The 1st VII qualified for the semi-finals of the Vase after having an excellent first day at the Nationals. Convincing wins in their pool against The Oratory, Shrewsbury School, Muvuti Boys High School (Kenya) and Lancaster Royal Grammar School set up an eliminator game against St Edward’s, Oxford, who had finished top of their pool. A convincing 27-0 win saw Epsom finish the day with five impressive wins, only conceding one try along the way.
The quarter final opponents the following day were George Watson’s College and Eton College who had both topped their respective pools and won their eliminator matches as well. The opening game was a very tight affair and it took two excellent tries from Luke Laughton (C) to see Epsom home 14-10 against a well organised George Watson side. With Eton losing to George Watson’s in their quarter final match, Epsom just needed a win to secure their semi-final place and they did so in fine fashion with tries from George Addington (Rn), Makeen Alikhan (Rn), Tom Allen (Fa) and Bertie Bamber (Fa) to win 24-5.
In the semi-final Epsom came up against Merchiston Castle and Rugby School. Falling behind to two early tries against Merchiston, Epsom found themselves having to chase the game and an interception midway through the second half gave Merchiston a 19 point lead. To their credit Epsom fought their way back with two late tries from Luke Laughton (C), who again showed what a lethal finisher he is, but it was not to be and Epsom suffered their first defeat of the tournament.
A win against Rugby was needed if Epsom stood any chance of getting to the final. The match started brightly and it took some heroic defence from Rugby to keep Epsom out. After conceding another interception try, a Tom Williams (P) try just before half time levelled the scores. A defensive lapse just after the break let Rugby in for their second try that would prove pivotal, and despite a late surge at the Rugby line Epsom were unable to breakdown their resolute defence. Rugby held out and victory against Merchiston saw them progress through to the final, where they finished runners up to winners Bromsgrove.
Despite defeat there was a lot Epsom can be proud of and a special thanks to all the U6th boys who represented the College for the last time. Your commitment to the rugby programme is greatly appreciated. Thank you boys.
National 7s Vase
The Colts played exceptionally well to reach the last 16 in day 1 of the U16 Nationals competition, comfortably beating Angels International College, Orleans Park School, Wycliffe College and RGS Worcester in the group games, and then Cheltenham College in the knock-out stage.
On day 2 the squad played some excellent sevens, but lost 21 – 26 to the eventual tournament winners St Peter’s York by the narrowest of margins in the very last play of the match.
The boys have made tremendous progress and there is much to look forward to next season.
vs The Oratory WON 47-0
vs Shrewsbury School WON 35-7
vs Muvuti Boys High School WON 31-0
vs Lancaster Royal Grammar WON 33-0
v St Edward’s School, Oxford WON 27-0
vs George Watson’s College WON 14-10
vs Eton College WON 24-5
vs Merchiston Castle School Lost 14-19
vs Rugby School Lost 7-14
v Angels International College W (w.o.)
v Orleans Park School W 35 – 12
v Wycliffe College W 28 – 10
v RGS Worcester W 31 – 0
Knock out stage
v Cheltenham College W 19-12
v St Peter’s York (tournament winners) L 21 – 26 (in the final play of the game)