The Wimbledon cluster Year 3 & 4 Tag Rugby festival not only brought out the sunshine in November, but also drew a large crowd who had come to be entertained by some extremely talented and committed pupils. Thirteen teams from nine schools travelled to Wimbledon Chase Primary School to take part in an afternoon that showed off some top quality rugby, amazing respect and sporting spirit amongst the teams and most importantly a lot of fun had by all involved. The games were played in a non-scoring system, which allowed the players to concentrate on improving their skills, techniques and teamwork.

The thirteen teams were split into two groups, containing six and seven teams. Teams played the other sides in their groups with Group 1 containing St Marys ‘A’, Dundonald, Wimbledon Park ‘A’, Bishop Gilpin’A’, The Priory, Wimbledon Chase ‘A’ and Holy Trinity. Group 2 was made up of Pelham, All Saints, Wimbledon Park ‘B’, St Marys ‘B’, Bishop Gilpin ‘B’ and Wimbledon Chase ‘B’.

Group 1 had some high quality entertainment on display and Holy Trinity caught the eye early on with their impressive attacking displays. The games were tight throughout the group and Bishop Gilpins practise was reaping dividends as they played out some well-rehearsed moves to score a number of tries. The attacking play continued with Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Chase providing a fantastic demonstration of their qualities as they went head to head and had one of the highest scoring fixtures of the day. St Marys teamwork was a match for anyone as they worked together to score some incredible tries and were always there to support each other as they moved up the field. Their fixture with Dundonald in the opening match was another highlight of the day, with the game being played in a tremendous spirit. It was a sign of things to come for both teams, as Dundonald continued their tremendous form into their remaining fixtures and showed how talented a squad they have.

Group 2 was no different, with a rousing opening fixture between Pelham and All Saints setting the benchmark for the other teams in the group to match. Both team played some excellent rugby and actually got even stronger as the festival progressed. Wimbledon Park ‘B’ had obviously been training a lot in preparation for today and it was evident from their play that they were working together as a unit particularly effectively, scoring a load of tries while still managing to stay solid in defence. St Mary’s ‘B’ started slowly, but by their second fixture they were flying, their free flowing rugby helping them to score try after try. Their passing and movement kept all the teams on their toes, playing with skill and pace to find gaps in the opposing defences. Bishop Gilpin ‘B’ had a fantastic attitude throughout the festival, making sure they enjoyed their day and getting the chance to show off their skills. Again, a very well organised unit, they proved extremely difficult to break down and were quick to break from defence into attack, causing other teams in the group a host of problems to contend with.  Their match against Wimbledon Chase ‘B’ was of such quality that it even had the sportleaders officiating commenting on the level of skill on display.

Our REFSPECT winners today were Holy Trinity. They were positive throughout, applauding the opposing team, shaking hands and congratulating the opposition. A great demonstration of fair play, sportsmanship and etiquette combined with fantastic team work and effort meant they were a credit to their school. Well done to everyone involved.

Once again, we were indebted to the Sports Leaders from Rutlish School who officiated confidently and capably, coaching the children through the match to help them learn and improve. Thanks also to Wimbledon Chase Primary School for the use of their field. Finally, to the children and school staff whom played and supported with enthusiasm, passion and respect!



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