Hitchin Boys’ School claims U15 schools vase at Twickenham

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Published:
01:39 PM March 16, 2022



The smile dancing across Reece Cairns’ face was all you needed to show what winning at Twickenham meant to Hitchin Boys’ School.

They beat Torquay Grammar 11-0 in the U15 Vase final, part of the Schools Cup rugby tournament, thanks to six points from Elliot Ooughton’s boot and a try from Leo Rainbow, scored five minutes from time. end.

And the skipper couldn’t contain his excitement as he cradled the trophy afterwards.

“That was awesome, amazing,” he purred delightedly. “It’s nice to see something after all that hard work.

“All the guys, the coaches, it’s been day after day, practice after practice and it’s been tough.

“Everyone has given up their free time, hopefully I can have lunch for myself now.

“It’s great, I’m just shocked.

“And that’s just the end result. The trip as a whole has been a massive thing.”


Boys‘ School (right) speaks at half-time against Torquay Grammar.” class=”” loading=”lazy” title=””/>

Hitchin Boys’ School (right) speaks at half-time against Torquay Grammar.
– Credit: NEIL METCALFE

It was a well deserved victory for the team, dominating the first half, before capping off the success in the second half.

But with great modesty, Cairns felt they could have done even better.

He said: “It was a bit rough around the edges, a bit ugly but we managed to get there.

“We say you improve five percent each step of the journey and if we were to [play next week]we would be better off.

“Some elements were great, but we weren’t getting out of scrums quickly, we weren’t getting a clean ball on rucks, which meant our depth wasn’t as crisp and fast as we wanted, but that’s okay.

“We will win the victory.”


The Hitchin <a class=Boys school team is shown on the big screen before kick-off.” class=”” loading=”lazy” title=””/>

The Hitchin Boys school team is shown on the big screen before kick-off.
– Credit: NEIL METCALFE

And what makes the win even sweeter is that it was the captain’s first visit to HQ in any capacity.

He said: “I can’t believe it because I started rugby only two or three seasons ago so from there watching people [on TV] coming here is like a dream, it really is.

“I’ve never been here to watch, it’s my first time at Twickenham and I have to play on the pitch.

“It’s just, wow.

“Coming out of the tunnel and hearing the crowd was great. I just thought ‘yeah, let’s go’.

“The support was great. They were the 16th man.

“It’s been a huge effort from everyone, including Hitchin Rugby Club. It’s a mix of everything.”

While joy and excitement were the main emotions for the great number 8, there was a hint of relief in the behavior of HBS head of rugby Chris Bajak.

He said: “It was scrappy but we played in the right areas and I was so happy with their performance.

“Their commitment, determination, hard work and effort got them over the line.

“It wasn’t pretty at times, but in the final it doesn’t have to be. You just have to cross the line and the boys did it.

“I can’t thank them enough.

“I’m happy for them, their parents, the school and everyone involved.

“It’s just amazing.”

Like his skipper, and in typical trainer fashion, he too felt the performance was rough around the edges.

But he also knows the sacrifice players have made, both mentally and physically, to get to this moment.

He said: “They made some really good decisions at crucial moments in games and for boys of that age I couldn’t be more impressed.

“Half-backs, Harry [Visick] and Elliot [Oughton] had real composure.

“We carried well and adjusted to the breakdown. Our free kick last week was a bit wobbly and today it was solid.

“I am really happy.

“We talk about things like a trip to school and not a destination.

“It was never going to be the end, but emotionally they wanted to come up those stairs second.

“That’s the feeling they had and we talked a lot about emotion.

“They have to.”

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