The Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV hit the midpoint on Wednesday with a thrilling U16 Boys competition.
Voters turned out in their thousands, with the intensity building throughout the day on the voting hub that is the Rosslyn Park Sevens Twitter Page, @RPNS7.
We had seen the excitement and tension that could build on Monday’s incredibly popular U11 and U13 tournaments, which saw St John’s Beaumont and Woodlands pick up titles, before a tense U14 tournament on Tuesday, which saw a number of games decided by a coin toss.
On Wednesday things stepped up a level for the U16s, which last year came down to just one vote in the final, and was looking similarly close throughout the day today.
You can see the schedule for the whole week here:
The day began harking back to that 2020 final but there as an early shock as St Olave’s fell to Trinity at the group stages. Hampton, though, were looking strong, topping a phase two group containing Barnard Castle and Woodhouse Grove before a last 16 victory over Blundell’s.
At the quarter final stage, though, they came up against Bishop Wordsworth’s, who were in the middle of creating something very special indeed. Early on they had shown their potential by topping a group containing Forest and Bristol Grammar, but it was at the Phase 2 Group stage where they showed a bit of what was to come as they bested two huge voting blocks in the form of Bromsgrove and Brighton College.
That gave them a sense of momentum and it was momentum that would take them all the way to the U16 Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV title. Winning the title does not even tell half of the story, though. Prior to their meeting with Hampton they took on and out-voted Clifton College. Their number were swelling and that saw them beat Hampton in that quarter final to set up a semi final against Epsom College, who had been breezing through the rounds.
On the other side of the draw Oakham and St Peter’s York were meeting, St Peter’s had followed a similar track to Bishop Wordsworth’s building their following through the day, topping their Phase 1 Group to set up Phase 2 against Warwick and Wimbledon College. They came through that to face Sherborne in an epic contest, which was the catalyst for their run, such was the surge of support it brought, sending them through a potentially tough quarter final against an Oundle side that had been gathering real momentum.
So to the semi final, where Oakham looked like the men to beat after a stunning Quarter Final comeback against Stanwell. Stanwell had huge support after winning yesterday’s U14 title and they were looking impossible to stop. With seconds remaining Oakham were behind and yet somehow, someway, they came out on top. St Peter’s must have recognised the threat, though, and their support swelled to send them into the final where they would face Bishop Wordsworth’s, who had been riding the wave of support in their semi final against Epsom College.
It set up for a blockbuster final, two sides with a huge amount of support and a social media teams that were going into overdrive. Bishop Wordsworth’s probably had edged the voting numbers, but St Peter’s were defending a real title – they were the last side to life that actual U16 Rosslyn Park 7s title.
The tension built as we spoke to Northampton Saints’ James Grayson on instagram ahead of the final, supporters chomping at the bit to get started in the background.
Over 600 votes were cast in the final, and it was that Bishop Wordsworth’s surge of support that took them to the title, building an early lead and slowly but surely easing it out before finishing up with a strong 58% to 42% victory in the final, culminating surely the most intoxicatingly intense day of these Virtual 7s so far.
A huge well done to all teams, but especially to Bishop Wordsworth’s and St Peter’s York, but, more importantly, a huge thank you. Without your effort and enthusiasm the Virtual tournament is simply not the same.
Thursday is Girls Rugby Day at the Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV. Both the U18 and U15 Girls competitions will be open for voting on Twitter at @RPNS7, with the U15s kicking things off.
Meanwhile on Instagram, @rosslyn_park_school_7s, there will be a cracking chat between England Red Roses star Rachael Burford, the founder of Girls Rugby Club, and commentator Nick Heath, a legend of the commentary booth at the RPSN7s and an ambassador for the Women’s Sports Alliance.
The on Friday the competition closes with the U18 Boys competition, so make sure that you are ready to go on @RPNS7 for that one!
U15 Girls Draw
The U15 Girls get underway at 9am on Thursday, after a special welcome message from former England star Maggie Alphonsi. It’s a short and sharp 12-team tournament, so make sure that your voting finger is at the ready on @RPNS7 from the off!
The twelve teams are split into four groups of three, from which the winners will head to the semi finals. This competition has only ever been held virtually, so expect a lot of votes as the U15 Girls look to make their mark!
|U15 Girls Groups|
|Clifton College||Embley||Gordon’s||St John’s, Leatherhead|
|St John Baptist Aberdare||Langley||Samuel Ryder Academy||Ysgol Plasmawr|
|Reigate Grammar||Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf||Ivyrbidge Community College||Toynbee|
U18 Girls Draw
The 49 team U18 Girls Draw sees the U18 Girls and U18 Girls AASE competitions combined for the first time ever. It means that within the draw there are two reigning virtual champions, Hartpury College, in Group A alongside Gordon’s and Coleg y Cymoedd, and Millfield, in the only 4 team group, Group P, alongside Peter Symonds’ College, Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, and Northampton School for Boys.
In total there are 16 Group of three teams each (except for Group P with 4), the winners of those sixteen groups will head into the Last 16, before going through the knockout rounds all the way to the final.
Remember – your votes are all that counts the whole way through so make sure that you head to Twitter and @RPNS7.
You can see our previews for the Girls Rugby Day here: Girls Rugby Day at the Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s with NextGenXV. Remember also to head to Instagram at 12.30pm for that chat between Rachael Burford and Nick Heath, a must see event – @rosslyn_park_school_7s.
|U18 Girls Groups|
|Hartpury College||Bishop Wordsworth’s||Priestlands||Blundell’s||Bridgwater & Taunton College||Cardinal Newman College||Clifton College||Christ’s Hospital|
|Gordon’s||Gower College||Bishop Burton College||Haverfordwest High School||Ivybridge Commuity College||St John’s, Leatherhead||Langley||Llandovery College|
|Coleg y Cymoedd||Reigate Grammar||RGS Worcester||Richard Huish||Royal Hospital School||Samuel Whitbread Academy||Sint-jan Berchmanscollege||King’s College, Taunton|
|Coleg Gwent||Coleg Sir Gar||Felsted||College of Richard Collyer||Epsom College||Worthing College||Federacion Valenciana Rugby||Millfield|
|Trinity||Bishop’s Stortford College||Neath Port Talbot College||Oundle||Orleans Park||Pembrokeshire College||Perins||Peter Symonds’ College|
|Sweden Women||Loughborough College||Welbeck||Wellington||Weston College||Wellington College||Exeter College||Ysgol Dyffryn Aman|
|Northampton School for Boys|
Later in the Week
After Girls Rugby Day all that remains is the U18 Boys on Friday, 224 teams in the draw as for the first time ever the Cup and Vase competitions merge together as you vote on @RPNS7 to narrow them from 224 to 1 champion. Plus a lunchtime Q&A with Bath and Scotland star Cameron Redpath, a Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s winner with Sedbergh in 2018, on Instagram at @rosslyn_park_school_7s.
The draw for the U18 Boys Competition can be found here: Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV – U18 Boys
What do I need to do?
Make sure that you are following @RPNS7 on Twitter as that is where all the voting will take place, and to get involved in some of the lunchtime and afternoon sessions and Q&As, make sure you are following @rosslyn_park_school_7s on Instagram.
Images by Photo-Fit
Full Schedule for the Week:
NextGenXV are working alongside the Alred Trophy, a competition designed to identify Britain & Ireland’s best young kicker. You can read all about it here: Alred Trophy All You Need To Know – and make sure that you head over to www.schoolofkicking.com to sign up for your chance to be crowned best young kicker!