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Rugby World Cup inspires Good Shepherds to tag tournie win

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A glorious autumnal afternoon in Hurlingham Park ensured that Hammersmith & Fulham’s annual tag rugby tournament was a roaring success in World Cup year.

Inspired by the performances of New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham the young wannabe stars from the borough’s primary schools played a string of games in blustery wind, with two officials from the London Welsh team acting as referees.

The pick of the results in the early stages were a 6-0 win for Good Shepherd over St Stephen’s, a 6-2 win by Wendell Park over Sir John Lillie, and a 7-4 win by St John’s over Queen’s Manor, which handed St John’s – unsurprisingly – the best points tally in leagues 1 and 2.

“The children had a great experience, and everyone was totally involved,” said a delighted Calum Fairley, the borough’s primary school sports organiser. “Well done and thank you to everyone who played, took part, supported, coached, managed and helped.”

After Good Shepherd eased past John Betts, and Wendell Park secured victory over St John’s, in the semi-finals, the final itself resulted in a close-fought thriller with Good Shepherd triumphing 5-4 over Wendell Park.

It represents a remarkable achievement for Good Shepherd, which has now won the trophy for six years in succession.

The event, on November 10, brought together 14 primary schools in Hammersmith & Fulham in what organiser Calum called ‘an exciting and enjoyable day of tag rugby’.

Tag rugby differs from its older brother rugby union in that the pitch is roughly half the size, and contact and tackling isn’t allowed. The object is still to score tries, with the ball being passed backwards – as in the adult game – and players being taken out of the action by having their tag ribbons removed.