Bowl A||Bowl B||Bowl C|
|1||St Peter’s, York||Campion||RGS Newcastle|
|2||St Edwards, Oxford||Chislehurst & Sidcup||Mount St Mary’s|
|3||Eastbourne College||Royal Hospital School||Berkhamsted|
|Pos||Bowl D||Bowl E||Bowl F|
|1||Ysgol Y Preseli||Felsted||Exeter School|
|2||Pangbourne College||St George’s College||Wallington County GS|
|3||Sir William Borlase’s||Isle of Man Schools||Taunton School|
Elimination Round Results:
St Peter’s York 19-26 George Watson’s College
Epsom College 27-0 St Edward’s Oxford
Eastbourne College 7-26 Eton College
Cheltenham College 22-17 Campion
Merchiston Castle 35-12 Royal Hospital School
Tonbridge 38-7 Chislehurst & Sidcup GS
Wimbledon College 34-5 Berkhamsted
Rugby 29-0 RGS Newcastle
Mount St Mary’s College 0-36 RGS Guildford
Cathedral School, Llandaff 22-7 Sir William Borlase’s GS
Pangbourne College 5-38 Norwich
Bromsgrove 38-5 Ysgol Y Preseli
Felsted 19-35 Durham
St George’s College, Weybridge 10-33 Millfield 2nd VII
Seevic College 24-5 Isle of Man Schools
Taunton School 21-31 Gower College
Exeter School 5-33 Downside
Wallington County Grammar 5-43 Oakham
U18 Vase Final Group Standings
|Pos||Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|1||St Peter’s, York||George Watson’s College||Epsom College||St Edward’s, Oxford|
|2||Caterham||Uppingham School||Shrewsbury||RGS Worcester|
|3||Bryanston School||Ipswich||Lancaster RGS||Reed’s|
|4||Bristol Grammar School||Kingswood||The Oratory||Malvern College|
|5||Radley College||Park House||Muvuti Boys HS||Prior Park College|
|Pos||Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|1||Eastbourne College||Eton College||Cheltenham College||Campion|
|2||Marlborough College||St Paul’s||Bishop Wordsworth’s||Dollar Academy|
|3||Hayes||Colston’s||Merchant Taylors’||Hereford Cathedral School|
|4||Wycliffe College||Torquay Boys Grammar||Cardiff High||Manchester Grammar|
|5||KES Birmingham||Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr||Trinity||QEH|
|Pos||Group I||Group J||Group K||Group L|
|1||Merchiston Castle||Royal Hospital School||Tonbridge||Wimbledon College|
|2||Shiplake College||KES Bath||Portsmouth Grammar||Christ College, Brecon|
|3||Truro School||College of Richard Collyer||Birkdale||The Leys|
|4||Lord Wandsworth||Worth||Haverfordwest||Ellesmere College|
|5||Brynteg Comprehensive||Trent College||QES Barnet||Colfe’s|
|Pos||Group M||Group N||Group O||Group P|
|1||Berkhamsted||Rugby||RGS Newcastle||Mount St Mary’s College|
|2||Loughborough College||Abingdon||Canford||Queen Ethelburga’s|
|3||Langley||Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun||Rydal Penrhos||Sir Joseph Williamson’s|
|4||Sutton Valence||Emanuel||Gravesend Grammar||Langley Park|
|5||Bedford Modern||Tiffin||King Edward’s, Whitley (w/o)||UCS (w/o)|
|Pos||Group Q||Group R||Group S||Group T|
|1||RGS Guildford||Cathedral School, Llandaff||Sir William Borlase’s GS||Pangbourne College|
|2||Gresham’s||Caerleon Comprehensive||London Oratory||Loughborough Grammar|
|3||Yarm||St Olave’s Grammar||QES Kirkby Lonsdale||Framlingham College|
|4||Beaufort||King’s Worcester||Ryde (w/o)||Duke of York’s RMS|
|5||Bassaleg (w/o)||The Perse||Bridgwater (w/o)||Coleg Sir Gar|
|Pos||Group U||Group V||Group W||Group X|
|1||Norwich||Bromsgrove School||Ysgol Y Preseli||Felsted|
|2||City of London Freemen’s||Pocklington||Newcastle-Under-Lyme||King’s Macclesfield|
|3||Ampleforth College||Worksop College||Thomas Hardye||Bradford Grammar|
|4||Welbeck||Wisbech Grammar School||Birkenhead||Ravens Wood|
|5||Cardinal Newman||King’s Bruton||Brentwood||Leicester Grammar|
|Pos||Group Y||Group Z||Group AA||Group BB|
|1||Durham||St George’s College||Millfield 2nd VII||Chislehurst & Sidcup GS|
|2||Shebbear College||Oundle||Mill Hill||Pembrokeshire College|
|3||Bishop’s Stortford College||Wellingborough||Ashville College||Giggleswick|
|4||Wirral Grammar School||Wrekin College||Plymouth College||Hertfordshire & Essex|
|5||Stockport Grammar||Sevenoaks||Coleg Gwent||Sidcot|
|Pos||Group CC||Group DD||Group EE||Group FF|
|1||Seevic College||Isle of Man Schools||Taunton School||Gower College|
|2||Churcher’s College||Aberdare||King’s Canterbury||Monmouth|
|3||Queen’s College, Taunton||Judd||Reigate Grammar||Emmanuel College|
|4||Nottingham High School||St Christopher||Oswestry||The Crypt|
|5||Harrodian||Peterborough Regional||Harris City Academy||Melksham Oak|
|Pos||Group GG||Group HH||Group II||Group JJ|
|1||Exeter School||Downside||Wallington County GS||Oakham|
|2||Weston College||Coventry College||Mount Kelly School||New Hall|
|3||Reading Blue Coat||King’s Ely||Liverpool College||Gordon’s|
|4||Royal Wootton Bassett||Simon Langton GS||Rossall||Ibstock Place|
|5||Ysgol Gyfun Bryn Tawe||Lycee Internatonal||Kings of Wessex||Olchfa|