The Sirius Academy Year 11 Rugby team have maintained their impressive record of remaining undefeated in the last three years of Carnegie Champion Schools Yorkshire Cup rugby. The team were given their toughest match of the season so far, after three previous big wins, the opposition in Honley High (Kirklees) proved a sterner test in a hard-fought Semi-Final clash. On a narrow and boggy pitch, Sirius dug deep and relied not only on their skill but tremedous team-spirit when the game got tough to progress through to another Yorkshire Cup Final and retain the chance of successfully defending their title. The opponents in the Final will yet again be arch-rivals and National Champions, Brooksbank (Calderdale).
The game started with Sirius in exceptional form, defending strongly and making yards with good, fast attack, led from the front by Jansin Turgut, Joe Burton and Aiden Armstrong. Three minutes in, and a break from the strong-running Macauley Hallett, set the position for Jordan Abdull and Josh Wood to link up and send Liam Bilton over unopposed for a 4-0 lead. Things got better for Sirius when Abdull sold a dummy and crashed over with five minutes gone, and Sirius were 8-0 up and cruising. However back battled Honley, who through their big forwards, gradually wore down Sirius who were defending alot in muddy conditions. Two quick tries put Honley 10-8 up and it stayed that way until half-time, with Sirius remaining on the back foot, despite Liam Gordon nearly scoring in the corner.
With half-time giving Sirius a break and time to re-group, they started the 2nd half stronger with Steven Marshall impressing in running strongly, with Armstrong and the excellent James Buttery continually driving forward. A towering Abdull kick caused panic in the Honley defence, which allowed Bilton to collect the ball and dive over, with the hard-working Liam Robinson adding the conversion for 14-10 to Sirius. With the next score been crucial, Sirius began to control the ball better, with Abdull and Wood linking well and finding willing runners in Hallett, Bilton and Turgut, however deservingly it was the impressive Armstrong on his return from injury who showed great strength in forcing his way over with Abdull adding the extras, for a 20-10 lead. Honley were not done, and scored quickly to leave the game at 20-14 with eight minutes remaining however Wood fired a wide ball to Bilton who crashed over for his hat-trick try and give Sirius a well-earnt and hard-fought, 24-14 victory and their place in the Final.
Special thanks to Rachel Gay for assisting and supporting the boys.
Please congratulate the following students on their performances, attitude and success:
Liam Gordon, Lewis Hackett, James Buttery, Steven Marshall, Jordan Abdull, Josh Wood, Joe Burton, Macauley Duke, Liam Robinson, Macauley Hallett, Liam Bilton, Jansin Turgut, Aiden Armstrong, Ryan Brown, Stephen Batty, Andrew Ogden, Jordan Gant, Macauley Longley, Brendon McCourt, Will Collier.