Year 10 Rugby boys crowned National Cup Champions!
The Sirius Academy Year 10 boys Rugby team secured the trophy that completes their collection of winning every major competition available at schools level by defeating rivals South Holderness (Hull) in Richmond, London, to win the Champion Schools National Cup, and with it be crowned the best team in England for their age. The team were as always a credit to the Academy with their performance proving too much for last season’s National Cup winners in what was a dominant display in the prestigious Final. The team will look to cement their claims to be the “best ever” school team to come from the Academy by attempting to retain their title next season.
The match started at a frantic pace with the middle men of Kai Thorpe, who was named Man of the Match and presented with the “Dennis Betts Medal”, captain George Tyson-Wilson and Jay Kirkland laying a solid platform with some strong carries. Early Sirius pressure told when a cross-field kick from the excellent Harry Whittles was claimed out-wide by Thorpe who crashed over for a 4-0 lead after 5 minutes. Sirius refused to become complacent with the left-side looking dangerous with Whittles finding the outstanding pair of Brad Elliott and Josh Jarvis who continually made half-breaks and good yards. Sirius added to their lead on 8 minutes with the influential Jordan Richmond combining with Whittles to move the ball out-wide to Jarvis who raced over with Whittles goaling off the touch-line for 10-0. South Holderness began to work their way into the game however the Sirius right-side dealt with the dangerous threats, with Declan Jackson, Ryan Addinnall and Callum Whilsher nullifying every attack with superb defence. Kieran Sewell was dictating the ruck area well, using his big forwards to get Sirius moving forward, with Connor Cape-Melbourne having a big impact off the bench with some aggressive runs. With 8 minutes left to half-time a Whittles high kick was attacked by Josh Atkinson who rose highest and claimed the ball before sprinting twenty metres to score under the posts with Whittles adding the extras for a 16-0 half-time lead.
The message of patience was clear at half-time and the boys responded accordingly. Thorpe and Tyson-Wilson were again instrumental in driving Sirius forward, with the Richmond and Whittles kicking game penning Holderness back into their own half time and time again. Richmond and Whittles combined again to get the ball to Jarvis who caused panic in the Holderness defence with every carry, and five minutes into the 2nd half he stepped through the defence to race over and Whittles goaled for a 22-0 lead. Holderness however showed exactly why they were champions the previous year with two quick tries to pull the score back to 22-10 with 15 minutes remaining. Sirius needed to re-group, and Tom Jordan, Jacob Smith and Josh Lomax provided the required energy with big impacts off the bench to sure up the defence. Out-wide Luke Moss who has been excellent all game, made some crucial 1-1 tackles to cut off attacks and keep Holderness at bay. Atkinson was as ever, reliable at the back, returning all kicks well. A penalty was awarded with 7 minutes remaining which Whittles calmly slotted over for 24-10. As the clock ticked away to Sirius becoming champions, Whittles added the icing on the cake with a last second drop-goal for a 25-10 score-line which was met with wild celebrations from the team who had realised their ambition in becoming the best team in the Country.
Special thanks to Rachel Gay for her help with the team and to Cosi Basile, Martin Smith, Jon White, Lewis Jarvis and Adam Rust for their assistance and support throughout the weekend. Finally thank-you to our 6th Form student Harry Brigham for giving up his time during the holidays to help train the boys and assisting with the trip.
Squad: Josh Atkinson, Callum Whilsher, Ryan Addinnall, Josh Jarvis, Luke Moss (Year 9), Jordan Richmond, Harry Whittles, Kai Thorpe, Kieran Sewell, Jay Kirkland, Brad Elliott, Declan Jackson (Year 9), George Tyson-Wilson (Captain), Jacob Smith, Connor Cape-Melbourne, Tom Jordan, Jack Arnett (Year 9), Josh Lomax, Mikey Lewis (Year 9), Lewis Hewitt, Harry Knight.