RGS Newcastle win St Joseph’s College Rugby Festival for the first time
- Credit: Mark Coventry. www.markcoventry.
St Joseph’s College in Ipswich held its 32and annual rugby festival at the weekend, attracting some of the best rugby schools from around the country.
The event was won by RGS Newcastle, the first time in their history that they have lifted the De La Salle Trophy. They beat the pre-tournament favourites, Millfield, 17-9 in the final, making it back-to-back final defeats for the Somerset side.
The story of RGS really began on Saturday morning though, when in a ‘group of death’ with 2017 champions Brighton College, 2015 champions Hampton, and a very good St Peter’s York side, they kicked things off with a 23-5 win over Hampton.
That set the tone for this side that was simply bursting with pride and passion, they followed it up with victories over Brighton College and St Peter’s York to head straight into the cup groups for Sunday, where they were drawn with Merchiston Castle, Hurstpierpoint College, and Denstone College.
They duly beat Denstone College 10-8 on Sunday morning, before a 6-0 win over Hurstpierpoint. They eventually opened the taps a bit in their final group game against Merchiston, winning 23-0.
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In the final, they went behind to an early penalty, but through sheer grit and tough forward play they scored two tries before Millfield added further penalties either side of the half to leave RGS just a point ahead at 10-9.
They added a third and final try though in similar fashion to the first to claim a magnificent 17-9 victory.
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Host side St Joseph’s had a decent tournament, reaching the cup groups, where they faced the might of Millfield, Brighton College, and Dulwich College.
They didn’t reach the final, but they were given reason to cheer when winger Louis Martin won the Try of the Tournament award. Millfield fullback Dan John wsa named best player.
Over in the Plate competition, Hampton won the title they last earned in 2016 with a 17-8 victory over Eltham College – who also reached last year’s Plate final – with a Louis Lynagh-inspired performance.
Anthony O’Riordan, Director of Sport at the College said: “This was a weekend of top quality rugby played with superb sportsmanship with the elite of schools’ rugby represented on our outstanding sport pitches.”