The Sirius Academy Year 11 Rugby team laid claim to the title of the most successful School Rugby team to ever come out of Hull and also become one of the most successful ever to be produced in England. The boys finally secured the only title to elude them during their careers at the Academy, by claiming the Carnegie Champion Schools National Cup with a thrilling victory over St Benedict’s High (Cumbria). The team has dominated trophies in recent years, claiming Hull Schools and Yorkshire Cups, and are now within one match of completing an historic treble, as they approach their last ever School Rugby match, the Carnegie Champion Schools Yorkshire Cup Final, against long-time arch-rivals Brooksbank (Calderdale).
The game itself was played at Odsal Stadium, Bradford, and with torrential rain before and continuing all through the match, the game was to be a tough battle and neither side could play the expansive Rugby that had seen them reach this stage. With the conditions arguably suiting the big Benedict’s forwards, the Sirius lads dug deep in the early stages with Liam Robinson and Macaulay Duke making some tough tackles. When Sirius did get an opportunity in the opponents half, both captain Jansin Turgut and Macaulay Hallett were held up over the try-line to prevent Sirius taking the lead. Defensively both sides refused to break, and Benedict’s relied on a kicking game, to which the outstanding Liam Harris was equal to in very difficult conditions. With wingers Lewis Hackett and Will Collier driving forward, supported by Andrew Ogden and Joe Burton, Sirius fought back, however clever thinking by the Benedict’s Man of the Match put Sirius 6-0 down. With Sirius struggling to gain field position in the conditions, a kick-through from Benedict’s had an awful bounce, and Sirius were 12-0 down, and had a hill to climb in the conditions. With time ticking down, Sirius finally got some field position and halves Josh Wood and Jordan Abdull linked for Abdull to send an excellent kick over for Hackett to dive and take a great catch, and with Abdull goaling off the touch-line Sirius were 12-6 down at half-time.
The 2nd half continued as the 1st, with Sirius struggling to gain good position in the early stages, despite forwards Robinson and Steven Marshall working hard. In attack Hallett and the James Buttery repeatedly drove forward, whilst the impressive Aiden Armstrong and Turgut defended and attacked well, causing trouble with every touch. Mid-way through the half, Duke took a blind-side option and the ball ended with Abdull to crash his way over to leave Sirius 12-10 down with twenty minutes left. The introduction of Stephen Batty added extra speed around the play the ball, as he asked questions of the tiring Benedict’s defence on every opportunity, however it was a penalty goal for Benedict’s that put Sirius 14-10 down with ten minutes left. With Sirius needing to level, Harris returned well from deep, and after good work from Hallett and Buttery the ball was sent left, for Abdull to again end up with the ball, to dummy his way over to level the scores at 14-14 with seven minutes left. Despite continued pressure Sirius could not score the decisive point, and with time ticking away it all looked set for extra-time. However a Benedict’s scrum resulted in a 1st tackle kick and Harris returned the ball forward to put Sirius back into attacking position. With the referee with the whistle to his mouth, Sirius refused to be tackled, and Batty drove forward towards the line, only to have the ball stripped from him. This left Abdull with the opportunity to win the Cup, and so he did keeping his nerve to hand Sirius a 16-14 victory.
Special thanks to all staff who supported as this was greatly appreciated by the boys, and in particular to Janice Hall for driving the mini-bus and allowing people to support.
Please congratulate the following boys on their success, attitude and conduct:
Squad: Lewis Hackett, James Buttery, Steven Marshall, Jordan Abdull, Josh Wood, Joe Burton, Macaulay Duke, Liam Robinson, Macaulay Hallett, Liam Bilton, Jansin Turgut, Ryan Brown, Stephen Batty, Jordan Gant, Macaulay Longley, Will Collier, Liam Harris (Year 10), Aiden Armstrong, Andrew Ogden, Brendon McCourt, Liam Gordon.