Two Teams Top Surrey Rugby LeagueThis term, two Royal Alexandra and Albert School rugby teams have been victorious in the Surrey State Schools Cup Finals.
On Thursday 30th April, the Year 8 (U13) team were crowned Surrey State Schools Champions in their league, winning 26-22 against Thamesmead School. Only a day earlier, the Year 11 rugby team gave a confident performance against St Bede’s School and walked away with the Cup for the second year in a row.
For the Year 8 team, having come through four qualifying rounds, they faced an evenly matched final against Thamesmead School. The match did not start well for the Royal Alexandra and Albert School side with Thamesmead School taking a 12 point lead. Crucially, however, Royal Alexandra and Albert School player, Silver Franscois, scored a converted try before half time, making it 12-7 at the break.
The Gatton Park side finally got going in the second half and scored three tries, from team members Kyran Bostel, Luke Beattie and a second from Silver Francoise, two of which were converted with wonderful kicks by Kieran Green. Thamesmead though were not finished and stepped up the pressure and scored two further tries. With only a few minutes to go the Royal Alexandra and Albert School team held a 4 point lead.
The team held strong and Thamesmead School could not break through. When the referee signalled final play, the Royal Alexandra and Albert School team won the line out and put the ball into touch, causing jubilation from the players and supporters.
Year 8 Captain, Simon Gurung, said “We held it together after getting behind. We kept working as a team, did not panic and eventually started to score points. It has been a really good competition and we have come up against some really good sides.”
The team coach, Mr John Stafford, said of the final, “This squad narrowly lost in the ‘plate’ final last year, so to get through to the cup final and win it this year is a brilliant achievement. The whole squad have trained hard twice a week all season as well as playing a full fixture list. They thoroughly deserved their victory.”
The Year 11’s moment of victory took place a day earlier on Wednesday 29th April.
The team were confident ahead of their final, having won the Cup the year before as a team. However, they played a much improved St Bede’s side and it seemed that they would be walking away empty handed.
The first half was tough and the score remained too close to call. In the second half, the Royal Alexandra and Albert School team pulled together and played as a team, leading them to a strong 42-21 victory.
Year 11 coach, Mr Dai Stephens commented on the team’s win, saying, “The team’s resilience and fitness level played an important part in helping them see the game through. They put in an excellent performance and came back strong to win.”
Headmaster Mr Spencer Ellis was delighted with the wins, “I’m very pleased for our Year 8 and Year 11 rugby teams. Rugby is a game that requires hard work and commitment, which our pupils have demonstrated they have in abundance. Both teams faced difficult finals but they persevered and worked together to win. I would like to thank Mr Stafford and Mr Stephens for the dedication and support they have given their teams.”
11 May 2015