Blundell's at Rosslyn Park

For the first time, Blundell’s took the maximum number of teams to Rosslyn Park, including three girls’ teams and four boys’ teams.

The U16 girls were the first team to arrive at Rosslyn Park and had a tough start against the Dubai English Speaking College. Despite the loss, our U16 team won two games against Finborough, 24 – 5, taking them to the Quarter Final and gave an impressive performance against Rugby School, 48 -12, that saw them progress to the Semi Final. They were eventually knocked out after Seaford College scored with the last play of the game to win 17 -14. The girls went from strength to strength throughout the tournament and to make the semi-final of the plate was very impressive, especially when the majority of girls only started playing at Christmas.

The U14 girls Rugby Sevens team also had a fantastic time at Rosslyn Park. Playing 3 matches against good opposition, the Dubai English Speaking College proved too strong the team. However, in their second match, having the opportunity to play on one of the main pitches and be live streamed, motivated the U14 to play their best Rugby of the tournament and coming out as the winners. In their final game, they went down by just a couple of tries but still, it was a great experience for all.

Our U14 Boys’ enjoyed an unbeaten Day 1 at Rosslyn Park with victories over Stanford, St Albans and an end to end play off against Collegiate. Day 2 saw Blundell’s progress to a top-level group with Denston and Hymers. Although a strong start against Hymers, they came back strongly and took advantage of a couple of errors and outscored us by 4 -2. With a good win against Denston, it’s safe to say some great memories were made for our U14 Boys’.

The U16 Boys started their Rosslyn Park campaign with emphatic 49 – 0 win over Box Hill. This was followed by a strong performance versus Barnard Castle, with the boys coming out victorious with a 31 – 12 win. Needing a win against their final opponents Giggleswick to progress out of the group, the team made hard work of the task at hand, but eventually grounded out a win 19-7. This meant we won our pool and had to play a last 64 elimination game against Bristol Free School. The boys created chance after chance but failed to convert. This missed opportunities eventually cost us, as the opposition capitalised on two mistakes, which meant we lost the game 10-5. Although this was a disappointing way to end the tournament, the boys can be hugely proud of winning their group and the future looks bright for Blundell’s rugby.

The U13’s enjoyed their first experience at Rosslyn Park and really made the most of their opportunities. The side benefited massively from the support of the U18 Boys and Girls side, which really spurred the on. Their first two games were live streamed, and they all rose to the occasion. They kept the ball alive really well and moved it into space successfully. In the next 3 games, our defence improved massively, as the side worked so hard to stay joined up and move like cohesive unit. Our final match was probably the squad's best performance of the day with plenty of intelligent aggression in defence and a really high work rate when we were attacking. Huge credit goes to all the players, as in each of the games they were against opposition from schools with far larger numbers than Blundell's, which meant they often had players of considerably large stature than our own. As a squad we made great progress and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

After a good term of training tournaments, the Under 18 girls arrived at Rosslyn with confidence. The first game saw us drawn against Bishop Wordsworth’s – the team who beat us at the Southwest Schools. Discipline and some moments of brilliance saw us take a 26-19 win. Next up were a Canadian side – ‘For the Love of the Game’ – who had been scoring points for fun in their opening matches. Their superior pace, and a lack of confidence, saw them take the win, possibly supported by their rather large squad! Following the withdrawal of Langley School, giving us a walkover, the girls were left with a must win game against Welsh side Ysgol Penweddig. They started the strongest, showing pace to score on the outside. However, the girls rallied and scored 4 tries to finish as pool runners-up and move into the plate. Unfortunately on the second day, despite some great support from the U13 and U18 Boys, it just wasn’t meant to be. The girls never gave up and have developed massively under the guidance and coaching of Miss Gill and Mr Kingdom.

After being moved across to play in the main Cup competition, the U18 boys knew they would need to be at their best to progress through the group. First up were Eton, and we got off to the perfect start moving the ball well in attack and defending brilliantly to finally win 33 - 0. Next up was Sedbergh and a disappointing performance meant we came off second best 19 - 0. Second place was now looking like it would be between us and Denstone, with the pressure of having to win, the boys bounced back with a dominating performance to win 49 - 10. The final game was against Myercough College, and another impressive performance see us win 54 - 19 and go through to the Plate competition as runners up. Day 2 certainly did not get any easier especially with some difficult weather conditions. However, with support from other Blundell’s teams on the side line, we took a 14 – 2 win against Norwich. Hampton, who had beaten eventual Cup Winners Millfield, were up next and with a good performance on both sides, forced a 12 all draw. Last up were the impressive Brighton College and despite a heroic performance we couldn't quite hold on eventually losing out 19 - 12. It was a great two days for the boys, in true Blundell's fashion they again punched well above their weight to progress though against some of the real heavy weights of schoolboy rugby.

It was an amazing week for Blundell’s Rugby and all our teams should be extremely proud of themselves.