School 7s: Gordon’s seal maiden home title at U18 Floodlit 7s | Review

Gordon’s School claimed the Gordon’s U18 Floodlit 7s title for the first time in an outstanding display of 7s in Surrey.


On the Friday before Duhan van der Merwe showed just how much space he can create on a fifteen-a-side field, Gordon’s were showing that ability on the 7s field in a clinical example of knockout rugby.


Last minute rejigs due to the waterlogged back pitches meant that the tournament had been reduced from twelve to eight teams, but the upshot of that was that every side played on Gordon’s superb artificial surface throughout and therefore every game was broadcast live, and you can relieve that live action below.


That meant that there were two groups of four, with the top two from each group reaching the Cup semi finals and the third placed sides heading to the Plate final directly.


What we ended up with from those groups was a core of Cup semi finalists that were simply outstanding. Gordon’s and Brighton College, the reigning champions, emerged from Group 1, with Gordon’s 26-19 group win over Brighton enough to send them through top. Meanwhile Rams RFC, one of the stories of the day as they were made up of a conglomerate of sides, finished in third to go to the Plate final after beating Reading Blue Coat.


Group 2 meanwhile saw 2022 champions Wellington College go through top, with the Hayes demonstrating their growth to qualify in second place. The South London state school’s rise was epitomised by their competitiveness in this pool. Another state side competing well were Bishop Wordsworth’s, whose victory over Worth sent them to the Plate final.


That Plate final would go the way of Bishop Wordsworth’s, who put in an excellent display in that final for a 22-7 victory over Rams to return home with the big prize.


Over in the Cup the head to head between the previous two finalists, Brighton College and Wellington College, felt huge and proved to be so as they threw everything that they had at one another. It was a fantastic game between two superb sides, but it was Brighton, the reigning champions, that secured the final spot, 24-10.


What nobody had banked on though was that the hosts, Gordon’s, would go from playing well to being nigh on unplayable once the knockouts began. They were simply sensational against Hayes in a stunning 40-0 performance that few could have lived with – and some of the best in the country were here in attendance.


That stunning form carried into the final. Gordon’s and Brighton College had been separated only by seven points in the group stage, but in the final Gordon’s just remained in that extra gear that they had found for the knockouts. Once again playing with raw intensity that was just too hot to handle as they secured a brilliant 29-0 victory to claim their title at their home tournament for the first time.


It was a statement evening from the Harlequins ACE affiliates, and one that poses a big question – could an ACE side be in contention at the Rosslyn Park National School 7s this year? It would be the first time since SGS Filton College in 2011 where they were, but on the evidence of this, Gordon’s have every reason to consider themselves contenders.


Champions – Gordon’s


Cup Final: Gordon’s 29-0 Brighton College


Semi Finals: Gordon’s 40-0 Hayes, Brighton College 24-10 Wellington College


Plate Final: Bishop Wordsworth’s 22-7 Rams RFC


Final Group Standings


PosGroup 1Group 2
1Gordon’sWellington College
2Brighton CollegeHayes
3Rams RFCBishop Wordsworth’s
4Reading Blue CoatWorth
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