Sirius Academy year 7 Girls played in their first ever Yorkshire rugby league tournament. 7 schools turned up to play, so all teams played each other in 8 minute matches.
Sirius Academy 14 Huntington 0
Sirius started the tournament well, looking organised in attack and defence. Straight the kick off the Huntington player knocked on and fullback Keleighsha Thorpe took full advantage of the good field position and raced over for her first try for Sirius, she also converted the try. The Sirius defence was tested and stood up to it well, with some excellent tackles coming in from Shannon Jordan and Holly Bateson managing to keep the opposition out. Some good yards from Ellie Hinchliffe and a quick play the ball found Amy Purden racing through the gap for a try. Shortly after she scored her second, this time after a good drive by Shannon Jordan. Making the scoreline 1 4- 0 to Sirius Academy.
Sirius Academy 4 St Marys (Wakefield) 8
Sirius were their own worst enemy in this game, as they knocked on from the start, and St Marys raced over in the early stages. The Sirius attack play went one up rugby, running at the players rather than the gaps and there was no way through. Again a knock on at the first tackle for Sirius gave St Marys another opportunity to score as the defence was all at sea. Sirius did get one back though, when a good spot from acting half back Lauren Sutton found a good ball to Amy Purden who went over for her tournament hat-trick, but it was all too little too late as Sirius knew they had thrown this one away with too many dropped balls.
St John Fisher 12 Sirius Academy 0
Next up for Sirius was the fast, tall St John Fisher team, which Sirius could not match. Two tries came from the defence not sliding across well enough, as the fastest girl at the tournament rounded the Sirius team to run the full length of the pitch. Sirius were too bunched in attack and defence and could not find a way through. Alisha Pearson took the ball up well, as did Ellie Hinchcliffe, but the Sirius team were not quick enough to spot, or go through the gaps out wide.
Settle 12 Sirius Academy 0
Again Sirius faced another fast team and struggled on the outside to contain the speed of the opposition, the girls looked strong around the middle of the park but as soon as they were tested on the wings they could not cope with it, letting in two similar tries to the girls before as the defence could not slide across quick enough.
Castleford 12 Sirius 0
This was a different test for the Sirius team, as Castleford were more about strength and speed. Sirius worked hard to keep them out with some good tackles from Niamph Moffet, Kiera Rotherham, Alisha Pearson and Caitlen Curzons. But credit to the girls, everyone wanted to play and really enjoyed the test against a very organised and big Cas side (who ended up winning the tournament). Sirius did ask a few questions of them in attack, again Shannon Jorden, Amy Purden and Ellie Hinchliffe as willing runners, making good yards forward. Mistakes from Sirius put Cas in good field position and when they got near the tryline there was no stopping them as they barged over for two tries in quick succession.
Ossett 4 Sirius 0
In a real evenly matched game, the Sirius team didn’t deserve to lose this one. Keila Allen and Keira Hall got more involved and looked up for their last game. Two very good defences stood strong, and when Sirius kept Ossett out on their own line for a full set of six it looked like it was going to be a draw, but on the last play of the game Sirius dropped the ball and Ossett capitised on the error and raced over just before the whistle went for full time.
I would have to say that the first and last matches of the tournament Sirius played very well and showed that they are capable of achieving good things when they start again with their rugby as Year 8’s. Just a bit more knowledge on the game is needed and maybe a few more additions to the team who can add a bit of pace on the edges. But the girls thoroughly enjoyed their first rugby league tournament for Sirius Academy and can take a lot of positives out of today’s games.
Please congratulate the squad on their performance, attitude and behaviour:-
Keleighsha Thorpe, Alisha Pearson, Holly Bateson, Keila Allen, Shannon Jordan, Lauren Sutton, Caitlen Curzons, Ellie Hinchcliffe, Amy Purden, Kiera Hall, Niamph Moffet, Kiera Rotherham
Special Thanks to Alan Wilkinson for driving the minibus and his support with the girls throughout the tournament.