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Day 2 of the World Schools Festival: Favourites avoid huge upset

By Will Stace
Grey College had to score a last minute try to beat the incredibly impressive Welsh side

Day two of the World Schools Festival provided more of the drama and high-quality age-grade rugby we saw on Day One.

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Rugby Travel Academy (South Africa) vs Sedbergh (England)
The first of the Shield semi-finals in the World Schools Festival was a close-fought game. Rugby Travel Academy, also an invitational team, faced an experienced side in the form of Sedbergh from northern England. Both teams wanted to prove their worth on the world stage.

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Grey College vs Hamilton Boys’ | World Schools Festival Final
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Grey College vs Hamilton Boys’ | World Schools Festival Final

Full Time: RTA 10 – 26 Sedbergh

Sedbergh came out firing, after coming close to beating Millfield on Day One, they wanted to come back into the competition, and solidify a place in the Shield Final. The feat was not made easy as the Rugby Travel Academy side took it to one of the best in England, making the game close-fought in parts.
But Sedbergh’s experience and sheer teamwork got them over the line and into Saturday’s Shield final which they will go into with confidence. Rugby Travel Academy showed moments of class, especially against quality opposition, so when they went into their respective final, they could make waves.

Trinity School (England) vs St Michael’s (Ireland)
Both sides just fell short on Day One, facing some of the world’s best as opponents. A place in the Shield final would’ve meant a lot to both of these teams as both have the quality to lift some silverware. With a few more days in the Thai sun, naturally, we saw two sides feel more comfortable in the 60 minutes and have adapted to the scene.

Full Time: Trinity 19-20 St Michael’s

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Heartbreak for Trinity in the World Schools Festival. One of the closest games of the tournament, no one knew where this one would end up. St Michael’s opened the scoring early on which shocked the side from Croydon. Trinity Returned through some Conor Byrne magic a few minutes before the halftime whistle, but moments later, St Michael’s sent one through the uprights and gave themselves a 3 point lead at the Half Time break.

Trinity star Josh Bellamy gave Trinity a second try in the second half with more incredible individual work to make it 19-8 with 15 minutes left on the clock. Handbags came out in the dying moments as St Michael’s won it, showing just how much it means to the young players. After the referee sorted the situation out, it was St Michael’s 13 who slotted it through the posts to make it 19-20 to the boys from Ireland.

Grey College (South Africa) vs Cardiff & Vale (Wales)
The first of the cup semi-finals, and the action did not disappoint. Social media was riled up once more as the team from Bloemfontein took to the World Schools Festival stage. Cardiff & Vale, a relatively unknown on the world stage, had the opportunity to cause a huge shock and knock off the favourites for the trophy.

Full Time: Grey 14-11 Cardiff & Vale

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A cagey start, as both sides tried to work each other out, would lead to a brilliant game. CAVC broke the deadlock with a penalty being converted at the 10-minute mark. After a miscommunication on the Cardiff and Vale tryline, they handed the ball to Grey who got the opening try of the game in the 28th minute, with the Welsh teams’ hard work undone by a momentary lapse.

In the second half, we saw more of the same as both teams struggled to find a way through. But Cardiff and Vale took an opportunity, finding space out wide before spreading it quickly which lead them to a try that gave them the lead (8-7).

Late winners seem to be the theme of this World Schools Festival, as Grey made it 12-11 deep into the final play with a converted try that won them the game on a 14-11 scoreline. Cardiff and Vale shocked the world with their performance at the WSF, and will go into their final game on Saturday knowing they were seconds away from beating one of the world’s best.

Hamilton Boys’ High School (New Zealand) vs Millfield School (England)
Naturally, the team from Somerset entered the second day of the WSF more worse for wear than the Hamilton team as their respective quarter-final asked more of the Millfield side, with Hamilton able to prepare for the next round with a 56-0 win against Odyssey XV. Millfield, with tired bodies, still gave it their all, and gave a great England vs New Zealand affair.

Full Time: Hamilton Boys’ 14-0 Millfield

It was the tale of a ruthless Hamilton in the Semi Final of the World Schools Festival, as they saw off a strong Millfield side with two converted tries. Millfield had moments of class and were on the doorstep on multiple occasions, but they couldn’t find a way through an organised Hamilton team. Hamilton had moments of class in attack, one, in particular, seeing the scrum half dummying his way through before giving a cheeky celebration to the Millfield bench as he solidified their place in the cup final.

It all comes down to Saturday where four finals will be played. All the drama can be followed live on the RugbyPass youtube channel.

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