Northampton Saints Finals Day - Franklin's Gardens

by Hector Bevitt-Smith and William Rogers

Back in February our Year 8 boys claimed victory at the regional tournament of the Northampton Saints 7’s series, progressing them through to the finals day at Franklin’s Gardens. On the evening before, the team travelled up to Northampton to prepare for the tournament that was held the following day.

Squad for the day: 
George D, Hugh H, Tylan M, Luca P, Buddy O, Austin S, James B, Will A, Luca N, Oscar G, Austin W, Benji D, Rory H.

Having been placed in a difficult pool, which included the tournament favourites Northampton School for Boys (NSB), the group knew they had their work cut out for them.

 

 

Felsted played NSB in the first match and it attracted quite the crowd. A neck and neck battle for the entirety of the match with Felsted edging out the favourites in game one.

The next match was against neighbouring school New Hall, another great performance by the whole squad saw Felsted secure their spot in the Cup Pool. 

The first match in the Cup Pool was against another formidable opponent in Finborough, a team that we drew 1-1 with in the regular rugby season. A great warm-up prior to running onto the field, gave a sense of confidence within the group, and confidence they had. Running in 5 unanswered tries, even whilst having 6 players on the pitch for 3 minutes. The backline was clicking, running new moves and putting the defence in compromising positions and the forward pack was laying a fantastic platform with strong carries and quick breakdowns for the whole team to play off.

With another quick turnaround the squad faced a physical Hinchingbrooke School, a great squad performance determined the final result, a comfortable win against a side that were not lacking in size or pace.

The final game of the Cup Pool was against Buckingham based Royal Latin School (RLS). A fast start with two quick tries and Felsted had the taste of the Stadium on their lips. Royal Latin School persevered and managed to put a couple on the board before Felsted ran away with it in the second half winning 4-2. As the top two of the Cup Pool were Felsted and Royal Latin School respectively, the team were to face RLS again in the final.

Winners of the group stages x Winners of the Cup Pool = Stadium appearance to secure the National Championship.

With the atmosphere building in Cinch Stadium, nerves started to become present for all parties. Felsted ran out from the tunnel and onto the pitch. A fast start from the receiving team and Felsted found themselves on the other end of a brilliant kick return placing them 1-0 down. Felsted, showing their maturity, never panicked, they stuck to the game plan and managed to level it up before the halftime whistle blew in a scrappy, stop start encounter.

A massive half of rugby was required to take the trophy, and a massive half of rugby was produced. Felsted scored a wonderful team try to take the lead 2-1. As the final whistle was fast approaching Felsted had RLS on the back foot and pressured them into giving away an uncharacteristic penalty. Fast thinking and a quick tap penalty cemented the Championship for Felsted in the final play of the game.

Congratulations to everyone involved, including all boys involved within the 7’s program this year, it’s a special group and the future looks very promising. A special thanks to the coaches Mr Rogers, Mr Bevitt-Smith and Chevs for the great season.