Festival glory for St Joseph’s College
- Credit: Archant
Director of rugby Peter Engledow hailed his heroes as St Joseph’s College clinched top prize at their own festival for just the third time, and for the first time since 2010.
His players romped through Saturday’s group games, in the 27th staging of the event, without conceding a try, with victories over RGS High Wycombe, Whitchurch and Old Swinford Hospital.
They only conceded three yesterday, defeating John Fisher, Brighton and Dulwich, before going on to frustrate High Wycombe again with an 11-10 victory in the De la Salle Shield final, thanks to an Austin Beckett try and two kicks from Dan Lewis.
They were led by Lewis and skipper Lewis Ludlam who were named joint players of the tournament, but only just made it when RGS missed a late conversion to win the game.
After the tournament, South African coach Engledow said: “We did back ourselves to win the tournament.
“This group is a talented squad that was put together before I arrived two years ago and they played very well over the two days.
“The defence was the most pleasing aspect for me. We did not concede a try on the first day and only conceded three throughout the tournament which says a lot about our fitness in defence.
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“It is all well and good having the know-how to score tries but you need to be able to keep them out as well.”
Engledow also paid tribute to St Jo’s final opponents, who pushed them all the way.
“We played them in the first game and won 9-6,” he said.
“You have to pay them a lot of credit as they hung around to congratulate all of our players when there were 100 or so spectators running on to the pitch at the end.”
And while Lewis and Ludlam picked up the top individual award and George Wacokecoke won the Try of the Tournament award, Engledow hailed another star performer.
“Joe Brock was unbelievable and I think he would have been close to winning the Player of the Tournament award,” he added.