St John's School, Leatherhead Boys-U18A vs Reeds 7s
On: Sunday, 26 Feb 2017
The 1st VII came away with their second piece of silverware in two tournaments, winning the Plate Final at the Reed's tournament, however there will still be frustrations that they were not competing for the main trophy.
The first two pool games were won convincingly (49-17 v Wisbech and 58-0 v Kent College) although the St John's team were still not quite hitting their straps and seemed heavy in their legs. The final pool game, against Seaford College, was a winner takes all affair. St John's started in tentative fashion and the confidence evident in previous games seemed to be lacking, allowing Seaford to take an early lead. St John's did strike back through Archie Dunnill but early in the second half Seaford scored two good tries to lead 5-21. St John's then started to find their attacking 'mojo' and tries from Jordan Bond and Jack Potter gave the team hope but Seaford survived to win 21-19. Seaford were worthy winners (and went on to win the whole tournament) but St John's were left to rue their own early match performance and how to counter a team with more energy and fresher legs.
A Plate Final against Eastbourne allowed the St John's team to turn the tables and beat the side who had put them out of the Shiplake tournament. St John's built a healthy 24-7 lead thanks to a brace of tries by Toby McRae and Jack Potter. However as the fuel in the tanks started to dry up Eastbourne fought their way back into the game before Cameron Hyne sealed the victory (29-19) with a last play try.
On reflection there were again many positives for the side - they scored 155 points in four games and only conceded 57. Some of the tries they scored were outstanding and, for the most part, the defensive structure held firm. The key now is the consistency of performance and playing the St John's style in every game. The boys look forward to a significantly harder task at the high powered Reigate 7's next Sunday. However, if they play to their potential they have the firepower to cause some serious upsets.