Oakham’s U18 rugby sevens team played some magnificent rugby to finish Runners-Up of the Vase Competition at the Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens Tournament; the first Oakham School side to achieve this feat since the competition began in 1939.
Fifty of Oakham’s rugby players at U13, U14, U16 and U18 level travelled down to London to compete in the prestigious rugby sevens tournament, the largest of its kind in the world.
From the 196 teams that began the Vase Competition on the Tuesday morning, Oakham’s senior sevens team made it through to the Final with an impressive display of speed, teamwork and determination. After finishing top of their group on day 1, Oakham continued their fine form with decisive wins against Cardinal Newman (36-7), who had convincingly won their group and group knockout match, and Uppingham (29-0) in the day 2 pool group stages. The team then beat Queen Ethelburga’s (41-12) in the Quarter-Finals, followed by a tight 12-7 Semi-Final victory against Trinity School, the national XV-a-side champions. This set Oakham up for a Final against Stowe School, who proved too strong for our team in the end, as injuries took their toll.
Director of Rugby, Andy Rice, said: “I am so proud of the U18 team’s achievements; there is much that they can take away from the competition. The way they conducted themselves was exemplary.”
“The School reached a Semi-Final in 1973 and in the previous three visits to London in 2017, 2018 and 2019 were beaten in the Semi-Finals. Winning the Rosslyn Park National Sevens title is arguably the hardest challenge. With nearly 200 schools and an immense amount of talent on display, to reach the Final is a remarkable achievement.”
“Congratulations to Stowe who were deserved winners of the title and my thanks to everyone at Rosslyn Park Rugby Football Club for such a well-organised event.”
In the U14 competition Oakham also won their group to progress to the second day with 4 wins, including a remarkable victory over Blundell’s School (28-19) that saw the team stage an impressive comeback to win the game after trailing 19-0 at half-time. This same fighting spirit was in evidence in their day 2 pool stage match against King’s Worcester, but unfortunately the game didn’t go their way and they were narrowly defeated (12-5).
Andy Rice added: “The U14 team should take many positives from their performances at the tournament. They showed great resilience and fighting spirit, particularly in their match against Blundell’s and I look forward to seeing how they develop in future years.”
“The U13 and U16 teams will also have benefited hugely from their experience at Rosslyn Park – the future of rugby at Oakham School is bright indeed.”
The U18s’ Path to the Final
46-5 v King Edwards’ School, Birmingham
12-5 v Colston’s School
31-19 v Plymouth College
36-12 v The King’s School, Worcester
29-0 v Uppingham School
41-12 v Queen Ethelburga’s College
12-7 v Trinity School, Croydon
10-33 v Stowe School
Oakham recently hosted a highly successful rugby sevens tournament in which 20 of the best rugby playing schools from all over the UK took part. Find out more about Rugby at Oakham School.