Sedbergh School Super 10: Sedbergh claim dramatic Sedbergh 10s title | Hurstpierpoint win epic Plate final

Sedbergh School regained the Sedbergh School Super 10s title after a five year wait with a dramatic final play victory over Brighton College in the final.


It was a stunning climax to the most intense, challenging, and joyful two days of rugby, with all sixteen teams contributing to an outstanding occasion, whether it was Cokethorpe winning their final game of the day, Seaford College beating Ipswich in the opening game of the day, then Ipswich beating eventual champions Sedbergh, or the drama as back to back champions Kirkham Grammar School were defeated by Brighton College and RGS High Wycombe, who then played out an epic final pool game for a place in the final.


Every side contributed to make it not just one of the great tournaments of the year, but also one of the great annual Sedbergh Super 10s.


Day 1 was outstanding, played in blazing sunlight it was an example of all that is joyous about the school game. Day 2 game us something else, Day 2 was played in a downpour, one so great that it turned the fields to a thick mud. That gave us the other side of school rugby, in stodgy torrid conditions it gave us the heart and the passion, a passion doubled for this being the final game for these players, the final ever game for those in their U6th.


Indeed, it will probably go down as the Sedbergh 10s where grit was the decisive factor.


Sedbergh had to show it in spades, right from Day 1 through to the Day 2 groups and hard fought victories over Seaford College and King’s Macclesfield, before that defeat to Ipswich, for whom it was a massive high on which to end their schools rugby careers. Sedbergh would still reach the final, thanks to a better head to head record over Seaford, but it showed just how tight this tournament is.


It was gritty on the other side too, Brighton College turned the tournament upside down with a passionate victory over back to back champions Kirkham Grammar School on Pitch 3 before victory against Stamford set them up for a winner takes all encounter with RGS High Wycombe, who had also beaten Kirkham and Stamford. It could not have been tighter, Brighton College edged it 7-5 with the extra points being due to the fact that their score was a penalty try. Drama, everywhere you looked.


Over in the Plate things were no less dramatic, KES Bath had the same situation as Sedbergh, losing to Cokethorpe in their final game but progressing to the Plate final thanks to a better head to head over Dulwich College and Hampton. Hurstpierpoint College meanwhile had to beat Barnard Castle in their final game of the pool, that also included QEGS Wakefield and Felsted, who both put in some stunning displays across the two days. The Sussex side managed it, despite a delay due to car parking issues, sending them to the final against KES.


If anything, that Plate final between KES Bath and Hurstpierpoint College was even more dramatic than the Cup final. 0-0 at half time in unimaginably challenging conditions, the feeling was that the dam would eventually burst, but full time rolled around and it was, remarkably, still 0-0 and so extra time was needed. Even there, with golden point in play, it was almost impossible to see anything other than extra time playing out and the trophy being shared. However eventually, with the Cup final actually over, despite starting ten minutes later than the Plate, the dam burst and Hurstpierpoint College scored to give them one of the most dramatic Plate titles in Sedbergh 10s history.


It was also their second Plate title in a row, a feat last achieved almost a decade ago when Brighton College did the same in 2014 and 2015. A truly outstanding effort from Hurstpierpoint College.


Brighton College meanwhile had hopes beyond the Plate, into the Cup final for the third time in their history, most recently in 2018, they were looking for a first ever Sedbergh 10s title. Sedbergh, meanwhile, were in their eighth final in a row but were looking for a first title since 2019 after back to back Kirkham Grammar School titles had followed the two covid cancelled tournaments.


It was a repeat of the 2018 final, but it looked to be going the other way to that one when Brighton College took the lead through an opportunistic Alex Stubbs try off the base of the scrum. Conditions being how they were, any lead felt pivotal, and this one looked it as Sedbergh then toiled and toiled against this outstanding Brighton College side that had played all tournament with huge passion, energy, and commitment.


So too had Sedbergh, and they showed it in abundance in the final. Down a man, they dug in and kept playing, kept pushing, but just could not crack this Brighton College defence. Everything they threw at them came back but eventually, with the final throw of the dice, Tom Newman danced his way through to finish with his fingertips to level the game up in what was the final play of the game.


It was stunning stuff, heart-breaking for Brighton College, exhilarating for Sedbergh, but the conversion still had to be made. It was a reasonable angle, but with the pressure of it being a kick to win these things are never easy, however Matthew Cook showed nerves of steel to make it look easy, completing the most sensational finish to a Sedbergh Super 10s final.


Cruel, best summed up how it looked for Brighton College, who had been magnificent all day and deservedly saw Harry Streak named Player of the Tournament, adding to an illustrious list of Brighton College pupils to win the award.


To the victor the spoils though, it was a hugely emotional moment for Sedbergh, who had their struggles in the fifteen-a-side season, but in this short format season they have hit their straps and finish off their school careers. Sedbergh 10s Champions, for the eighth time!


A wonderful and dramatic way in which to end a fantastic season of schools rugby, memories have been made that will last a lifetime, experiences had and friendships formed that will last likewise. Another fantastic Sedbergh School Super 10s, another great schools rugby season.

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