The U9 Tag Rugby team travelled to Manchester Rugby Club today to participate in the ISA North Tag Rugby Tournament. Having won the trophy for the last two years, the pressure was on the youngsters to try and emulate previous Bridgewater teams. Following the postponement of the original event due to bad weather in October, only four teams were available to contest the tournament. However, each of the other three schools had entered believing that they could win the title. With each team playing each other twice, mistakes had to be minimised and one defeat would see teams out of the running for the trophy.
Bridgewater went up against Greenbank Prep in their first game and needed to get the ball early and make a fast start. Fortunately, Tommy Jack had read the script and he tore into the opponent’s defensive line at will. Bridgewater ran out 4-3 winners courtesy of four tries from Tommy. In the second game, the rest of the team woke up and Tom, Alex, Kian (2), added to another Tommy try for a 5-3 win over Cransley Prep. In the final game of the morning, Bridgewater struggled in the first half against the powerful runners of Queen Ethelburga’s. Trailing by 3-1 at half time, Bridgewater dominated the second half, but the tries from Kian and Anton were not enough to rescue the game.
After lunch, Bridgewater knew they had to win the return fixtures against Cransley and Greenbank, as well as find a way past Queen Ethelburga’s of York. Frankie, Anton and Kian scored a try each following some flowing rugby from the team, to give Bridgewater a 3-1 win over Greenbank Prep. The improved play continued in the second game with Bridgewater cruising to a 5-3 win over Cransley Prep. Alex (2), Tommy and Kian (2) scored in the win to set up a final decider against Queen Ethelburga.
The final game played out almost identically to the first game, with the team from York taking an early lead once more. Frankie jinked his way through for a lovely equalising try, only for the opposition scoring at the other end again. Alex levelled the scores at half time and both teams went all out for victory in the second half. Queen Ethelburga took a controversial lead late on and despite another try from Alex, the game finished at 3-3. A valiant effort all round by the Bridgewater youngsters had left the team just short of retaining the title for a third year. However, runners up in any ISA event is a terrific achievement and the boys can now turn their attention to the ISA football competition next Tuesday at Forest Park, Sale.