Rydal Penrhos win Plate final at Powder Byrne Six Nations
After the Senior 7 were successful in winning the plate at the Birkenhead School tournament ten days ago, the school headed south last Thursday (15 March 2012) to compete in the invitational Powder Byrne Six Nations ten-a-side tournament held at London Scottish Rugby Club in Richmond and only a mile from Twickenham. Last season, the tournament proved challenging and the squad were aware of what was to confront them this season.
The draw took place an hour before the first game was due to start and we were placed in one of two groups of five teams. The teams were to play each other once in the group stages in a game of two ten minute halves.
On the Friday afternoon we played London Scottish which we won 28-14 after being level 7-7 at half time. In our second game against a very competitive Tiffin School team, we were 7-0 up at half time and 12-12 at full time. After leaving the pitch we were then asked to return to play until the first try was scored; golden goal. This we did within the first minute following a great individual run from Dion Jones from inside his own half. Our final group game of the day against Merchiston School from Scotland saw strong opponents score early points to move into a 0-19 lead at half time. Despite excellent scores by Toby Twigg and Rhodri Mayor, both converted by Dion we lost 14-38.
If we were to qualify for the main competition, then, we needed to win against Sherborne School in our last group game which was played on Saturday morning. We were competitive but at 0-14 down at half time we were unable to find our way back against the eventual tournament losing finalists.
In finishing third in our group we moved into the plate competition and found ourselves up against Fettes College. A yellow card issued to both teams affected the balance of the game but we dealt with the impact better than the opposition and 14-0 up at half time we doubled our score by the end to move into the final.
Tiffin School, who we played the day before in the game which was decided by the golden goal, was to be our opposition in the final. Expecting to be matched by a team wanting their revenge, we prepared well. In selecting the strongest team available, we missed two opportunities in the opening minutes but didn’t lose territory which did result in the opening score of the game. Recovering possession from the restart resulted in another score which took us onto a 14-0 lead at half time. In gaining the first score after the interval, the opposition were unable to contain the quality of our play, developed through the tournament and we went on to win the plate 36 – 0 playing some of our best and most consistent rugby of the tournament.
This was a well deserved result based on a group of players playing with increasing confidence built up through weeks of endeavour and commitment. Every player in the squad made significant contributions and all are to be congratulated. Only a small number played throughout each of the games but one was considered to be our player of the tournament and that was Toby Twigg.