Sirius Academy and St Peters came head to head in the National Final for the third year running. As Year 7’s it was St Peters who were crowned Champions, but then in Year 8 it was Sirius who took the title from them, so at one game each it was all set to be another great final.
Sirius started the game well and scored within the first few minutes, Saffron Jones, Kayleigh Waller and Mia Duke all made good yards forward to get near the St Peters tryline and it was Molly Bigby who darted over, finding space in the corner. St Peters were looking strong also in attack and made some good runs forward from their set of six, and when their most dangerous player found some space out wide there was no stopping her. The game remained evenly matched for a few sets and then it was Sirius who took the lead after Kayleigh Waller powered her way over the tryline. Once again though, St Peters replied quickly with another try, but the conversion was unsuccessful, making the scoreline 12 – 10 in favour of Sirius Academy. The best try of the game was then scored by Sirius, some good drives from Amelia Longden and Kayleigh Waller created space outwide, and at last Sirius utilised the space, after some smart work from Ellie Cone who drew in the player and sent Danielle Waters away for her to touchdown in the corner. A series of penalties conceded by Sirius in the dying seconds of the half put St Peters in a good field position with only one tackle to play, but unfortunately Sirius did not get numbers in the tackle and the big strong St Peters player powered over, leaving the halftime score 18 – 16.
It was all set for another evenly matched second half, and when the St Peters players was tackled into touch by Mia Duke from the restart, the Sirius team had a scrum down near their tryline, Kayleigh Waller took the ball on the blind side and got smashed into touch, injuring herself in the process and was unable to continue on in the match. This gave St Peters a lot of confidence as they are well aware of the threat of Kayleigh and they started to dominate the game. Shannon Jordan took the field and looked solid in the middle in defence, with a big hit in her first tackle, but St Peters once again could not be stopped and their big players made great yards as they finished off two tries unanswered. Sirius had a couple of tries disallowed in the next few sets and continued to work hard and not give up. The Sirius team were playing far better rugby, and they got a well deserved try, Mia Duke spotted an overlap out wide, a nice pass to Molly Bigby, who passed to Danielle Waters and there was no stopping her as she raced over. There was only four points in it, and if Sirius could keep St Peters out in the next set of six then they were in with a good chance of winning the match. But unfortunately, once again, despite the best efforts of the Sirius side, the size and strength of the St Peters team was too much for them as they powered their way over the line on two more occasions. Credit to the Sirius side, they wanted to end the game on a high note, and when captain Mia Duke, who had been superb right through the match, got a well deserved try in the corner, with her pure determination getting her over the whitewash. The final scoreline was Sirius Academy 30 St Peters 40. The injury to Kayleigh Waller definitely was a gamebreaker, but the girls should be very proud of they way they played, which included 4 year 8’s. The girls will pick themselves up from this and learn from it going forward so that they can have a shot at regaining the title as Year 10’s.
Please congratulate the squad on their attitude and behaviour over the full weekend, as always they were a true credit to the Academy,
Squad: Kayleigh Waller, Rio Campbell, Amelia Longden, Emily Andrew, Jamie Watson, Ellie Cone, Danielle Fulton, Mia Duke, Saffron Jones, Molly Bigby, Danielle Waters (Year 8), Shannon Jordan (Year 8), Cameron Shakespear (Year 8), Amy Purden (Year 8)
Special thanks to Janice Hall, Julie Watson, Andy Kay, Cosi Basile, Martin Smith, Lewis Jarvis and Jon White who assisted with the Year 9 Girls and Year 10 boys over the 3 days.