1stVII win the Loretto Sevens!
The Loretto 7s is always one of the highlights of the Autumn Term and after working hard in training over the past few weeks, the squad was looking forward to testing themselves against a number of the other prep schools and some rugby clubs. Over the many years we have been going, we have played a very attractive game, moving the ball from side to side, keeping possession and waiting for the gaps to open up, and this group of boys have been quick to pick this up, and also run some fantastic lines to wrong foot the opposition’s drift defence. Hopes were high, the weather was good and it promised to be a terrific afternoon of sport.
In the opening group game, we comfortably beat Melrose Rugby Club first up, moving the ball really well to score five tries and also dominating the breakdown with our specialist jacklers. We played some really good sevens and it was a great start to the campaign. Next up was Loretto which was a much more physical affair and we got drawn in somewhat, going that step too far rather than passing before the contact and keeping the ball alive. A narrow win, but pleasingly our defence was excellent and we defended with real discipline. North Berwick were large and aggressive and we ended up losing to a conversion which was disappointing, even though we topped the group. We tried to match their physicality which was not what the doctor ordered, when we should have kept the ball moving to stretch them across the field. We scored some good tries however, and in the end, the narrow defeat did us the world of good as we realized where our strengths lay and played with so much pace and skill in the knock out games that were to follow.
In the semi final, we met Belhaven, and the boys produced a mightily fine performance against our old rivals. We really did look after the ball superbly, getting it wide, supporting each other, pulling the defence this way and that and showing lots of patience for the holes to appear…..which they did. A really good advert for seven a side rugby at this level, and so we were in the Final once again.
Finals in schoolboy sevens tournaments can often not reach the heights of previous games due to the all the players being tired and so concentration levels drop; however, this was not the case for the Cargilfield boys today as we faced up to a large and physical Mussleburgh RFC team. Learning our lessons from earlier in the day, we really did keep the ball alive, moving it across the width of the pitch again and again, and despite some excellent tackling from the opposition, we kept possession, and when that happens, we score! We scored four tries, which put the game to bed, but the quality of the opposition meant we had to work really hard for them which is as it should be, but the boys were rightly delighted when the final whistle blew and the trophy was ours once again.
I do love sevens: it is the ultimate test of skill, patience, teamwork, communication and fitness. We played the best sevens today, but managed to combine the traditional Cargilfield way of playing with some added ‘go forward’ as we ran some great supporting lines which caused all the teams we played real problems. As always, we learned a lot too, and I know this lot will be chomping at the bit for the Ardvreck Sevens which takes place right at the end of half term……we have set down a marker now.
A richly deserved win and it would be invidious to pick out any names, so I have not! It was a real squad effort, with everyone working so hard both with and without the ball, which made us so effective both in attack and in defence. A wonderful afternoon indeed! A big thank you to the large number of parents who came along too; your support was invaluable at the end of a long and tiring day of sport!