10 March 2022

On Sunday, the 1st VII team headed to Bristol for what was to be a challenging tournament, with some big schools appearing, all in preparation for the bigger tournaments to come.

Our first game was against the hosts, Colston’s, and in classic Abingdon fashion a promising match within the first few moments which did not materialise in the win we were searching for. The fact that NextGen XV was streaming the game did little to boost our efforts. Following a fantastically superb chip and chase by Charlie Lloyd (captain) we were 7-0 up, this was not to last long. We endured some difficulties during the first game, namely a yellow card as well as a strong Colston’s team. Overall we lost 21-7 and have much to improve on.

We moved onto Exeter College, where we put into practise much of what we had learnt from our previous game, as well as having the great advantage of playing on a smaller pitch, suiting our instinctively more contact approach to sevens. Some beautiful plays were made during the game such as a great try from Ollie Heard following a punt up the whole pitch. The game ended with a victorious score of 24-12 and we were ready to take on Monkton in order to secure a solid place in our pool.

We went on to face Monkton in which much of our training was enacted, with us fully incorporating defence tactics such as trusting the inner man, our defence was (mostly) formidable and some great pieces of attack were displayed, carving the opponent side up to reach another victory of 28-14 and coming 2nd in our pool.

In order to progress to the Cup Final of the competition we had to face Bristol Grammar School in the semi-final. A notoriously strong side within the area of Bristol who have an annual match with Colston’s each year. We faced a very strong side and after disadvantages, such as two rather soft yellow cards, we found it too difficult to claim the win. Mistakes under the high ball as well as interceptions did not help the situation, however we fought battered and fatigued to the end with the score resulting in a 14-35 loss and a knock out from the competition. Overall, it was a great day and a really good experience in preparation for the bigger festivals to come.

Written by Jake Church

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