On Thursday March 21st 2019, 42 teams from across London converged on Hackney Marshes for a series of hotly-contested female rugby matches.
After weeks of unpredictable weather, the clouds broke and the sun shone through, providing perfect conditions for play.
Schools teams were out in full force, exhibiting positive values in line with the spirit of LYG, leading to 32 nominations for Respect The Games awards being cast.
The U13F winners were Hammersmith Academy (Hammersmith & Fulham) who competed in the rugby competition the first time and showed great effort, as well as being incredibly helpful by packing up the pitches at the end of the competition. Their helpfulness led to a nomination from the Rugby Football Union team.
Forest Gate Community School (Newham) were the U15F Respect The Games Award winners for showing of excellent sportsmanship from both players and coaches. Bishop Justus (Bromley) won the U18F Respect The Games Award for their determination and respect throughout the games.
We were fortunate enough to be joined by Poppy Cleall – a rising England Rugby player who played a role in helping the team to Grand Slam victory in 2017 and was later called up to join the Rugby World Cup Team. Off the pitch, she has been supporting her twin sister – Bryony Cleall, a PE teacher at Harris Academy Crystal Palace – with coaching Harris Academy Crystal Palace’s Rugby team.
Both Robert Clack (Barking & Dagenham) and Harris Academy Crystal Palace (Croydon) dominated the competitions, bagging medals in all three age groups: U13F, U15F and U18F.
Only two points separated each of the medal positions for the U13Fs with Robert Clack taking the title, Harris Academy Crystal Palace in second place and Christs Church (Richmond) in third.
U15F was settled by goal difference with each of the top three scoring schools finishing on 16 points. Again, Robert Clack were victorious, with Marshalls Park (Havering) taking second place and Harris Academy Crystal Palace in third.
Graveney School (Wandsworth) stormed ahead in the U18F competition scoring a whopping 149 goals across the competition. They were followed by Robert Clack in second place and Harris Academy Crystal Palace in third.
Overall it was a fantastic day with recognition given to how the standard of play had developed over the past year and how much potential was shown. The rugby finals also saw us welcome 142 primary school pupils to take part in Megafest – a fun-filled festival of events designed to celebrate the competitive element of rugby without focusing on competition outcomes.
Congratulations to all who qualified for the rugby finals and played valiantly throughout the day!
Thanks to all from the RFU for their help and support in organising the competitions.