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The Surrey U16 Rugby Sevens competition is without doubt the most demanding of all the county competitions because of the sheer number of top schools competing within it. At the competition, the St John’s U16 side showed not only that they can hold their own against the big guns, but also that they are fast becoming one of them. The current team, a combination of U16 ever-presents combined with several of the unbeaten U15 squad, played with speed, guile and a work ethic that had spectators purring with delight.
The day began very brightly with a series of well-executed wins: a 12-5 triumph over a much-fancied St Paul’s side, followed by workmanlike despatches of Caterham (28-0) and Tiffin (35-0). This set up a battle royal against Whitgift, who had overcome previous opponents with ease. A truly magnificent squad performance saw St John’s take the tie 17-7, leaving a final pool match against old rivals King’s College School (Wimbledon). The St John’s players were made to work very hard by a competitive opposition, but claimed the pool winners spot with a 22-12 victory.
A heavyweight contest was set against The John Fisher School, who had earlier despatched the winners of the previous weekend’s competition at Queen Elizabeth’s School (Barnet). It lived up to all expectations, as metaphorical punches were traded for the whole duration. Matches like these are won and lost on fine margins and a couple of loose passes proved to be critical in the 19-12 defeat.
This latest performance is a satisfying follow-up to the result achieved at the Royal Grammar School (Guildford) sevens contest a fortnight ago. It is now fair to say for these year groups at St John’s that “The Eagle has landed!"
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