The term ‘Friday Night Lights’ is often associated with American high school and college football, but on this occasion it was Old Reigations that had the chance to shine under the dazzling Croydon lights.
Heavily hit with COVID, injuries other general illness, the original squad of 20 due to travel to Croydon were down to 13. The girls were split into two teams, the ‘wolves’ and the ‘bears’ each consisting of a mixture of year 9s and year 10.
In addition to ORs fielding two teams, also at the tournament were Streatham & Croydon RFC, Coloma School with two teams, Eden Park School, Harris Academy South Norwood. The teams were divided into two pools with the Bears pitched against Coloma 1 and Streatham & Croydon RFC. Despite only having 6 players, the team demonstrated excellent rugby skills, beating S&C 6 tries to nil in game one and 14 tries to 1 in their second pool game. Both games were physical but the ball handling, rucking and support play demonstrated by OR’s was too classy for the other teams to compete against. The team work was visible in the fact that all ‘Bears’ players scored tries. The two compressive wins put the Bears into the final.
In the other pool, up first for ORs was Coloma 2. In what was another physical, well contested game some hard running and hard tackling and great offloading play saw OR run out eventual 4 – 2 winners with tries from Pip (x2), Daisy and Catie. Up next was Harris Academy which were without doubt the most physical team on the night and put up a great display, holding ORs to a 2 all draw with both tries coming from Daisy. In their final game of the pool, despite going a couple of tries down early on, a great, spirited fight back with tries from Ava, Daisy and Belle (x 2) meant that ORs won yet another game. Unfortunately, despite not losing a game, due to try difference, Wolves came second in the group, meaning that it would be a Bears vs Harris Academy final.
The final would prove to be a physical, at times confrontational performance but the Bears fronted up, looked their oppos in the eyes and took the challenge to them. Supported by the formidable presence of Daisy from the Wolves to field a team of 7 the game was on. At times, Lilly and Ella were just too fast and elusive for their opponents, Mia’s ripping of the ball and counter rucking were superb, Jesse’s control at scrum half provided the platform to set all the attacks from and with Holly’s hard, straight running and Olivia’s side-stepping and defensive tackling display on the wing, it was just too much to handle for Harris Academy. ORs went 5 tries to 0 up and when an opposition player went down with an injury, the ref called the game early and ORs secured their first silverware of the season!
To summarise ORs performance on the night: Played 6, won 5, drew 1. Scored 35, conceded 7. Well played girls!