1st XV reach the final of new national U18 rugby competition

Thursday 27 November 2014

WEB 1st XV at Allianz ParkGSAL’s 1st XV has reached the final of a new national schools competition for the top rugby schools in the country.

The 1st XV at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), who lifted the RBS Daily Mail U15 Cup at Twickenham in 2012, took on Millfield School in the final of the inaugural U18 Schools Champions Trophy in an enthralling match at Allianz Park, the home of Saracens Rugby Club. The Champions Trophy is a new one-term competition introduced by the RFU and its schools arm, the England Rugby Football Schools Union (ERFSU).

Millfield took the initiative early in the first half and midway through the second had established an apparently unassailable lead of 31-7, GSAL’s score coming from a Sam Ward try converted by Harrison Brown Raw.

GSAL’s fighting spirit came to the fore as they built up momentum during the second half and a Harry Francis try followed by two in quick succession from Tom Gorman put them within touching distance of Millfield. Sadly for the Yorkshire side time ran out; with the score at 31-24 their dream of ending their school rugby careers with a second national title were dashed.

Team coach John Mackenzie, head of rugby at GSAL, said: “We can take a lot of heart from how we finished, the scenes with Tom going over for his two scores at the end there sums up the heart we’ve got.

“Millfield were a quality outfit and particularly first half with so little ball we struggled to get any foothold. Second half with a bit of possession we were always going to be dangerous and just needed to get the ball to show what we could do.

“We’ve had fantastic support from our school, huge thanks to them. The noise they’ve made was superb from start to finish. I’m really proud of the guys and how they have done.”

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