Hundreds of schoolchildren visited Stewarts & Lloyds Rugby Club, Corby, on Thursday, October 15, to take part in the Corby, Oundle and Thrapston Schools Festival of Rugby.
Run by the Northamptonshire Sport Corby, Oundle and Thrapston School Sports Partnership, 15 primary schools from the across north Northamptonshire adopted one of the competing nations at this year’s Rugby World Cup to take part in their own tag rugby festivals.
With separate Year 5/6 and Year 3/4 competitions taking place, there was plenty of opportunity for the children to taste World Cup glory for themselves.
Following the format of this year’s competition, the teams spent the morning completing the pool stage, officiated over by students from Corby Business Academy who had completed a Tag Rugby Leadership Course in the weeks leading up to the event.
With all schools being randomly allocated countries upon entering the competition, there were some surprising results at the end of the pool stage with South Africa (St Thomas More School) and Japan (St Brendan’s School) eventually reaching the final.
After the teams completed normal time and sudden death the teams still could not be split so a decision was made to share the trophy for this year.
The Year 5/6 Festival saw some of world rugby’s heavyweights compete in the quarter finals with nations performing their own Hakas, Cibis and Siva Taus to symbolise the nations they were representing.
After some tight quarter and semi-finals Samoa (Brigstock Latham) and Argentina (Oundle Primary) competed in the final with Samoa eventually taking the title.
Throughout the day Northampton Saints Community team supported the festival and provided teams with the opportunity to compete in a Rugby First Festival in the afternoon once they had been eliminated from the pool and knockout stage.
After the culmination of the Festival Finals, the winning teams were presented their trophies by Saints and England flanker Lewis Ludlam and there were additional prizes awarded to the following schools.
Year 3/4 Cultural Award – St Thomas More School (South Africa)
Year 3/4 Values Award – Oakley Vale School (England)
Year 5/6 Cultural Award – St Patricks School (Scotland)
Year 5/6 Values Award – Nassington School (France)