With the revival of OS Rugby coinciding almost exactly with the outbreak of Covid, it took until the summer of 2021 to see any action on the field. It was certainly worth the wait.
The inaugural season saw the ‘Old Salopians’ feature in Sevens tournaments based in Worthing, North Dorset and Leeds. With over 50 members in the club, we were able to field teams featuring Old Boys spanning from 2007-2020.
We found the world of ‘Social Sevens’ to be an eye-opening but extremely enjoyable experience. The tournaments are arranged to take up the weekend- camping on the Friday night, playing on the Saturday with a social that evening before returning home on the Sunday. The mix of experience in the club allowed us to thrive in all aspects of the tournaments in true Salopian style.
The highlight of the season came at Leeds where we fought through the August downpour to finish top of our group after beating the Jigsaws, Thunder and Elbey Exceptionals off the back of some fantastic individual performances from Luka Cassidy (R 14-19), Harry Remnant (Ch 14-19) and Roan Kirkby (Rb 10-15). A tough loss against the Chengzhou Pirates in the semi-finals left us 14 minutes away from immortality in the Social Plate Final with only the Jesmond Seagulls in our way.
The final saw us play our best rugby of the tournament and possibly the season. With the sun shining for the first time that day, we delivered an assured and controlled display, playing some beautiful Sevens. Ollie Dixon (O 12-17), former 1st XV captain and a front-rower by trade epitomised our performance with a fantastic break before chipping the sweeper only to be tripped with the line at his mercy, winning us a penalty try. We finished the game 21-0, just as the 3rd Lions Test against South Africa started in the bar pitch side. At least one team won some silverware that day.
Thanks must be given to all the players whose energy and enthusiasm allowed the season to be a success. With the first season of OS Rugby in the books, we have established ourselves on the Sevens Circuit and look forward to building upon the relationships we have built with other teams and tournaments next season. We look forward to playing in more tournaments next year and winning some more silverware.
If you are interested in joining OSRFC then please look on the school website (Old Salopians) for details, find us on OS Connect or join us on Facebook (Search OS Rugby).
Tom Plaut (S 14-19)