A year ago Bridgewater travelled to Manchester Rugby Club to tackle teams from across the North in the ISA Tag Rugby Tournament. The outcome was an amazing first ever title win for the school and the renaissance of the sport on the PE curriculum. This year the new U9s returned the trophy for the tournament and had the ambition rather than the expectation of bringing the trophy back to Bridgewater. However, as the day began to unfold, it became apparent that this team had the defensive qualities and the attacking flair to dare to believe they could do the unthinkable and retain the trophy.
In the opening game, Alfie was to show how good a runner and tag rugby player he is. Allied with tremendous balance and agility, Alfie tore through the hapless Queen Ethelburga defence at will. Alfie ran in a hat trick of tries to give Bridgewater a great start to the competition. Next up was one of the main contenders for the title, St David’s. Luca B opened the scoring, with Josh and Alfie (2) adding tries to give the team an impressive 4-1 win. The defending as a unit was tremendous with the line speed into the tackle from all players was to be a feature of the games.
Game three produced the performance of the day against favourites Lady Barn House. Molly and Luca C got their names on the score sheet with two excellent solo runs. Lady Barn responded with a try of their own and really tested the Bridgewater defence for long periods of the game. Fortunately, nobody had yet found a way to stop the mazy running of Alfie, who added another hat trick to ensure a brilliant 5-1 win for the team was secured.
Following a rain and hail break that had everyone running for cover, the tournament resumed with Bridgewater top of the table. Cransley Prep were no match for the rampant running of Alfie (2), Molly, Luca B, Luca C and Toby who all scored. Cransley managed to breach the Bridgewater defence just the once, with Dexter, Joel, Sebastian and Joel all pulling over try saving tags. The final score of 6-1 was a fair reflection of the team’s dominance and with lunch looming nobody really wanted to stop playing.
In the afternoon session, Bridgewater needed a win and a draw to take the title back to Worsley. Clarendon Cottage started with determination and ran relentlessly at the Bridgewater back line. Once again, the defending was outstanding and gave the team the platform to launch their own attacks. The magnificent Molly scores a brilliant solo try, throwing a dummy perfectly before crossing in the corner. However, despite the valiant attempts to stop Alfie was once he had the ball, the opposition could only stand and watch as he scored an amazing four tries.
With one game to go, Greenbank Prep stood between Bridgewater and an historic victory. After a nervous start in which Greenbank took the lead, the team settled and started to run through the opposition defence at will. Molly scored once more, whilst Alfie added another four for a 5-1 win and the title! Six games played and won, scoring an incredible 28 times and only conceding five tries, Bridgewater were clearly deserving champions. Alfie lifted the trophy and earned the recognition of Player of the Tournament. All that remained was the obligatory,” Championes” chant on the bus and a rather unique rendition of, “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, rugby’s coming home!”
Well done team, it is one thing to win a title, it is something special to come back and retain it. Can we make it a hat trick of titles in 2019/20?