The Warden Park Academy Year 8 team are into the last 32 teams in the country and the last 8 in their region competing for the School Sports Magazine U13 National Cup.
After beating Hurst in the first round 29-7, they were then drawn at home against Portsmouth Grammar School. This was always going to be a tough match with Portsmouth Grammar who were last year voted the 21st best Independent Sports School in the country.
The game started off with PGS coming out of the blocks fast. Their slick passing was only thwarted by superb defence notable by both Georges’ in the centres and year 7 Clement on the wing. PGS thought they had scored when their large centre was one on one with Warden Parks sleight full back Nathan, however a fantastic tackle by Nathan stopped a certain try. The seemed evenly contested until the first scrum. Warden Parks forwards, led by captain Robert pushed the PGS forwards off the ball with ease. This was a recurring theme throughout the game with Warden Park winning all of their scrums and vast number of PGS scrums.
The first score was through second row Ellis who battered his way over after a 5m penalty. The conversion by George was missed so the score at half time was 5-0 to Warden Park.
The second half was almost all one way traffic. Only excellent defence by PGS stopped Warden Park scoring more often. However as the game progressed the huge PGS forwards began to tire and gaps began to appear. First of all Number 8 Robert scored, followed by prop Daniel, flanker Matthew and outside centre George. The game finished 25-0 to Warden Park. The forwards, specifically in the scrum, were simply fantastic with the player of the match award going to second row Ellis for his powerful surges into the heart of the PGS tacklers.
The squad, who now train twice a week with at least 25 players at each session, will be battling for a starting place which with cause selection headaches for proud coach Mr Chappell. “Having 25 pupils at training at least twice a week enables us to have live matches during training. This has been instrumental in working on set pieces in both the A and B teams this season.”
Warden Park face a very tough away fixture against Hampton School, Middlesex in the next round which takes place on the 16th November.
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