The Sirius Academy Year 10 Rugby team became the 1st boys team since the all-conquering Year 11 team of 2012 to reach a Champion Schools National Cup Final. The team who have won all local and county competitions before them as a school team, but have always fell just short in the National competition, produced a disciplined display to defeat a strong St John Fisher (Wigan) side, 23-12 in a hard-fought semi-final clash. The team with last years, last second National Cup semi-final defeat to South Holderness still fresh in their minds, played with great patience before taking control of the match in the final 10 minutes. The team now look forward to a National Cup Final date in London during the prestigious Challenge Cup Final weekend, where they will face either current National Champions, South Holderness or the team that defeated us in this seasons Yorkshire Cup semi-final, Castleford Academy.
Sirius started the match in a typically strong fashion, with the forwards, as they so often do, laying a physical platform. Led by the hard-working captain George Tyson-Wilson and the strong running Kai Thorpe, the team made yards down the middle of the field. Connor Cape-Melbourne, Brad Elliott and Jay Kirkland continued to led the domination of the forwards, with Harry Whittles and Jordan Richmond controlling the speed of the game well. St John Fisher were refusing to take a backwards step and scored 1st through their best player, who strode through for 6-0. Sirius refused to panic, and continued to have the better of the field position, with Kieran Sewell dictating the ruck area well, before the ball found the dangerous outside backs in Josh Jarvis, Ryan Addinnall and Jacob Smith. The Sirius man of the match, Josh Atkinson was superb in returning any kicks, making countless metres forward, with Luke Moss showing his skill and calmness on numerous occasions to retrieve tricky kicks and make vital metres. Sirius levelled the score before half-time when a Whittles cross-field kick was collected by Thorpe who crashed over with Whittles goaling for 6-6.
The 2nd half saw Declan Jackson and Tom Jordan have immediate strong impacts on the game, with their aggressive and straight running. Sirius continued to play smartly with Jarvis having a chance to cross, and Richmond and Jackson getting through a lot of work on the right hand side. Fisher regained the lead with a hopeful kick over bouncing kindly for them to score under the posts for a 12-6 lead with 14 minutes left. The message of stay calm and patient, was carried out by the team, and Elliott showed tremendous determination to barge over to reduce to the deficit to 12-10. With ten minutes left and behind on the score-line, Sirius again stuck to their structure, working the ruck quickly before spreading the ball. Jarvis amended for his earlier missed chance as he showed great upper-body strength to get the ball over the line to give Sirius the lead for the 1st time, with a Whittles goal giving Sirius a 16-12 lead. Jack Arnett entered the match with immediate impacts, firstly showing his strong defence to force an error before following up a Whittles kick and Atkinson off-load to crash over and send the Sirius players wild as he gave the team a 22-12 lead with three minutes left. Thorpe added the final touches to an excellent win with a last minute drop-goal for the 23-12 success.
Special thanks to Rachel Gay for her support with the team and to 6th Former, Harry Brigham for his continued assistance and dedication with the boys.
Please congratulate the following boys on their success, attitude and behaviour:
Josh Atkinson, Josh Jarvis, Ryan Addinnall, Luke Moss (Year 9), Jordan Richmond, Harry Whittles, Kai Thorpe, Callum Whilsher, Jay Kirkland, Brad Elliott, Josh Lomax, George Tyson-Wilson, Tom Jordan, Declan Jackson (Year 9), Mikey Lewis (Year 9), Connor Cape-Melbourne, Callum Whilsher, Jacob Smith, Kieran Sewell, Lewis Hewitt, Harry Knight, Jack Arnett (Year 9).