B boys get one over on the As

IPSWICH Rugby Club's Under-8 'B' side proved there is nothing in a letter recently by outperforming their 'A' side team mates and taking the South Coast International Festival of Rugby title.

Stuart Watson

IPSWICH Rugby Club's Under-8 'B' side proved there is nothing in a letter recently by outperforming their 'A' side team mates and taking the South Coast International Festival of Rugby title.

The competition, which is based in Camber, East Sussex, is billed as the biggest mini and junior rugby festival in the UK, with over 4000 players, parents and coaches arriving each year for the two-day event.

Entering the festival for the first time ever, Ipswich travelled with four coach loads of players and supporters, splitting their thriving under-8 squad into a first team, 'the Tigers', and a second team, 'the Scorpions'.


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Both Ipswich sides then excelled in the seven-a-side, tag rugby format to progress to the semi-finals where they drew each other.

There, the Scorpions overcame their 'B team' tag to beat their Tigers team mates and book their place in the final.

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Manager Alan Finley then remained loyal to the Scorpions in the final, not promoting any of his Tigers players to the squad, and the decision paid off as the Suffolk side defeated Dartford 50-30 to claim the title.

Meanwhile, in the Plate final, the Tigers, were unfortunate to narrowly lose 6-5 to Welsh side Rhonda.

Finley said: “The boys were absolutely over the moon, both sides did magnificently in a competition that had some strong opposition from all over the country.

“Grassroots rugby is very important to Ipswich Rugby Club, we have sides from under-7s all the way through to under-18s and they are very much nurtured as the future of the club.

“We run junior training sessions on a Sunday morning up at Humberdoucy Lane and you can't move for the amount of children and parents.

“It's not just because of the recent World Cup success either I don't think. People seem to be wanting to move away from the soccer culture and be in a disciplined sport.

“At Ipswich we don't allow any lip from the boys and, although it is a fun environment, we don't suffer fools gladly. We're teaching the boys the same attitude that has been instilled in the national side and it certainly sets them in good stead for other areas of life.”

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