The Cranleigh School 1st XV squad competed for the first time in the prestigious St Joseph’s College festival in Ipswich on the 17th and 18th October 2016. Sixteen schools and colleges competed from across Great Britain over two days of thirty minute, fifteen aside matches. This was the first time the School had been invited to arguably the toughest schoolboy tournament in the country.

On the first day the side was drawn in what was labelled the ‘group of death’, with ourselves, RGS High Wycombe, John Fisher and Q.E.G.S Wakefield all fighting to make it through to the secondst j day of the cup. The squad performed extremely well, winning their first match against RGS High Wycombe 20 – 5 with tries from George MacDonald and Cameron Montgomerie. Two hours later the side played John Fisher, beating them 17-0 after a superb first half performance with Robin Masters and Alex Gook crashing over for the tries. The final match was an extremely physical affair against Q.E.G.S Wakefield. The side went into the break 5-0 up after a power try from Jamie Sherlock. The second half saw one of the tries of the tournament through Sam Guinness, who finished off from 40 yards out after a well-executed backs move from well inside the Cranleigh half.

The team had played three matches and won all of them, becoming one of only three schools to remain unbeaten on the first day. The second day started with a hugelyteam st jo tight affair with Brighton College, the School eventually winning ten points to six, with the final five minutes holding out in defence. Injuries were starting to take their toll, but the side put in one of their best performances, seeing off Merchiston Castle (Scotland) 27-0 to make it five wins from five games.

The squad then moved on to the final group match with a sudden death game against Hampton, with the winner going onto the final. It was physical affair with both teams throwing everything at each other. The squad couldn’t quite make it six wins from six and fell at the final hurdle.

After two days, six matches, five wins and lots of pride gained, the side returned back to School capping off a wonderful first half of the term in terms of rugby results with eleven out of the thirteen matches won.

Andrew Houston
Director of Rugby