The Sirius Academy Year 8 Girls were very unlucky not to progress onto the National Finals after a fantastic performance in the Yorkshire Competition at Dewsbury. The girls played with pride, passion and determination throughout, playing some fantastic rugby. They did not lose a game in the group stages, but just fell short against National Champions Castleford High in the final.
Sirius Academy 18 Mount St Marys 10
First up for Sirius was Mount ST Marys, probably the most athletic looking team at the competition, but the size and strength of the opposition did not worry the Sirius girls as they got stuck in from minute one. Amy Purden went over for the first try of the game, before Mount ST Marys responded with a try of their own. Danielle Walters showed speed, agility and strength to go over for two quick tries of her own and seal the game for the Sirius team.
Sirius Academy 12 St John Fisher 12
A different test was up next, as St John Fisher were all about speed, with some very fast players in their side. Sirius handed a debut to Mia Husband in this game to bring more pace into the side, and she did not disappoint, with some excellent runs forward. The opponents scored two quick tries to put Sirius on the back foot, but Sirius responded well and was not ready to throw the towel in, some good play from Lauren Sutton at acting half back put Dannielle Walters into a gap and there was no stopping her. Amy Purden went over for the equaliser, again showing real grit and determination to take her over.
Sirius 24 Minsthorpe 0
Sirius took a lot of confidence from their previous game and it showed against Minsthorpe. Beth Dixon (Year7) and Cameron Shakespear were looking strong on the ball, making good yards forward, but it was the teams defence that was impressive in this game, with the line speed and good marker play forcing the opposition into making errors. Amy Purden went over for three tries in quick succession as they could not handle her pace and strength, Danielle Walters scored the final try of the game in a fantastic Sirius performance.
Temple Moor 12 Sirius 12
Sirius knew they needed to win this game to avoid facing Castleford High in the final and they started very impressive. Again the defence was solid and the attack was good. Sirius got their rewards for some great play down the middle, which resulted in Holly Bateson going over for her first try of the competition. Amy Purden went over shortly after to make it 12 – 0 with a few minutes remaining. Credit to Temple Moor they threw everything at Sirius, and when the ball was passed out wide the winger made for the try line, a great last ditch tackle came in from Cameron Shakespear taking the girl into touch, but unfortunately they referee gave the try. On the final set of six Temple Moor went over again to make the scores level, meaning that Sirius finished 2nd in their group and would face Castleford.
Sirius Academy 6 Castleford 18
With Cameron Shakespear and Amy Purden picking up knocks in the previous game, the two influential players had to sit the final out, which was a huge blow for the Sirius side. But again, showing real character they did not give up, Castleford went over for an early try, but Dannielle Walters replied with a great individual try of her own. Castleford scored two tries towards the end of the game, which meant that the Sirius girls would not progress onto the National stages.
The effort of the full squad was immense and in all honesty they did deserve to go further in the competition, they gave absolutely everything, and from not winning a game as Year 7’s to only narrowly getting beat in the final by the National Champions in Year 8 shows how far these girls have come. Please congratulate them on their effort and performance, I could not be more proud of them.
Squad: Beth Dixon (Year 7), Alicia Pearson, Holly Bateson, Danielle Walters, Ellie Hinchliffe, Lauren Sutton, Cameron Shakespear, Caitlen Curzons, Amy Purden, Kiera Hall, Terry Sainty, Kiera Rotherham, Mia Husband, Ellie Keating, Niamph Moffet
Special thanks to Miss Martin for her continued support with the girls rugby teams.