11:03am Thursday 1st May 2014
STOURBRIDGE under 12s went to the prestigious Anglo Welsh Cup at Luctonians Rugby Club in Herefordshire aiming to defend the trophy they won in 2013, having also run out as winners in 2011 and 2009.
The tournament pits more than 1,100 young rugby players from 21 clubs in England and Wales against each other in an annual tournament of rugby for six to 12 year olds.
Stourbridge were placed in a very tough pool along with Wiltshire club Devizes RFC, Hereford, previous tournament winners Brecon and the local Premiership side from Worcester Warriors.
Stourbridge won all four pool games scoring 12 tries to qualify for the semi-final as group winners. A difficult game against Cardiff-based Penterch, a feeder club for Cardiff Blues, was settled by a single try to none with the victorious Stourbridge side progressing through to the final.
The final itself was a difficult game against former 2012 winners Gwernyfed RFC, another Cardiff Blues feeder side. Gwernyfed took the lead early in the first half but then faced a barrage of attacks from Stourbridge’s forward pack and skilful backs.
An equalising try was scored before half time and the second period was dominated by Stourbridge, who had the majority of possession and had two tries judged held up over the line by Gweryfed. The final ended in a draw at one try each, with Stourbridge narrowly missing out on the trophy because of try count-back, with Gwernyfed declared tournament winners on account of having scored two tries in their semi-final.
Head coach Richard Walker said that is was disappointing for the players to miss out on winning the trophy in such a way, despite remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament, but he praised the spirit and hard work of the players and congratulated them on the flowing rugby they played throughout the day.
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