Filton take honours at rugby festival

FILTON College emerged the winners of the 21st National Schools' Rugby Festival at St Joseph's College in Ipswich at the weekend.The Bristol-based side defeated Millfield 3-0 in Sunday's final to win the De La Salle Cup as glorious sunshine and crisp conditions greeted the 16 sides who in turn produced some outstanding rugby played in a true sportsmanlike manner.

FILTON College emerged the winners of the 21st National Schools' Rugby Festival at St Joseph's College in Ipswich at the weekend.

The Bristol-based side defeated Millfield 3-0 in Sunday's final to win the De La Salle Cup as glorious sunshine and crisp conditions greeted the 16 sides who in turn produced some outstanding rugby played in a true sportsmanlike manner.

Host side St Joseph's College opened the festival on Saturday with a match against Whitchurch High School which proved to be their best performance of the day as they just lost 5-0. Their other matches later in the day were against extremely strong sides from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield, and last year's cup winners Millfield.

The young squad were unable to match the level of skills and organisation shown by these sides and so found themselves competing in the plate competition on Sunday.


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QEGS were the outstanding side in Group 1 reflecting the fact that the side is based around a group who were finalists in the Under-15 Daily Mail and the Under-16 Rosslyn Park sevens. They beat Millfield 6-3 in a game as close as the score suggests, but both sides progressed to the cup competition.

In Group 2 it was Filton College who led the way, being run close by KCS Wimbledon, whom they beat 7-6. They also beat Saffron Walden 22-0 and RGS High Wycombe 21-10. RGS, meanwhile, had a narrow 5-3 win over Saffron Walden and a more comfortable 15-7 win over KCS to join Filton in the Cup competition.

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Group 3 saw Ivybridge comfortably secure their place in the cup competition with three wins, one of which was against fellow cup qualifiers Brighton. Dulwich College, who have for the last three years been losing cup finalists, had a rather disappointing first day with one win and two loses which took them through to the plate competition.

Group 4 saw Truro and St Peters both beat Kilkenny and Campion and the last game saw St Peters beat Truro 17-3 as both sides progressed into Sunday's cup competition.

In Cup group A QEGS held their destiny in their own hands, having won their first two games, beating Truro 5-3 and Brighton 5-0. If they avoided defeat they would progress into the final, but a 12-0 loss to Filton College saw Filton overtake them on tries scored to go into the final. Filton had beaten Brighton 14-3, but thought their chances had gone when beaten 12-0 by Truro.

In Cup group B Millfield were unbeaten as they took their place in the final beating St Peter's 26-0, Ivybridge 15-3 and RGS High Wycombe 7-0. Ivybridge beat High Wycombe, but could only draw with St Peter's.

The final was the tense sort of game that was to be expected in a final of a national tournament. It was decided by a superb penalty kick from a difficult position scored by Filton. From that point Millfield were chasing the game as the rules deciding a drawn final meant that they would have to score a try to get ahead of Filton. They were forced to keep the ball alive in an attempt to score the try they needed but the Filton defence maintained its discipline to keep them out.

The plate was won by KCS Wimbledon with a comfortable

16-0 win over Campion.

Player of the tournament was Luke Plummer, of cup finalists Filton College and the Try of the Tournament went to Christian Wade of RGS High Wycombe against St Peters School.

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