Gallery: Rugby festival glory for St Joseph’s

ST Joseph’s College ended a 15-year wait for glory by beating the best that Great British schools could throw at them to lift the star prize at the National Schools Rugby Festival.

The Ipswich pupils beat all-comers at the prestigious two-day tournament to lift the De La Selle Trophy for the first time since 1995.

England Under 18 squad member Alex Day, St Joseph’s talisman, was named player of the tournament as the squad won all seven matches during a gruelling weekend of schools rugby.

In front of a boisterous home support, St Joseph’s beat Ireland’s finest, Campbell College, 18-7 in a dramatic final which saw the crowd burst onto the pitch at the final whistle and lift aloft their heroes in red and white.

Amid jubilant scenes, Mark Patterson, director of sport, said: “I have been involved in a lot of matches, both playing and coaching, and this is as good as it gets.

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“They are a great bunch of lads and we have worked very hard for this over the last four or five years. If someone had offered me a place just in the final it would have been awesome. But to win the whole thing has surpassed our expectations - it has been out of this world.”

Day scored the clinching third try in the final after Mike Di Ponio and Chris Lord had also gone over with Jaco Nel scoring one brilliant conversion from out wide.

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Speaking after lifting the cup and collecting his player of the tournament award, Day said: “Words can’t describe how I feel. I have been at St Joseph’s for 12 years and seen teams come and go - this is every boy’s dream.”

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