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Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV: U18 Boys close tournament in style!

The Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV closed on Friday with an absolutely stunning U18 Boys competition.

The signs were there from the start as a couple of groups went down to a coin toss and big names, such as 2019 real life Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools 7s champions Sedbergh, fell at the first hurdle. This was going to be an intense day, and right from the off votes were coming in in their thousands.

For the first time ever, the U18 Cup and the U18 Vase had been amalgamated into one draw, meaning that all of the U18 Boys teams were in one giant 224 team tournament, starting with a massive Group stage containing 56 groups to kick things off.

Hereford 6th form College were the eventual winners, pulling in absolutely stunning number of voters throughout the day. In truth right from the outset it should have been clear that the winner might come from an unusual source, in terms of on-field expectations, with big names falling and the big headlines coming from some of those that might rarely get a chance on the grass.

The day was all about the sheer momentum that two sides built, though, Hereford 6th form College and Isle of Man 7s U18s. Others had their moments, and some mighty big ones at that, but throughout the day these two were in sensational form.

Isle of Man had gotten the better of Lancaster RGS and Wirral Grammar from across the water in their group, before meeting real giants in Phase 2, John Fisher, Truro College, and Llandovery College. They came out on top there, but not before Llandovery College sparked a trend that would be a real signature of these Virtual 7s, engaging hugely through social media and throwing their full weight behind Isle of Man having been beaten.

That fired Isle of Man into a Last 16 tie v Millfield, kings of rugby on the field and over the course of this week proving to be the kings of social media. It was then that things started to feel really special, Isle of Man beating Millfield and somehow ending up appearing to have secured a fixture of sorts for the future in the process.

On the other side Hereford 6th form College had come through Group M where Cheltenham College, Malvern College, and Christ College Brecon had been their lofty company. No issue for Hereford though, who then found themselves in an equally loft group in Phase 2, Bromsgrove, Clifton College, and Monmouth their opponents.

Quietly going about their business at this stage, Hereford breezed through, but as the knockouts approached they knew big votes were needed and they brought their A-game to the social media table. Coleg Llanrillo were looking good for a deep run, but Hereford 6th form College came at them with a massive swell of voters, and it was only going to get bigger.

They looked like they faced an impossible Quarter Final task, a Bishop Wordsworth’s side that had reached the U18 Girls final on Thursday and had won the U16 Boys on Wednesday, their support was massive, but Hereford 6th form College rose to the challenge magnificently to progress to the semi finals. Isle of Man, meanwhile took on RGS Newcastle in a close but hugely voted-for contest. Things were coming to a head.

If we thought things might calm down for the semi finals, we would’ve been wrong. An enormous 1200 votes were cast over the two games. Both were won by the perceived underdog. Isle of Man faced Wimbledon College, whose U18s this year won the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s as U13s and U14s, they were on a mission and it felt somewhat destined. Hereford 6th from College faced yet another massive voting block in the form of Loughborough College, who had won Thursday’s U18 Girls competition.

They ran Hereford close, but the men from the West came through, while Isle of Man were utterly sensational to charge to victory in their semi finals.

It left a tantalising prospect ahead of the final, either way an unexpected victor, a flurry of support from vanquished opponents, and Twitter acting as we all hope it would – with fun.

The votes came flying in, and simply never stopped. 1117 of them in all, and not until the clock stopped was the result ever anything but in the balance. Hereford 6th form College just about had a lead for the final quarter or so, and though it narrowed as the minutes closed, they just held on for a 51.7% to 48.3% victory over Isle of Man 7s.

Congratulations, then, to Hereford 6th form College, who not only can call themselves the Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGen XV U18 Boys Champions, but who can claim as prizes a consultation with World Rugby 7s Game Analyst Matt Johnston and VEO Camera, plus Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s rugby balls courtesy of Gilbert – just get in touch with Rosslyn Park 7s!

Congratulations also to Isle of Man 7s, and all the other competitors throughout the week for getting so involved in these Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV, and for creating such a positive atmosphere in the process. Without any rugby being played, the advert for school rugby still could not have been greater.

For a summary of the tournament with commentator Nick Heath and our own Angus Savage, please check out @rosslyn_park_school_7s on Instagram or follow this link: Nick Heath and Angus Savage close out the Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV.

What else has been happening this week?

The week kicked off on Monday with the U11 and U13 tournaments, where St John’s Beaumont claimed the U11 title and almost made it a double, only to be pipped in the final by an excellent Woodlands side.

U11 and U13 Boys Roundup

On Tuesday it was the turn of the U14 Boys tournament and a first look at some of the big names in senior school rugby. The quirks of the virtual tournament kicked in though, and it was a hugely well supported Stanwell side that surged to the U14 Crown.

U14 Roundup

The U16s rolled into town on Wednesday, a tournament that had come down to a single vote last year. It was not quite that tight in 2021 but it wasn’t far off, on what was the most popular day of the tournament prior to today’s U18 Boys tournament. In the end it came down to St Peter’s York v Bishop Wordsworth’s in the final, Bishop Wordsworth’s claiming the U16 honours.

U16 Roundup

Thursday was Girls Rugby Day at the Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV and it kicked off with a welcome message from Maggie Alphonsi before the U15 Girls competition took over, with Samuel Ryder Academy winning there. Lunchtime saw a great chat between England’s Rachael Burford and commentator Nick Heath, before the U18 Girls kicked off in the afternoon and put on a spectacular show. Bishop Wordsworth’s almost claimed the double after Wednesday’s efforts with the U16s, but they were pipped in the final by Loughborough College.

Girls Rugby Day Roundup

Every side that won one of the tournaments through the week will receive 12 Rugby Balls courtesy of Halbro. Just get in touch with Rosslyn Park 7s to receive yours!

For a summary of the tournament with commentator Nick Heath and our own Angus Savage, please check out @rosslyn_park_school_7s on Instagram or follow this link: Nick Heath and Angus Savage close out the Rosslyn Park HSBC Virtual 7s in association with NextGenXV.

Special Thanks

A massive thanks to all the sponsors, notably title sponsor HSBC, plus Gilbert, Edwin Doran, Raging Bull, O’Neills, Cayman Islands, SKRUM, and Ealing Trailfinders.

Special thanks, too, to Perform Better for their brilliant Strength & Conditioning session with former Wales international Huw Bennett on Wednesday, and facilitating our Q&A with Northampton Saints James Grayson. To Coach Logic for their webinar with Scotland & Bath star Cameron Redpath, and to VEO for their Insight & Analysis session with Gordon’s School.

Thanks from us, to Photo-Fit as well, for use of their imagery.

Most of all, though, thanks to all of you for getting involved and voting! Here’s to and end of virtual rugby, though, and a return to the grass!

Images by Photo-Fit,

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 â€“ and make sure that you head over to www.schoolofkicking.com to sign up for your chance to be crowned best young kicker!

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  1. Pingback: Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s: Postponed 2021 Tournament Cancelled – NextGenXV

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