Langley School hosts national under-15s rugby festival
- Credit: Trevor Jackon
The Aviva Premiership trophy was one of the special guests at the second annual Nationwide Under-15s Rugby Festival hosted by Langley School.
The festival at the south Norfolk school, near Loddon, got off to a blistering start with a high-scoring encounter between St Peter’s, Gloucestershire and RGS Newcastle, with the West Country side eventually coming out on top 26-17.
In the other group the Scottish contingent from Merchiston Castle defeated Bedford School 14-7.
Langleyl opened with a 24-8 win over last year’s cup winners, Eton College, while on the opposite pitch Abingdon chalked up their first win in a tight game with Solihull, coming out on top 8-7.
The lead changed hands several times in Group Two with Merchiston finally edging ahead of Bedford and Abingdon to top the group.
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In Group One St Peter’s were starting to emerge as the tournament favourites having amassed 46 points in their first two games against Eton College and RGS Newcastle.
The Norfolk players really stepped up to the challenge, with Langley out-scoring the Gloucester school by three tries to one to finish the day on top of their group and book a top seed place in the Savills Cup semi-finals.
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On the Sunday morning a clinical semi-final performance meant Langley saw off much bigger opposition from Bedford School. However, the physical encounter took its toll. The Norfolk side had a rematch against their group rivals from the previous day, but this time a number of key players had to sit out and watch the cup final from the sidelines.
Despite a very vocal home support, St Peter’s dominated the opening exchanges and then defended resolutely to come out 10-3 winners and eventually win the Savills Cup.
Langley’s director of sport, Tim Malone, said: “It is fantastic to see that the Langley Festival has now established itself a major event in the schools calendar.
“From a spectator point view it is a terrific opportunity to see a high level competition hosted in the county. From a coaching perspective it is great to see Langley competing so well against some of the top rugby playing schools in the UK.”
This year, major sponsors of the festival were England kit suppliers Canterbury who came on board along with national property agents Savills who provided hospitality and a new trophy for 2014.
Louis de Soissons, head of Savills residential in Norwich, presented the winners’ cup and prizes and said: “The second Langley School Rugby Festival was a tremendous success. The weather was very kind and the standard of rugby played by all teams was terrific.
“The two days resulted in a very exciting final and I was delighted to present the winning prizes. Savills is pleased to support such a worthwhile and well supported event which is becoming an important fixture in the National Schools calendar.”
St Peter’s, Gloucester 10 Langley 3 (Savills Cup),Bedford 22 Merchiston Castle 7 (Plate), Eton 15 RGS Newcastle 8 (Bowl), Solihull 10 Abingdon 7 (Shield)