RGS rugby players crowned Yorkshire champions

They did it! Our U18 rugby players have brought the Yorkshire Cup back home to RGS following an exciting derby match. Match photos by MAGNUS BORDEWICH

RIPON Grammar School's U18 rugby players were crowned Yorkshire champions after a thrilling derby match against Harrogate Grammar School which saw them bring the prestigious cup home again.

Following a final score of 17-14 in the nail-biting match against tough opponents, PE teacher and RGS coach Jonny Harding said he was extremely proud of his team.

“It was a very tight game but the boys were excellent, defended brilliantly, and had most of the ball for most of the game.

“They have been excellent all season, really bought into the team and invested in each other.

“I am very pleased and proud that they played the best they have done all season in the final when it mattered.”

Captain William Jarvis explained how the match, at West Park Rugby Club, Leeds, was a tough battle right until the end: "It was both a physical and mental fight for the full 70 minutes, and the scoreline reflected this, but everyone played their hearts out and gave it their everything."

Now in his last year at RGS, the 18-year-old added: "I couldn't be more pleased bringing home the cup. I have played rugby at RGS for seven years, and come very close to success many times. But to win the Yorkshire Cup in my final game in the blue shirt alongside my mates is the perfect end to my rugby career at RGS.

"It was great to see so many students from RGS supporting us at West Park, as well as parents and family and friends from outside school too. The atmosphere was tremendous."

He explained how Harrogate Grammar School, which defeated RGS at its home ground earlier in the season, was a particularly tough opposition: "They have some excellent players and coaching staff too, and there is a lot of team rivalry. Many of us have grown friendships over the years through playing against them in and outside school.

"Following our defeat earlier in the year, knowing how far we have grown as a small team to win the Yorkshire Cup is amazing. I am proud of all our players throughout this season."

He added: "We are all hugely appreciative of the support from Mr Harding, our PE teacher and coach, who has believed in us as a team throughout, and director of sport Mr Milner too for coordinating friendly fixtures in the run-up to the final."

Mr Harding named Year 13 student Sammy Kenny man of the match, although Oscar Wolloms, in Year 12, was brilliant too, he said.

"We are all really pleased for the team, and wish departing Year 13 students the very best for the future. We hope they continue to play university or club rugby as they move onto their next step."