RPNS7s: Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s | Day 5 Review – Harrow achieve legendary status, Cardinal Newman delight

RP7s Day 5 Review Image


Harrow completed a stunning U18 and U16 Boys Cup Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s double on Friday a dramatic late victory in the final of the U18 Cup, backing up Thursday’s U16 title and also the U16 title that they won a year ago.


It was a fitting end to the most dramatic and unpredictable of days here at the Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s, where a brilliant Cardinal Newman side won the U18 Girls Cup in sparkling fashion, Cranleigh won the U18 Boys Plate in even more dramatic fashion that Harrow won the Cup, and Hereford 6th form College won the U18 Girls Plate.


The bulk of the noise though when this dust settles on this 2023 Rosslyn Park National School 7s will be focused on Harrow though, and rightly so, this outstanding school that had already claimed the Daily Mail Trophy this year have added their name to the history books not just with that sensational U18 Cup victory, but by combining with with those incredible back to back U16 titles.


U18 Boys Cup


It was, quite simply, and epic final, in weather quite unlike anything that is ever seen in 7s both Harrow and Brighton College had to adapt, had to dig deep, had to simply find a way to compete.


Five tries were scored in the final, that none were converted tells you everything – such was the deluge and the mud that the ball simply would not bounce, a drop kick was a near impossibility.


What happened in that final will follow but the story of getting there must be told for Brighton College had had to come through the most extraordinary first day to even be in the Cup stages, where they then drew a strong Hampton side, a Denstone College side that had knocked Millfield into the Plate, and a Sedbergh side that were many people’s favourites – not least after impressive performances against the other two in that quarter final group.


Brighton too were impressive though, and had achieved the same to set up a de facto quarter final with Sedbergh where they were utterly fantastic to beat the Cumbrian’s, how exciting is the prospect of these two meeting at the Sedbergh 10s at the weekend, sending them into the semi finals.


Harrow meanwhile had also had to dig oh so deep in day 1 after a draw with Myerscough College. Day 2 presented a second chance at that fixture though as Myerscough had progressed as best runners up but could do nothing about the Harrow performance levels here on day 2 as they beat Myerscough as well as making their way past two sides of incredible quality in Trinity and Kirkham Grammar – after missing out to Trinity in the Schools Cup, that was one that Harrow particularly relished.


That trio of victories sent them to the semis and the other two sides in the semis were both from Pool A, Clifton College and Berkhamsted, who had both progressed from a really tough group. Finborough and Seaford College were brilliant opposition but Berkhamsted were on real form, particularly in the morning to top the pool. Clifton College dug in though to secure their semi final berth as best runners up.


In the semi finals though both Harrow and Brighton College really turned on the style, Harrow were completely outstanding in a 21-5 victory against Berkhamsted – a side that as the day had progressed had become elevated to favourite status among many onlookers. Brighton College were pretty much as impressive in their final, showing incredible adaptability in their 17-7 victory over Clifton College.


To that final then, and adaptability was more than just a buzzword, it was a necessity. Traditional 7s was no longer an option, such were the conditions, this became a game of calm heads, executing skills as best as possible in the conditions, and digging deep, perhaps deeper than ever before at the end of a gruelling two days.


Both gave it all of that and more in one of the great finals in Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s history. Maybe not for flair, but for spirit. Harrow opened the scoring, but Brighton hit back, the Harrow scored again to take a 10-5 lead into the half.


Brighton bounced back again though to draw level early on and by now both were running on fumes, players unidentifiable such was their coating of mud. Teams indistinguishable from one another too. It was mayhem, it was gruelling, and it was oh so impressive.


Time ticked on, and on and on, both had chances, the ball squirting loose, bodies on the line. Nothing left out there. Cliché after cliché but all so applicable. And then it happened. Harrow’s defence, one of the real hallmark’s of this two day effort, had been brilliant and perhaps it was fitting that it was defence that won it.


On the Brighton 22 up they came, and when the tackle came in and the, inevitable, loose ball arrived, they pounced. A quick pick up, and early pass, and the try to create history. Heartbreak for Brighton College, but they will be back, they put in one of the great runner’s up displays of recent times.


For Harrow, glory and history. For this U18 achievement alone off the back of last year’s U16 triumph they are up there with the greats. But in making it a 2023 U18 and U16 Rosslyn Park double, plus a Daily Mail Trophy, dynasty is the only applicable word.


Utterly magnificent.


Champions – Harrow




Harrow 15-10 Brighton College


Semi Finals


Berkhamsted 5-21 Harrow

Brighton College 17-7 Clifton College


Cup Quarter Finals Pools Final Standings:


PosCup ACup BCup C
1BerkhamstedHarrowBrighton College
2Clifton CollegeTrinitySedbergh
3FinboroughKirkham GrammarDenstone College
4Seaford CollegeMyerscough CollegeHampton


U18 Boys Plate


The Plate was an absolutely sensational story as former Cup champions Cranleigh defeated fellow Cup legends Millfield 17-14 in an epic final that saw them score two late tries to secure the most dramatic of victories.


For Cranleigh though it was a day of complete drama, topping Plate Group A on mere points difference after they, Beechen Cliff, and Ipswich all finished level on points. It was calculators at the ready as Ipswich had beaten Beechen Cliff 29-22, who had in turn beaten Cranleigh 17-12, while Cranleigh had beaten Ipswich 19-17.


In the other Pool Millfield too had to dig deep not least against Norwich School, who must have the quiet hero status for the week after compelling games against three of the biggest names in schools rugby, running Sedbergh close on day 1, then Millfield in this group, and then beating Wellington College. Millfield came through the Norwich test though to top the pool and set up that final.


And what a final. Millfield soared out to a two score advantage that must have felt insurmountable given the conditions, but this spirited, determined, Cranleigh side somehow, someway, found a way to score twice late to claim the Plate.


Champions – Cranleigh




Cranleigh 17-14 Millfield


Plate Semi Finals Pools


PosPlate APlate B
2Beechen CliffNorwich
3IpswichWellington College
4WhitgiftOaklands College
5Brooksby Melton CollegeSGS Filton College


U18 Girls Cup


Cardinal Newman claimed the U18 Girls Cup in absolute fantastic style with a final performance of utter brilliance it what were some of the most challenging 7s conditions imaginable; torrential rain on what was already a mud soaked Friday at the Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s.


They had been superb all day, topping Cup Quarter Final Pool B ahead of JESS, what a brilliant team they have been across the age-groups at this years Rosslyn Park 7s, King’s College Taunton, and Richard Collyer.


Victory in that Pool sent them through to the semi finals alongside Peter Symonds’ College, who headed Group C ahead of Hartpury College, Coleg Gwent, and Bishop Wordsworth’s, Dubai College, and Millfield, who finished first and second in Group A ahead of Llandovery College and Samuel Whitbread Academy.


Peter Symonds’ College drew Millfield in their semi final and were utterly brilliant, winning 22-0 to book their place in the final, but already the scale of that task in the final was apparent as Cardinal Newman won their semi final against a Dubai College side that had thrilled all morning by a hugely impressive 29-0 margin.


In the final, Cardinal Newman were simply sensational. The rain came absolutely bucketing down but this fantastic group of girls were not to be deterred. Far from it. Peter Symonds’ College gave it all that they possibly could but Cardinal Newman were a term at one with themselves, the conditions, and very much in love with the game of sevens as they played some utterly fantastic rugby despite the conditions to claim a stunning 36-7 victory.


Girls rugby has been showcased better than ever before at this year’s Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s, and in Cardinal Newman the girls game at school level has a side on which it can build a legend. An utterly brilliant two days of work from girls in red and black.


Best of all though? What it meant. The privilege of writing this summary as Cardinal Newman celebrated whilst in the Ealing Trailfinders’ tent that has housed both NextGenXV and Cardinal Newman through the week is one never to be forgotten. Few get to experience the inner sanctum of the winners enclosure of the Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s, it is a very, very, special place.


Champions – Cardinal Newman




Cardinal Newman 36-7 Peter Symonds’ College


Semi Finals


Dubai College 0-29 Cardinal Newman

Peter Symonds’ College 22-0 Millfield


Cup Quarter Finals Pools Final Standings:


PosCup ACup BCup C
1Dubai CollegeCardinal NewmanPeter Symonds’ College
2MillfieldJESSHartpury College B
3Llandovery CollegeKing’s College, TauntonColeg Gwent
4Samuel WhitbreadRichard CollyerBishop Wordsworth’s


U18 Girls Plate


The Plate competition was every bit as compelling as the Cup competition in this wonderful U18 Girls event. Hereford 6th form College claimed the title, and deservedly so after an absolutely fantastic day of rugby in the Plate competition.


The finished top of their pool ahead of Hills Road 6th form College, Hurstpierpoint College, and Oundle, a really tricky pool. Over on the other side Tiffin headed Worth, Blundell’s, and RGS Worcester in an equally compelling pool.


That sent the top two of each pool through to the semi finals, where Hereford would take on Worth, Tiffin would take on Hills Road. Hills Road upset the odds, runners up from Group A usurping Group B winners Tiffin, 20-5, to send the Cambridge side into the final, where the Group A winners, Hereford 6th form College awaited after their gritty 24-12 victory over Worth.


With the two having met in the group and Hereford having won that 25-5, the odds were in their favour, and so it proved in the final where their defence was even stronger, keeping Hills Road out entirely to claim the 2023 Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s U18 Girls Plate with a brilliant 24-0 victory.


Champions – Hereford 6th form College




Hereford 6th form College 24-0 Hills Road 6th form College


Semi Finals


Hereford 6th form College 24-12 Worth

Tiffin 5-20 Hills Road 6th form College


Plate Semi Finals Pools


PosPlate APlate B
1Hereford 6th form CollegeTiffin
2Hills Road 6th form CollegeWorth
3Hurstpierpoint CollegeBlundell’s
4OundleRGS Worcester


U13 Juniors & U11 Mixed Info To Follow

Leave a Response

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Back to top