We arrived at Sandy Park home of Exeter Chiefs at 9:45 with the skies gradually clearing. Broadclyst were one of twenty schools lucky enough to be competing in the Rugby World Cup Schools Tag Festival. An event put on by the Exeter Chiefs to celebrate the start of the Rugby World Cup tonight. Each school were given a country to represent – Broadclyst were Australia! and we had a tough first pool to play through.
Our first match was against Fiji, better known as Duchy School. Broadclyst played extremely well gaining two points in the opening minutes, after that it was neck and neck before Duchy finished two points ahead in a fiercely competitive match. Unbowed we went on to play Uruguay (Ide School) who were incredibly strong in defence although they eventually crumbled to Broadclyst's relentless attacking play and we finished a point ahead at 6 vs 5.
Changing our strategy for play as we progressed through the day paid dividends and we went on to beat England (Cockwood) 9 to 6 and in a tough match drew with Wales (Ottery) at 4 points all. This was enough to get Broadclyst through to the Quarter Finals and the privilege of playing on the Chief's pitch.
In the Quarter Finals we were up against Japan (Newton St Cyres) who had been unbeaten in the first round. Two points down at half time, Broadclyst rose to the challenge and played like Tigers, our defence strengthened and we began passing well down the line onto the wings finishing 6-5 and getting through to the semi-finals. A tough match against Italy followed with each side gaining 1 point in turn before Broadclyst kept the lead by defending hard in the final minutes to finish 7-6. Amazing! We were through to the final and having to play Fiji (Duchy) again for the World Cup!
Stepping onto the pitch for the final time was a Broadclyst team full of confidence and determined to win. What followed was an incredibly closely matched and fast paced game, Broadclyst dug even deeper, defended hard, attacked harder and with a try in the final seconds won the Tournament!
The winners trophy and medals were presented to the Broadclyst Tag Rugby Team by the Mayoress of Exeter and the Chairman of Exeter Chiefs. The team were Sam Walters (Capt), Dom Boots-Hutchings, Harry Turner, Breanna Leach, Jess Courtney, Josef Welch, Charlotte Star, Finlay Thomas and Jack Bishop.