Inspired by England’s exploits in Japan at the Rugby World Cup, primary school pupils took part in a tag rugby competition in Hurlingham Park last week.
Twenty teams from Hammersmith & Fulham primary schools took part in the event, staged on a sunny autumnal morning.
By the quarter-final stage, the competitors had been whittled down to All Saints A, St Stephen’s A, St Stephen’s B, St John’s A, St John’s B, St Peter’s A, Miles Coverdale and Ark Swift.
In the semis, St John’s A beat All Saints A 2-1, while St Stephen’s A defeated Miles Coverdale 3-1.
The stage was set for the grand final, with St Stephen’s emerging triumphant, beating St John’s 2-0, and being crowned the 2019 champions.
In the third-place play-off game, All Saints shaded it 1-0 against Miles Coverdale.
Skills are improving
Calum Fairley, Hammersmith & Fulham’s school games organiser, was impressed by the quality of play. “The pupils enjoyed participating, the competition was good and the level of rugby skills was noticeably higher,” he said.
“It’s probably because many schools have now placed rugby league in their PE and games curriculum, but it’s clear that pupils’ ball skills, teamwork and strategy have developed over the years.”
He added that the six school games values - passion, self-belief, respect, honesty, determination and teamwork - had all been on display in Hurlingham Park… among players, staff and spectators.
“These values recognise how the experience of sport should be incorporated within primary schools and sports events to reflect the spirit of school games,” he added.
Members of Hammersmith & Fulham’s sports development team helped organise the tournament, while the coaching body Shooting Starz provided the referees.
The St Stephen’s A team will now represent Hammersmith & Fulham at the London Youth Games finals on 26 March 2020 at Redbridge Sports Centre.
Want to play rugby?
Hammersmith & Fulham RFC play at Hurlingham Park in Fulham. The Hammers have five senior sides, a women’s XV, mini and youth rugby.
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