Colstons repeat festival triumph

RUGBY UNION: Colstons repeated last year's success to win the 16th St Joseph's College national schools rugby festival at the weekend.The final was an action replay of 2001, with the Bristol school hanging on to defeat Blackrock College of Dublin 10-0 and retain the trophy.

RUGBY UNION

COLSTONS repeated last year's success to win the 16th St Joseph's College national schools rugby festival at the weekend.

The final was an action replay of 2001, with the Bristol school hanging on to defeat Blackrock College of Dublin 10-0 and retain the trophy.

Colstons Collegiate School have now won the De La Salle Cup a total of five times and it was clear from the way they started the final that they were in no mood to go home empty-handed.

They applied tremendous pressure on the Blackrock line and despite some heroic defence they were able to run in two tries, neither of which they managed to convert.

From their position of strength, the organisation and determination of the Colstons defence was strong enough to withstand all Blackrock's efforts to claw their way back into contention.

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Colstons' route into the cup competition saw them defeat St Peter's High School, Gloucester, 34-0 and they completed their qualifying group games with a 61-0 thrashing of Arnold School and 24-7 defeat of Campion School, Hornchurch.

They secured their place in the final with 20-0, 48-0 and 13-7 wins over Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, Bradford and Wellington respectively.

The award for the player of the tournament was Sean Crowley of Millfield and the try of the tournament was scored by Scott Keating of Campion School.

The event started on Saturday when, for the first time in five years, play got under way in glorious autumnal weather but both Sunday's finals were played in the rain.

Winners of the plate were Brighton College, with a 5-0 win over Queen Elizabeth Grammar School of Wakefield, who defeated the hosts 10-0 en route to the final.

St Joseph's also lost 7-3 to Brighton in their opening group match, which launched the tournament on Saturday.

They took the lead through a superbly-struck drop goal by Mark Broughton, but conceded a late try that was converted.

In their other group matches they went down 17-0 to Blackrock and 36-0 to Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe.

The hosts' best result came in the plate competition when they defeated St Peter's 10-5.

St Joseph's headteacher, Stan Grant, said: "It makes us very proud to be holding the festival for its 16th year. We have seen some absolutely superb rugby played."

Mr Grant also announced that sponsors BTexact Technologies had already agreed to sponsor next year's festival, which will take place on October 18 and 19.

Frank Stone, representing the sponsors, said: "It has been a fantastic tournament. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and it has been magnificent again."

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