Harrow successfully defend title as home side battle hard in rain-hit QE Sevens

Harrow successfully defend title as home side battle hard in rain-hit QE Sevens

The 48th Annual Queen Elizabeth’s School Sevens brought out the best in competitors and helpers alike, with teams serving up some exciting rugby despite the challenging conditions.

Weeks of rain leading up to the tournament ruled out Barnet Elizabethans RFC’s pitches, which meant that only pitches at the School were available. As a result, only the U14 competition could proceed.

Harrow School’s squad took the Cup for the second year running, beating Bedford School 12-5 in the final. In the Plate, it was Abingdon School who ran out winners in the final over Berkhamsted School.

QE’s Head of Rugby James Clarke said: “Well done to all the players, coaches and parents who braved and battled the elements. From looking splendid in the sunshine of the Friday afternoon, conditions deteriorated, with the day of play on Sunday coinciding with yet more persistent rain.”

“With the QE Sevens attracting many of the country’s top rugby schools, competition was tough, but our home U14 side nevertheless acquitted themselves well in their three group-stage matches.”

Mr Clarke thanked: Headmaster Neil Enright for allowing the tournament to go ahead; sponsors inspiresport; and his colleagues in the PE department for their assistance. “Huge credit to the London Society of Referees, our School prefects and Year 7 volunteers who ensured the tournament ran as smoothly as it did. Thank you also to all schools for their continued support of the tournament.”

After a slow start to their opening fixture as everyone literally tried to get to grips with the slippery ball, QE’s U14 rebounded strongly against Reigate Grammar School in the second half, pulling back one try. Zach Mannathukaran narrowly missed out on a remarkable length-of-the-field score when the ball was knocked-on in goal as he was attempting to secure the grounding.

“Anticipating a very tough second fixture, the boys fronted up and were hugely competitive against Framlingham,” said Mr Clarke. Captain Lakshmi Chirumamilla scored the second try with a dart from the scrum down the blindside – part of another second-half comeback. “QE’s players were thinking that they had at least earned a draw with this try. There was however some confusion regarding whether conversions for the respective teams had been made, and a 14-12 defeat was declared the result by the referee, who was closest to the action.”

“This meant that the boys could no longer qualify for the knock-out rounds, but another creditable outing the in the third match, against Gravesend Grammar, showcased some of the positive aspects of their game, with another two tries scored demonstrating ability in attack.”

“Thinuka Kapugama Geeganage and Tanush Madadi, making their Sevens debuts, added a direct approach, carrying hard and offloading well up the middle,” Mr Clarke concluded.

Tournament sponsors inspiresport provided the cup winners with tickets to a Premiership rugby match, as well as hosting the coaches for lunch.

Full results can be viewed here: www.qebarnet7s.co.uk

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