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Year 9 Emerging Schools Rugby Festival

Year 9 Emerging Schools Rugby Festival
by Mr Patel - Wednesday, 15 October 2014, 11:37 AM

Unity college travelled to Preston Grasshoppers on Tuesday, 7th October to compete in the Year 9 Emerging Schools Rugby Festival. Rowan Greenwood, scrum half, kicker and all rounder unfortunately suffered an injury at the weekend which bought the team down to 18 players. Although the team missed his influence, Brody Slater inspired the side throughout, playing every game along with stalwarts David Ewens, Jon Mattocks, Morgan Williams, Will Berry, Josh Dutton and Tom Lancaster. 
After a beautiful display of rain during the drive, which continued throughout the tournament, Unity College took to the field against Archbishop Temple. In year 7 and 8 this tournament is played across half a rugby field however this is the first year where full 15-a-side teams play a full pitch for a 20 minute game. Without getting out of their blocks Unity College went down 0 - 14 against a well drilled side and although we threatened there was not enough time on the clock to put points on the board.
Our next opponents were Our Ladys, who had also lost 0 - 14 to Archbishop Temple in their first match. Unity knew the game would be a bit of a decider. After Our Lady's backs ran into our half, Unity College turned the ball over through David Ewens and Jon Mattocks and countered with Tom Lancaster scoring our first try. Morgan Williams, starting at No. 8 scored the conversion. 7 - 0 Unity. Josh Dutton and Ben Larnach combined to help put Will Berry in for our second before Our Ladys scored with a late try. Final Score Unity 14 - 7 Our Ladys.
Unfortunately, Unity suffered several injuries in the game. Ben Larnach and Josef Whitlam, both giants on the field, received poor tackles. Ben only able to return to spectate for the remainder of the tournament after making several strong runs.
The final game, against last weeks Cup opponents Clitheroe Grammar School, looked almost a foregone conclusion with the team now down to 1 substitute. However, Unity College dug deep and with a little luck may have had a win against the eventual group winners. Clitheroe Grammar eventually winning 7 - 14.
3rd place in the group saw the final 2 games played against Ormskirk and Highfield. Our game against Ormskirk was our poorest, missed tackles allowing them to go 14 points up before we replied to end the game 7 - 14 in a good spirited game (despite 2 hours of rain!).
In contrast the final game versus Highfield was an ugly affair where our opponents had a player removed for hacking and concede many penalties from infringements. Unity retained their composure and let their rugby do the talking. Ben Beck and George Morgan (wonderful line out throws George!) made good ground and Kieron Brierly getting involved in the tackles. Owen Ellis, James Catlow, Owen Westall, Freddy Long, Josh Edwards and Ethan Coppock proved too much for Highfield and Unity College prevailed in a game that Mr. Williams called early time on due to yet another infringement. Final score 12 - 5 to Unity College.
The next rugby event will be on Thursday the 9th October for a pitch 'n play at Burnley Rugby Club for year 7 & 8 girls. The year 8 squad, many of whom represented the year 9 team today will play in their Emerging Schools Festival on the 6th November (get well soon Mr. Larnach!) at Blackburn RUFC. The year 7 boys squad will be in action against Clitheroe Grammar School on Thursday 16th at home for their first full friendly match.
Well done to all the boys today, many playing in new positions and everyone giving their all. Anyone wishing to start rugby can come to training on Tuesday (all boys years, 3.10 - 4.30pm) and Thursdays (all girls, 3.10 - 4.30pm) or see Mr. Williams for more information.