Over the weekend, Whitchurch High School's 1st XV Rugby squad embarked on the long journey to Ipswich, where they participated in the prestigious National Schools Rugby Tournament at St Joseph's College. Established in 1986, this tournament has evolved into one of the most esteemed schoolboy rugby events in the country, attracting top schools from across the nation. For Whitchurch High School, this weekend marked another chapter in their rugby journey.
On the opening day of the tournament, the Whitchurch High School squad found themselves drawn into Group Pool 1, facing formidable opponents. The day's results showcased their resilience and determination:
Trinity School, Croydon 7 – 3 Whitchurch High School
Whitchurch High School 19 – 19 Hampton School
Whitchurch High School 12 – 12 QEGS Wakefield
The mixed results led to Whitchurch High School finishing 3rd in the group, securing their spot in the Bowl Quarter Final, scheduled for the next day.
Their Bowl Quarter Final match pitted them against Wellington College, and despite a slow start and against the run of play, Whitchurch High School couldn't secure a win, with a final score of 0 – 14 in favour of Wellington College. The outcome meant that the team transitioned to the Shield Semi-Final Competition, determined to make their mark.
In the Shield Semi-Final, Whitchurch High School faced off against RGS Newcastle. The team delivered a remarkable performance, dominating the game with a resounding victory of 29 – 0, which earned them a spot in the Shield Final.
The final showdown featured Whitchurch High School against Denstone College, resulting in a thrilling, end-to-end battle. In a closely contested match, the Whitchurch High School squad displayed immense skill and sportsmanship, but they were narrowly edged out with a final score of 7 – 14, securing a second-place finish in the Shield Final.
The Whitchurch High School 1st XV Rugby squad was led by their dedicated coaches, Mr. Williams, Mr Aporo and Mr Tavner who guided the team through this challenging tournament. The team's captain, Iestyn Hutchings, provided strong leadership on the field, motivating, and uniting the players on and off the field.
The entire school community is immensely proud of the efforts put forth by the Whitchurch High School 1st XV Rugby squad at the National Schools Rugby Tournament. Their journey was a testament to their commitment, teamwork, and passion for the sport, and they have once again represented the school admirably on a national stage.
As they return home, the team is sure to carry this valuable experience forward and continue to grow, both as individuals and as a formidable force in schoolboy rugby. We eagerly await their future endeavours and celebrate their accomplishments in this highly competitive arena. Congratulations to the entire squad for their remarkable performance at the National Schools Rugby Tournament.
For more photographs from the tournament, please click here.