By Jonathan Green
They may not have lifted the trophy at last week’s Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens tournament, but Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School pupil Ben Day insists the experience was still a great way to top off the season.
The boys’ U13 side was the first of two Chislehurst & Sidcup teams in action during the week-long 75th anniversary of the world’s largest schools sevens tournament in south west London.
And they certainly led by example, topping their group with three wins out of three to make it through to the knockout stages.
And while their run would eventually be halted in the round of 16, losing to eventual champions Royal Grammar School High Wycombe 19-14, 13-year-old Day insists his side can still hold their heads up high.
“We played really well and scored quite a lot of tries,” said Day, who also plays for Old Elthamians.
“We’ve got a lot of quick people in our side and we knew if we gave them the ball they would be able to attack the gaps and score the points we need.
“It meant so much for us to top our group, win our first knockout game and then get to the quarter-finals.
“I think we’ve only got through once before as a school at this age group so it’s great to be able to repeat that.
“This was our last Sevens tournament of the year, so to finish the season like this is really good.
“Hopefully we can learn a lot from the experience to stand us in good stead for next year.”
More than 600 schools teams from across the UK and abroad competed at the world’s largest schools Sevens tournament, with Chislehurst & Sidcup also entering into the open competition.
But after failing to match the achievements of Day and his team with just two wins from their four games, 16-year-old George Heart conceded defensive lapses had cost them.
“I think there was a lot of problem with our defence and time and time again we saw our players get turned with good feet and we just exposed ourselves,” Heart said.
“Our attack on the other hand was strong but unfortunately not strong enough to compensate for our defensive mistakes and that cost us.
“But it was still an enjoyable tournament and great to go up against other teams.”
HSBC is proud to sponsor the world's largest schools rugby tournament.
All HSBC’s rugby sponsorships aim to help develop and grow the sport and ensure even more youngsters get involved with rugby.
For more information, visit rpns7.co.uk