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Wellington College win National Under 21 Festival for record fifth time

28 August 2013

  • Seventeenth year of UK’s largest festival for adult 15-a-side rugby
  • Wellington see off Hampton in final at Richmond Athletic Ground
Jonathan Dance with Cronk Cunis festival winning captain Harrison George of the Wellington College team

Photo: RFU Archive

Wellington College defeated Hampton 13-10 in a closely contested final to win the Cronk-Cunis National Under 21 XVs Rugby Festival for a record fifth time at the Richmond Athletic Ground on Monday, August 26.

Wellington’s win was their first since 2003 and it moved them one ahead of the 2012 winners Tonbridge in the overall cup winners’ table.

The cup final brought the curtain down on an action-packed day of rugby at the Richmond Athletic Ground where 50 half-hour matches were played by 30 teams made up by Under 21 former pupils of some of the country’s leading rugby playing schools in the state and independent sectors.

More than 500 players took part in the festival’s five competitions – Cup, Plate, Bowl, Vase and Shield – and the standard of rugby was outstanding throughout. Teams came from as far afield as Rydal Penrhos (North Wales), Taunton (King’s College), Monmouth, Bristol, Framlingham and Norwich.

As well as competitive rugby, the festival, now in its 17th successful year, also provides a good opportunity for players to meet up with old school friends and maintain the social traditions that are so much a part of rugby.

To reach the final, Wellington began with wins against Christ’s Hospital and John Fisher before coming from behind to defeat Bedford 14-12 in the quarter-final and then overcoming Whitgift 14-0 in the semi-final.

Hampton came through a tough draw with close matches against Wallington CGS, St Benedict’s, Skinners’ and Monmouth, who they defeated 12-5 with a thrilling try in the last minute of their semi-final.

The Cup was presented to Wellington College captain Harrison George by RFU Senior Vice President Jonathan Dance, who paid tribute to the work that festival organiser Tim Cunis and his team of volunteer helpers put in to ensure the ongoing success of the festival.

In its 17 years, the Cronk-Cunis National Under 21 XVs Rugby Festival has featured teams from more than 100 different schools in England, Wales and Scotland.

It provides a vital link between school and adult rugby and helps players keep on playing rugby once their school days are over and during their student years. Planning is already underway for the 2014 event.

Finals at the festival were:

Cup
Wellington College 13 Hampton 10

Plate
Wallington County GS 17 Magdalen College School, Oxford l0

Bowl
St Benedict’s Ealing 19 John Fisher, Purley 0

Vase
St Paul’s 19 Worth, West Sussex 7

Shield
Peter Symond’s, Winchester 43 St George’s, Weybridge 7

 

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