The talented Year 9 Girls Rugby League team have made it to the National Final for the third year running. After being crowned the best team in the country last year, they lived up to their “Champions” status at the National Festival, running in 13 tries and only conceding two in the four x twelve minute matches played. After the majority of the girls played in a tough rugby union competition in London on Saturday, you would have thought they may have been still aching and tired, but they produced probably one of their best displays at a tournament to date.
The first match of the group stages, Sirius made two errors on their first two sets of six and the opponents capitilised on this, going over for an early try and giving the National Champions a bit of a scare. But from then on in Sirius dominated, with Kayleigh Wallers pace, agility and strength proving too much to handle as she went over for two superb solo tries. Amelia Longden, who had been superb in defence, ran onto the ball at pace and hit the gap, it looked like she had been caught short of the line but her pure determination carried her over the whitewash.
The second match was against Queens Park, who did not look a very organised team, and Sirius took full advantage of that. Kayeligh Waller went over for a quick hat-trick before lots of changes were made, introducing the 4 Year 8 students of Amy Purden, Cameron Shakespear, Danielle Waters and Shannon Jordan, who all did not look out of place playing a year above themselves. Ellie Cone had moved into the dummy half position and was looking confident there. A great run by Amelia Longden and quick play the ball saw Cone scoot round on the blind side and outpace the defence for a smart try.
Last up for Sirius was their toughest test yet, St Marys had won both of their games so whoever won this one would finish top of the group. From the kick off Sirius let the ball go dead and ended up defending a couple of sets on their own line, but they did this well and all worked hard to ensure they did not go over for an early try. Mia Duke and Saffron Jones were scrambling well and forced the mistake. With ball in hand Sirius looked dangerous, and once again Kayleigh Waller was unstoppable as she opened the scoring. Shannon Jordan had also come into her own and was making some big hits in defence in the middle of the park, as well as Cameron Shakespear out wide to keep the all important clean sheet. Kayleigh Waller sealed the victory with a late try as Sirius finished top of their group and would now face St John Fisher in the final for another chance to make it to London.
FINAL – Sirius 24 St John Fisher 6
After narrowly beating St John Fisher in the Yorkshire Cup in March, the Sirius team knew they had to be at their best to beat the good, organised, strong and fast side. Again from the Kick Off Sirius let the ball bounce dead, which meant defending on their own tryline. There was no way through as the determination of the Sirius side was incredible. All the players really were putting their body on the line. After managing to keep them out well for 3 sets of six, Sirius took the ball up the field after some good drives from Saffron Jones and Shannon Jordan, and the try of the tournament was next to come after great work from Kayleigh Waller and Amelia Longden who combined well to set up Dannielle Waters, who brought the ball in field and superbly stepped her way through. St John Fisher responded well from the tap restart and went over on the 6th tackle as Sirius expected the kick. But from then on in it was it was all Sirius, as they played some superb rugby. Some clever work from dummy half saw Molly Bigby dive over to extend the lead. Cameron Shakespear made a great 50 yard run for the third try, which set up Waller. With only a few minutes remaining on the clock Mia Duke ensured the victory with a well deserved try as she outpaced the defence to go over and celebrate with the team. Songs of “Championies” and “We are Sirius” were chanted loudly in celebration of reaching another National Final in London against St Peters of Manchester, who also joined us on the field as both teams congratulated each other on reaching the final for the 3rd year running. St Peters won at Year 7, Sirius won at Year 8, so its all to play for in Year 9!
Please congratulate the squad on their continued success:-
Kayleigh Waller, Rio Campbell, Amelia Longden, Emily Andrew, Jamie Watson, Ellie Cone, Danielle Waters, Danielle Fulton, Mia Duke, Saffron Jones, Amy Purden, Cameron Shakespear, Molly Bigby, Laura Roper, Shannon Jordan
Special thanks to Laura Martin who assisted with the Sirius Academy girls rugby team once again.