After some hugely successful fixtures against other local schools in the borough, Sharnbrook Academy Year 8s wanted to take their challenge to the next level and faced the Bedford Junior Blues Under 13s.
Blues, a local club side with well over 600 young players from U6 to colts rugby, are renowned for playing a part in developing aspiring professional rugby players.
Last Thursday’s game at The Ath started at a fast pace.
Sharnbrook took an early lead with some slick hands shown from Daniel Herman and captain Alex Bickers, brilliantly finished off by Noah Sharp scoring in the corner, showing some excellent speed and agility to beat the defenders in his path.
The Junior Blues continued to play some excellent rugby and scored two tries through some powerful running and dominance at the breakdown, taking the lead into half time.
Sharnbrook had to defend well in the second half with some outstanding tackling from Oscar Walter and Troy Mortimer, managing to keep the Junior Blues attacks at bay.
Sharnbrook were successful at securing some turnovers at crucial times and almost equalised when Alexander Smythe and Elijah Lawson combined well to counterattack, stopped only by some excellent last-ditch tackling.
Blues started to exert some dominance at the breakdown and took the score to 3 tries to 1. The Sharnbrook boys continued to push hard with Isaac Whewell, Jacob O’Reilly and Benji Cooke making good inroads into the Blues defence.
Both the wingers George Daize and Jacob Judge showed some dazzling footwork, but Blues’ defence remained firm.
A final great try saw the Junior Blues win 4 tries to 1.
Man of the match on the Sharnbrook team was Elijah Lawson for his outstanding commitment in defence and attacking runs which caused the Blues so much difficulty to defend throughout.
Their rugby teacher Danny Breeze was extremely proud of every single one of the boys.
“The few nerves in the team huddle before the game soon vanished as soon as the first whistle went for kick off,” he said. “We are lucky at Sharnbrook to have a mix of excellent players who play at club level, but also some players who have never seen or heard of a rugby ball before!
“Our aim is to create a pathway for students to have fun and enjoy their rugby at whatever level it takes them to.”
The Year 8 boys will be competing in the U13 Northampton Saints 7s Series for Bedfordshire, hosted at Bedford Ath, as well as the District leagues after February half term.