On Tuesday 6th March 2018, the Raynes Park Cluster Year 5/6 Tag Rugby Competition finally took place after being delayed by the freezing temperatures of the beast from the east the previous week. All 11 Raynes Park Cluster schools were in attendance with Poplar bringing an A and a B team. This created two pools of 6 teams, with the top two teams at the end of the group stages going through to the Borough Finals on Friday 9th March.

During the groups stages there was some superb free flowing rugby on display with all teams scoring a number of well worked team tries as well as some stunning solo efforts. What was also really pleasing was the level of sportsmanship shown by many of the children to their competitors at the end of each match, regardless of the result.

When the group stages had been completed each team then played one final match to determine their final finishing position. The battle for 11th place was fought out between Joseph Hood and Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart won this match 1-0 with a well worked team try. 9th place was secured by Hatfeild with an impressive 3-1 victory over Merton Park. Hollymount did just enough to secure 7th place with a tight 2-1 victory over St John Fisher. Poplar B ran out narrow winners against a committed West Wimbledon side to win their final match 1-0 and take 5th place. The battle for third place was again a really close affair that could have been won by either team. Aragon were able to produce the decisive try and win this enthralling match 4-3. First place at this year’s competition could not have been any tighter.

The final was contested by arguably the most consistent teams at the competition, with both Poplar A and Hillcross winning all of their group games. Both teams had a solid understanding of the game and were able to move the ball around and attack space with accuracy to create plenty of try scoring opportunities. It was however the battle of the defences that made the difference in this match. After 8 minutes of normal time plus an additional two minutes of golden time, both teams were on a deadlock of one try a piece. Both teams were then asked to remove two players each to try and create more attacking space. After a further two minutes of both teams demonstrating some well organised defence, teams were asked to remove an additional two players each. This proved to be decisive as Hatfeild seized the opportunity by putting their flying winger into space to run down the line to score the match winning try. Credit however must be paid to Poplar who were excellent all tournament and very unlucky not to create a match winning try of their own.

Congratulations to all competing schools who played some super rugby, with an extra special mention to our worth Refspect Winners, Merton Park for their continued demonstration of exemplary sportsmanship throughout the tournament.

Good luck to Hillcross, Poplar, Aragon and St Matthew’s who will go on and represent the Raynes Park Cluster at this Fridays Borough Finals and a big thank you to the Y9 Sports Leaders from Rutlish School who refereed the matches superbly – great effort guys!

 Final Standings

  1. Hillcross
  2. Poplar A
  3. Aragon
  4. St Matthew’s
  5. Poplar B
  6. West Wimbledon
  7. Hollymount
  8. St John Fisher
  9. Hatfeild
  10. Merton Park
  11. Sacred Heart
  12. Joseph Hood


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