Banbury Area Tag Rugby Festival

On a wet day, one hundred and ninety-five excited Year 5 & 6 children participated in the Banbury Area Primary Schools’ Tag Rugby Festival held on Thursday 19th October 2017 at Banbury Rugby club

Twenty-one teams from thirteen Primary Schools took part in the festival which included Bishop Loveday, Cropredy, Dashwood, Hanwell Fields, Hardwick, Harriers, Hill View, St. Leonard’s, St. Mary’s, The Grange, Orchard Fields, St. John’s and William Morris.

Twelve ‘A’ teams contested the Cup competition and nine ‘B’ teams taking part in the Plate competition.  As the tournament progressed with players getting to grips with the tag rugby rules, all teams improved with plenty of skill, effort and determination on display.  Many matches were end to end with lots of tries being scored and the standard of rugby was impressive, despite the wet conditions. All sixty-seven matches were expertly refereed by BGN Student young leaders who also offered encouragement and support to the players. 

Following a series of round robin matches, Hill View, Hanwell Fields and St. Leonard’s came out on top of their respective pools to play a further triangular pool against one another to determine the Plate winners.  Hill View emerged winners of the Plate competition, remaining undefeated throughout the day, with St. Leonard’s taking runners-up spot and Hanwell Fields third.  Cropredy won their second round pool to come fourth, followed by both Dashwood and The Grange who were joint fifth.  William Morris won their final two games to win their second round pool to finish seventh with Hardwick eight and Orchard Fields ninth.   

The Cup competition show the twelve teams split into two pools of six.  The top four sides in each pool then qualified for the knock-out stages.  In the battle of the fifth place teams, Hardwick defeated Cropredy 6-3.  St. John’s finished on a high, beating Dashwood 6-3 to claim eleventh overall.  In the quarter finals Hanwell fields beat St. Leonard’s 6-2, The Grange narrowly defeated Harriers 3-2, Hill View won 4-1 against St. Mary’s and Bishop Loveday beat Orchard Fields 4-2 in an entertaining game.  Hanwell fields booked their place in the final with a comprehensive 4-2 victory over The Grange.  The second semi-final went to extra-time with Bishop Loveday emerging victorious 5-3 against Hill View.   The final was again another close game with end to end tries being scored by both Hanwell Fields and Bishop Loveday.  Hanwell Fields finally won 8-7 after extra-time  to be crowned Banbury Area Year 5/6 Tag Rugby Champions 2017.  Hill View defeated The Grange 5-1 to come third and fourth respectively.  All four teams have qualified for the North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership Tag Rugby Final on Thursday 16th November at Banbury Rugby Club.

During the event, the Spirit of the Games value of respect was a key focus area. A player from each team was selected and presented with a special certificate to recognise the respect they had shown throughout the competition.

Sim Crowther, Schools Officer and Community Coach at Banbury R.F.C attended the Festival, encouraged all players to continue playing rugby and signposted them to further opportunities within their local community club.

Thank you to Banbury R.F.C. for hosting the event and providing medals for the winning and second placed teams in both competitions.  Also thank you the young leaders from Blessed George Napier Catholic School who ensured the event was an enjoyable experience for all involved

“Brilliant event, really well organised and the young referees were excellent.  It was a real pleasure to attend and we’ll be looking forward to it again next year.”  (PE Coordinator at St. Leonard’s)

The young leaders refereed well, were fair and very knowledgeable.  All our children enjoyed the day, despite the rain” (Teaching assistant at William Morris)

“Young leaders were fantastic.  They were knowledgeable and encouraging.  Respect was displayed by all throughout the day.”  (Teaching at Orchard Fields)

 “There was a good atmosphere; our children were enthusiastic and improved through the day (Teacher at the Grange)

“Good fun and well organised.” (Teacher at St. Mary’s)

We had a brilliant day, some excellent rugby from the A team and massive improvements in the B team over the day. The children loved it.” (PE Coordinator at Hanwell Fields)

R.Mawn 

School Sport Coordinator

Blessed George Napier Catholic School

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