The game often referred to as kick and clap in this part of the country, was met by a crescendo of applause as parents and staff were impressed by the fighting spirit displayed by Sirius to come back from a worrying start and defeat St Mary’s on their own soil last night.
We entered the tournament late thus only having 4 training sessions, amounting to 4 hours to learn the fundamentals of a completely alien code of rugby. Throughout the game the boys displayed fantastic “jack-knife” rucking technique making the gate as small as possible, reducing the chance of a turnover and dominated possession… unlike rugby league where you simply kick the ball away when you’re fed up of getting tackled; every ruck was contested and the boys battled well to hold onto the ball.
It was a hairy start for Sirius who were on the back foot from the coin toss. Kicking off to St Mary’s led to a powerful run down the wing from their centre, who crashed over to score a try in the opening minutes of the match. St Mary’s then scored two further identical tries from kick off putting Sirius 15- nil behind. Shortly after the 3rd St Mary’s try, Ali Alsheriafe was sin-binned after a succession of a high tackles sending the game into even more doubt. Macauley Flynn, Keiren Simpson, Isaac Worrell and Ali Hussein worked extra hard to cover the St Mary’s attacking plays down the wings.
Following a motivational speech from both Captain Tom “Tuilagi” Wilkinson and myself; the boys kept their heads up and chased the next kick off well with Alex Dunne feeding Leon Stewart to crash the ball over for a try, raising the spirits of the entire team and spectators.
The vibrant maverick Ali Alsheriafe returned and the team were back to full strength. Ali made an immediate impact with a display of wrecking ball moves to rival those of Miley Cyrus scoring Sirius’s second try making the score 15-10. St Mary’s with a slender lead. As half time approached, fantastic decision making from scrum half Sam McAuley and strong running from inside centre Tom “Tuilagi” Wilkinson saw Sirius have their best ever drive concluding with a powerful try from talented number 8 Leon Stewart, making the score at half time 15-15. Parents were left in complete euphoria, but Mr Proven and I knew the game was far from over.
The second half was just as eventful with both teams going try for try. The colossal pair Connor Foster and Ali Alsheriafe both scored after several inspirational displays of passing and movement by gifted scrum-half Sam McAuley, making the score 30-25 to St Mary’s with only 5 minutes to go. Sirius battled well to keep hold of the ball with props Alex Dunne and Charlie Dobson arriving at every ruck, driving over the ball to keep possession. St Mary’s were getting tired as the Sirius backline spread the ball well. Outside Centre Josh Harper found Ali Alsheriafe on the wing who slid down to make the score 30-30 and taking the game to extra time. Ref calls “Golden try!”… Game on.
Sirius lost the coin toss meaning they had to kick the ball to St Mary’s to begin extra time. St Mary’s were put under pressure by a great Sirius chase with Captain Tom Wilkinson arriving first at the breakdown, ripping the ball away from the St Mary’s prop and jack-knifing well in the ruck to secure possession( match winning turnover). Hooker Lewis Walker (who also had an unbelievable second half) made sure he arrived at the next breakdown, securing possession and giving the team time to organise themselves for a final drive. Owen Farr ran some fantastic lines in the centre of the field, freeing up space for twinkle-toed scrum-half Sam McAuley to find Leon Stewart who crashed onto the pass at pace to put the ball over for the golden try!
Final score 35-30 to Sirius Academy West!
Sirius Academy year 8’s have now qualified for the East Yorkshire Rugby Union finals after 4 training sessions, defeating St Mary’s who have played rugby union all season long! If you see any of the following students around the Academy please congratulate their valiant effort!
Charlie Dobson, Lewis Walker, Alex Dunne, Ali Alsheriafe (x3 tries), Connor Foster (x 1 try) Leon Stewart (x3 tries) Owen Farr, Sam McAuley, Tom Wilkinson (Captain and man of the match) Kieran Simpson, Isaac Worrell, Macauley Flynn, Ali Hussien , Josh Harper.
Also an extra special thanks to Kenny Proven for driving the mini-bus and for his inspirational vocals on the touchline!