Banbury Area Year 5 and 6 Tag Rugby Festival

On a dry autumn day, two hundred and twenty-five excited Year 5 & 6 children participated in the Banbury Area Primary Schools’ Tag Rugby Festival held on Thursday 18th October 2018 at Banbury Rugby club

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

Sixteen teams contested the cup competition with the remaining ten teams battling it out 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.  All seventy-five matches were expertly refereed by BGN Student young leaders who also offered encouragement, guidance and support to the players. 

In the plate competition, teams were divided into two pools of five.  Following a series of round robin matches, the top two teams in each pool contested the semi-final.  Hill View C defeated St. John’s C 13-6 and St. Leonard’s B beat St. John’s B 12-4.  In a close and entertaining plate final Hill View C narrowly defeated St. Leonard’s B 5-4 in extra time. St. John’s B beat their classmates, St. John’s C, 7-6, also going to extra time, to take third spot.  Hanwell Fields C beat Orchard Fields 7-3 to come fifth, Cropredy C defeated Orchard Fields 5-3 to take seventh spot and Hardwick B beat Hardwick C to take ninth position. 

In the Cup competition the sixteen teams were divided into four pools.  After lunch teams then played a further pool which was seeded depending on where they finished in the morning round-robin matches.  St. John’s A won all of their games in the afternoon to win Pool D.  Hardwick A scored ten tries to win Pool C and St. Leonard’s A won all of their games to win Pool B.  In a competitive and high quality Pool A which involved teams that topped their group in the first round of round robin matches, Bishop Loveday edged out Hill View A on try difference to be crown Banbury Area Year 5/6 Tag Rugby Champions 2018.  Hanwell Fields A took third spot and The Grange A fourth position.  All four teams have qualified for the North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership Tag Rugby Final on Friday 16th November at Banbury Rugby Club.

During the event, the Spirit of the Games value of respect was a key focus area. This was evident throughout the festival with players and adults accepting the referee's decisions and all players shaking hands at the end of each match.  A player from each team was selected and presented with a special certificate to recognise the respect they had shown throughout the competition.

Russell White U10s Coach at Banbury R.F.C attended the Festival through the day and 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 with this festival, being the biggest festival yet!

Also thank you the young student leaders from Blessed George Napier Catholic School who ensured the event was an enjoyable experience for all involved

“The event was well organised.  Children’s confidence and happiness levels rose in connection to playing tag rugby.”  (Teacher at Cropredy)

“All players played fair.”

“We want to play more!”

“I felt a bit nervous about playing but now I love tag rugby.”  (Children at Cropredy)

“Young leaders were all superb.” (Teacher at St. Leonard’s)

“The standard of referees and respect shown by all teams went well.”

(Teacher at Orchard Fields)

“Really fun”

“Want to play more.” (Children at Orchard Fields)

“Ran smoothly and the referees did very well.” (Teaching Assistant at The Grange)

“Well organised and quick moving.” (Teacher at St. John’s)

“The festival was a great success.  The standard of rugby was outstanding.  It is amazing to see this grow and standard of refereeing and coaching is now superb.  We look forward to welcoming them back as players for Banbury Rugby Club.”

(Russell White, Banbury U10 Coach)



School Sport Coordinator

Blessed George Napier Catholic School



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