Last week the Dean Close rugby teams travelled to the Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens Tournament and produced another year of strong performances, with the U14s reaching the last 12.
The week started with the U16 boys who, due to cancelation of tournaments throughout the season, arrived with less preparation than in previous years. However, the resilient side achieved three significant victories. Unfortunately, the first fixture was against a strong Sedburgh seven, resulting in a narrow defeat which stopped the boys from progressing further. Year 10 players, Matty Jones and Mobolaji Santander-Peters, performed extremely well and will be ones to watch at next year’s tournament.
The next day was a nostalgic one, with the U18s playing in their final competition as a squad. The boys found themselves in a competitive group and rough conditions but did not go down without a fight. The boys showed spectators what it means to be ‘Close’ as they powered through the elements and mud to win two out of the four games, losing by only very slim margins. Budding rugby stars Tom Seabrook and Ed Bogue played an admirable defence and the whole team did themselves proud in their final match together.
Then it was the turn of the U14s. The junior team played with great maturity and a clean sweep of victories in the group stages saw them through to play another day. Dean Close boys played RGS Guildford in the knockout stages, claiming an outstanding 24-14 win. This enabled the team to advance to the Cup Competition, featuring the top 12 schools in the country. However, defeats against Dulwich College and Bishops Stortford High School halted any further progress. Director of Rugby, Andrew Stanley, said: “The U14 team has made huge strides in the last year and special mention must go to Ellis Robson, James Pollard and Owain Lonergan, who all executed top class skills in what was a very strong squad performance.”