First Suffolk sixth-form tournament sees wins for Farlingaye, Stowmarket and Northgate
- Credit: Archant
Farlingaye, Stowmarket High and Northgate sixth forms won their respective leagues as the first-ever 10-a-side sixth-form schools tournament was held last week.
Held at Stowmarket RFC, the competition attracted 11 school teams of varied abilities and they were split into three leagues – based on the English Rugby Union model – The Premiership, Championship and National League.
The school teams with more rugby experience were placed in the top division and there was promotion to play for. Relegation will be introduced at the next tournament as there were four schools that were unable to attend.
Around 170 players took part in 15 games of rugby, with 87 of them not currently at a rugby club. The appetite was whetted ahead of the next tournament, which will be held at three grounds (Ipswich YM, Woodbridge RFC and Sudbury RFC) on December 5.
Organiser Lee Parry RFU Community Rugby Coach, said: “We realised that a lot of smaller sixth forms that were taking part in rugby training at the start of the year, were then finding it difficult to arrange fixtures, due to exams and timetables and other factors.
“Our objective was to put on a tournament for these smaller sixth forms, giving the pupils a chance to play competitive rugby.”
In the “Premiership”, Farlingaye prevailed, winning both their games, with West Suffolk College second and Woodbridge School in third.
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In the Championship, Stowmarket High finished top of the pile and were promoted with King Edward VI second, Suffolk One in third and Finborough fourth.
The National League saw Northgate promoted with St Benedicts the runners-up, Kesgrave third and Hedingham fourth.
“The players in the “Premiership” have played rugby for a number of years so that league ran itself and the organisers were able to take a step back,” added Parry.
“At the other end of the scale, there were players that had never played before. Therefore, the referees, not only officiated the games, but also acted as coaches when something needed to be explained to them.
They weren’t as lenient with the players in the top division.”