Sirius Academy U15 girls Rugby Union Team did themselves proud at the weekend as they managed to come top of their group and play in the National Final on Twickenham pitch before the sell out Army V Navy game. There were 12 teams at Staines RUFC competing to finish top of their group of 6 teams to get the unique opportunity to play at the England RU National Stadium.
Sirius Academy 1 Shotton Hall 1
The Sirius Academy side were up against some tough opposition in their group, and first up for them was Shotton Hall, a very organised side, who took the lead early on with a quick tap from a penalty that Sirius was slow to react to, but as always, the Sirius girls team fought back and managed to equalize after a great ball to Carla Manuel who was unstoppable as she barged her way over the line. The score remained 1 – 1 and Sirius knew they had to win all their remaining games if they were in with a shout of topping their group, and they did just that!
Sirius Academy 2 Robert Clack 1
Next up in the ten minute group stage game was a very big, strong team in Robert Clack, but the Sirius girls were fired up from the previous drawn game and came out determined. Some great defence was on show, with captain Shauna Jones leading the way with some outstanding tackles. Saffron Jones was taking the ball up well and looking dangerous getting the Sirius side into good field position for Jorden Shakespear to react well to a lose ball and crash over. Shortly after the young Year 9’s showed their speed and strength, Molly Bigby and Mia Duke finding gaps before sending away Kayleigh Waller to make the scoreline 2 – 0. With seconds remaining the opposing team went over for a consolation try.
Sirius Academy 2 Copleston 1
Sirius were then to play another strong side in Copleston as they looked to build on their last performance. Again it was the defence of the Sirius team that stood out, with all players putting their bodies on the line. Waller again showed her speed and strength for an early try and then shortly after Molly Bigby found some space out wide and outpaced the defence to make it 2 – 0. Copleston had some good possession for the remainder of the game and got a try of their own, to make for a nervous last few minutes. They attacked the Sirius line well, but Amelia Longden was putting in some big hits to limit their chances. In the last play of the game, the biggest player broke away down the wing and looked certain to have scored, but Mia Duke had other ideas as she unbelievably held her up over the tryline with help from Jamie Watson as the whistle went for fulltime.
Sirius Academy 4 Downlands 1
The Sirius girls were on fire now and started the game well against Downlands, the first play of the game saw Waller race through and go over. Downlands got a try back of their own, but from then on it was all about the Sirius team, who played some outstanding attacking rugby. Paige Fletcher and Ellie Cone were playing smart rugby and bringing in other players into gaps. Mia Duke raced over for try number two before Waller went over again after some great footwork near the tryline. Bigby raced over the 4th try in the corner to seal the victory as Sirius went into their next game knowing that a win would see them finish in top spot.
Sirius Academy 1 Rainford High 0
The same play from the start saw Waller go over for the only try of the game. Rainford were an experienced team and played some good rugby, but the defence stood strong from Sirius with Saffron Jones and Danielle Fulton leading the way. The last ditch scrambling defence was absolutely sensational as all the players played their part in a superb victory which meant they would play in their final at Twickenham – a first for the Year 10 girls, but another chance for the Year 9’s to get this amazing opportunity.
FINAL – ON TWICKENHAM PITCH
Sirius Academy 0 Kings of Wessex 1
Sirius had certainly met their match in the National Final, coming up a against a team that had not conceded a try in the group stages, with all the girls in Year 10 and playing for a RU club out of school. The Sirius side could not get out of their half as the Kings of Wessex School made use of their experience in rucks and mauls. Some strong running from Paige Fletcher, Kayligh Waller and Mia Duke tried to get the Sirius team past the halfway line, but their team was fast, strong and organised and there was no way through. Again the Sirius defence was solid also, and the game could have gone either way. Saffron Jones, Ameila Longden and Jorden Shakespear defended like Trojans to keep it scoreless. Kings of Wessex knew they were up against it, but then they got the breakthrough as Sirius once again failed to react quickly to penalty as the Kings of Wessex team capitilsed on the Sirius side walking back for the penalty as they took a quick tap and went over in the corner. The referee had to blow the whistle 3 minutes early as we needed to be off the pitch for 2pm, so unfortunately the Sirius side did not get the opportunity of a fightback, but must be very proud of the fact that they are the 2nd best team in the country at RU in the U15 age group. An amazing experience was had by all and the full squad conducted themselves extremely well over the full weekend.
Please congratulate the squad on their outstanding achievement and behaviour:-
Year 9 – Kayleigh Waller, Rio Cambell, Amelia Longden, Emily Andrew, Jamie Watson, Ellie Cone, Danielle Fulton, Mia Duke, Saffron Jones, Molly Bigby
Year 10 – Saffron Jones, Paige Fletcher, Emily Savage, Carla Manuel, Jorden Shakespear, Demi Leake