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Day 1 of the World Schools Festival sees Grey College shock their English counterparts

By Will Stace
Hamilton Boys' high impressed in their opening game

The anticipation is finally over and on Tuesday 13th December the world sat down to watch some of the best age-grade sides battle in the World Schools Festival at the Pattana Sports Resort in Thailand.

Four winners will progress to the Cup semi-final, and the others will go into the Shield Competition semi finals. These games will take place on Thursday 15th December and will be live on RugbyPass.

The Odyssey XV (Fiji) vs Hamilton Boys’ High School (New Zealand)

No better way to start the World Schools Festival than to see the Hamilton side give an adaptation to the Haka! The Odyssey XV side, while limited time together as an invitational team, showed great spirit, and they came together wearing shorts and socks of their home school or club side.

Full Time: Odyssey 0-56 Hamilton Boys’

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The game saw the Hamilton Boys’ show what they can do, breaking lines, fast hands, organised, and displayed their Kiwi physical ability. Able to put a huge 56 points on a talented opposition and keep them at bay is something that will instil huge confidence in the boys in Black and Maroon as they go deeper into the competition. Fear not for the Odyssey side, while the game didn’t go their way, they exhibited positive signs for the next round, a side that can play with confidence even when the game is beyond them tells us all you need to know about the mentality of the group. Simon Lewis and his team will still be a side that could cause a shock result in the Shield Semi Final.

St Michael’s College (Ireland) vs Cardiff and Vale College (Wales)

Ireland vs Wales at the World Schools Festival in Thailand, it certainly lived up to expectation. A tight affair which saw both sides have the chance to win it and progress further in the Cup competition. Both teams were tested in unfamiliar conditions with the sweltering Thai weather.

Full Time: St Michael’s 11-12 Cardiff & Vale

 

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The final few moments saw St Michael’s lead 11-7 – with five minutes left on the clock, the Welsh pack gave it their all and drove almost 20 metres over the Irish sides line of a lineout, moments later the ball was kicked into touch and Cardiff & Vale celebrated. St Michael’s will watch Cardiff & Vale in the Cup competition knowing they were one moment away from being there, and they will be one of the favourites for the shield competition which starts on Thursday. Both sides had room for improvement and will certainly have the experience of playing on Thai soil and make some incredible affairs in the next round of the competition.

Sedbergh School (England) vs Millfield School (England)

Not only a World Schools Festival Quarter Final but more was on the line as the game was a decider in The Schools Championship. Both sides have been just a few points away from being unbeaten this season, and both wanted to finish their domestic calendar season with a win, and it would be even sweeter if completed at the Pattana Sports Resort in Thailand.

Full Time: Sedbergh 10-15 Millfield

Millfield broke through early on as Stefan Emmanuel intercepted a lofted Sedbergh pass and ran 70 metres to give Millfield the opening score. A few minutes later the men in brown returned with some strong work off the lineout going over to make it level at 5-5. Millfield gained the lead on the stroke of Half Time with a penalty. It was Sedbergh’s right lock that showed some incredible strength to evade multiple Millfield tackles as he covered ground towards the line and placed it down to make it 10-8. With 10 minutes to go, Millfield produced one of the tries of the day, a nudge through that was collected by the same man opened a gap in the Sedbergh defence, a few quick offloads saw Matt Hall win the game for the boys from Somerset. Both sides proved the talent and entertainment that English schoolboy rugby has to offer, and produced another close knit game in the World Schools Festival.

Grey College (South Africa) vs Trinity Schools (England)

Thousands tuned in Live to watch Grey College take on Trinity in the final Quarter Final in the World Schools Festival. The favourites of the tournament vs

one of the best in England and the game did not disappoint. Drama on the field and of it as social media had heated debates across all platforms.

Full Time: Grey 22-7 Trinity

It only took 100 seconds before the hotly anticipated South African schoolboy side got their first spoils of the game, with excellent quick work flowing through the phases. Despite the early blow, Trinity did not let their heads go down, as they fought back minutes later with a try of their own to make it 7-7. In spite of Trinity’s efforts, it became the Grey College show, as they dominated possession and were able to keep the ball for large parts of the game. A mature performance from the Grey side made the second half low scoring as the job was done in the first. Trinity gave it their all, and had moments where they looked like they could have got more from their opportunities, but facing Grey College is a hard feat in itself, and the predictions proved correct in the final game of the day at the World Schools Festival.

Will Stace’s Team of the Day : Grey College (South Africa)

It comes as no surprise to see Grey be the side of the day, facing arguably England’s best side at the moment, in a tough first game at the World Schools Festival. The favourites will go to the Semi Final with huge confidence, knowing how well they performed on Day One.

 

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