Schools’ rugby tournament

The schools’ tag rugby tournament is one of the highlights of the school year for me – lots of schools battling it out on the rugby pitch to be named the best tag rugby team in the area.

My son first played in it when he was in year 3. That was particularly special for me as he got to play alongside his brother – with three school years between them this is something which had never happened before and never will again. Even in year 3, he was the third best player in the team – after my eldest and another year 6 boy who played rugby.

By year 4 he was the best player in the team (the team being made up of willing volunteers who had never played rugby before), but the year 5s and 6s wouldn’t pass to him. They were too cool. And they got thrashed. They eventually won their final game because they actually gave in to the teacher’s yells to pass the ball to my son.

But here we are at year 5. This time there would be no problem with kids not passing to him. The team was made up of four year 5s (three boys and a girl) and two year 6 girls. Oh, and it was an eight a side tournament and they were a player down. There was a parallel team from our school of five boys and three girls.

The teacher made my son captain for the first game. He so looks like the captain. He is a fine figure of a man boy – he has the kind of physique most men would dream of – tall, slim, toned and muscular. That kid had calf muscles to die for when he was 2.

On my son’s team was a kid from his class who played in the winning team in the County Cup – two brilliant rugby players who played as well together as they did against each other. Nobody else on the team played rugby at all. They’d just done a few weeks in PE lessons and on Wednesdays after school. But, despite the lack of rugby experience, and despite not having enough players, they did very well.

I’ll be honest, the games slightly blurred into one. I think they drew the first game. They were playing in a group and played against all of the other teams in the group – five games in all. My son would probably tell you the exact scores, but if memory serves me correctly, they won three, drew one and lost one.

It was a little bit like tennis – when Andy Murray serves and then Andy Murray gets the point, and then the other guy (I can’t remember any other tennis players’  names right now) serves and he gets the point. Whoever had the ball to start with generally managed to score a try pretty quickly.

All those years standing on the touchline, believing I know nothing about rugby, had put me in pretty good stead. I could see where they were going wrong – they weren’t quick enough to react when he other team had the ball at the start of the game – they were usually halfway to the try line before our lot had switched themselves on. They started switching themselves on more and winning games.

Every time my son got the ball, he was like lighting – charging through the opposition. They didn’t stand a chance. On the rare occasions they did tag him (it’s a belt with ‘tags’ on which you rip off instead of tackling, the player then has to pass the ball), his rival turned team-mate was right there next to him to receive the pass.

Son, rugby, tournament, school

This was a MIXED rugby tournament. For boys AND girls. The only game they lost was against a team of all boys. They looked like they were all year 6 boys at that. It wasn’t a boys’ school, so it didn’t really seem in the spirit of the thing to take an all boys’ team.

They came second in their group, which was amazing, considering they were a player down. The other team from their school came fourth with the full eight players.

In the afternoon they were put in a group with all of the other teams who came second. There was a group of teams who came first, third etc. All of these groups would have a different sort of trophy – cup, plate, small plastic beaker from Ikea… (I may have made one of those up.)

Our team won the first game 4-1, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Our second try was scored by a kid without a tag. Technically, this makes the try invalid. But the ref allowed it (the ref’s decision is final, some decisions are wrong, some wrong decisions go in your favour, others go against… ).

Anyway, we went on to score more tries. If it had been 2-1, we might not have felt entirely comfortable with the win, but it was 4-1. A decisive victory. The opposition said ‘hip hip boo’ and refused to shake our team’s hands. AND their teacher didn’t tell them off for it.  At the end of the day, it was the ref’s decision, not ours. Our team hadn’t been cheating. The teacher looking after our team didn’t even know that a try was invalid if the kid who scored only had one tag.

From there we lost in the semi final and lost in the 3rd/ 4th play-off (you needed a masters in rocket science to work out who should be playing who), coming 4th in the ‘cup competition’, about 12th overall out of over 40 teams.

I was proud of what the team had achieved, but most of all I was proud of their star player, the boy who was instrumental in the tries and the tagging. The boy who has scored 12 tries. My son.

Mum of Three World

 

 

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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42 Comments

  1. My youngest plays rugby – he’s not the best player in the world but I’m really proud of him and when he does get a try he is so pleased with his achievement! He’s off to the UK soon for a rugby tournament but I think the UK bit might be exciting him a bit more than the actual rugby bit … and the being able to help everyone translate things!

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  2. That sounds a very exciting thing to do! What a brilliant experience for him. I agree, the rugby probably won’t be the best bit!

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  3. It all sounds very complex, but I’m glad he did so well. Shame on the teacher who didn’t pick up on the boo though.

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    • It’s terrible, isn’t it? He must have agreed with the kids! Thanks very much for commenting, Erica 🙂

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  4. It sounds like such a passion and like he’s got a lot of natural talent for it. Well done to his team on the victory and boo to the other team for not shaking hands. It sounds like your boy will go far with rugby!

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    • Thanks very much, Notmyearoff, he really loves it! 🙂

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  5. If there is one thing that drives me nuts…it’s poor sportsmanship and allowing children to think it’s ok.

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    • Thanks very much, it is shocking that the teacher didn’t do anything about it.

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  6. Well done to your son, sounds like you have a lot to be proud of.

    Sounds like I missed a good day. It’s interesting to hear about it from another perspective.

    I found it odd as I have never been into rugby, how you can lose in the first half and go home with more than those that won it.

    As for the girls surely each school just let’s the pupils decide if they want to play or not.

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    • Who knows about the girls, Pinkoddy? I think schools would find enthusiastic girls willing to play if they asked. I suspect they’re not asking and are just fielding their best teams.
      The way the competition is arranged does seem a little odd, I suppose it’s all in the spirit of giving everyone a chance and not being overly competitive. Everyone who made it through to the top competition (the trophy, I think), whether they came 1st or 8th, got a medal.

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  7. Lovely piece of writing Sarah, it actually felt like I was there too! Sounds like a lot of fun and excitement 🙂 I also like the fact that your sons team didn’t win the cup – it’s good to lose occasionally. The idea of kids not being able to fail is insane (in my opinion!) #MagicMoments

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    • Thanks very much, Mummy Tries, what a lovely thing to say, I really appreciate that. It is good to lose sometimes. My son’s football team always lose and he’s fine with that, he doesn’t take losing in rugby quite as well as it’s unusual! He didn’t expect to win this though as most of the kids don’t actually play rugby.

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  8. I love that photo, your kids are amazing with their sports, every reason to be proud #MagicMoments

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    • Thanks very much, Coombe Mill! I love to take these action photos and see the determination on their faces 🙂

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  9. I know how important this game is to you and your son. Its always a joy to read your experiences! And tell your son I said he is Awesome =) #whatsthestory

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    • What a lovely thing to say, Merlinda! And I told him that just from you 🙂 Thank you.

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    • Quite! Thanks very much.

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  10. Massive well done to your son!! what a fantastic achievement! i love the photo .. pure determination!

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

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    • Thanks very much, Jaime, what a lovely thing to say. Always a pleasure to link up with Magic Moments! 🙂

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  11. To see our kids play and become a team player is a great achievement. Love how the photo captured his love for the game.

    #magicmoments

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    • Thanks very much, Abigail. I just love capturing these moments!

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  12. Your son sounds like an amazing player. Brilliant how you now could probably coach the team yourself! #whatsthestory

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    • Who would have thought it, Kriss? It seems like I’m pretty good with this basic level after all those years on the touchline!

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  13. I love reading about your kids and their achievements, it makes me so happy and proud for you, well done your son!
    #MagicMoments

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    • Thank you, that’s such a lovely thing to say! 🙂

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  14. I love these sport posts 🙂 Although, thankfully this one didn’t make me cry! Sounds like a brilliant tournament, well done to your son for doing so well x

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    • Thanks very much. Glad I didn’t make you cry on this occasion, Sara!

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  15. Oh you should be so proud! Love the whole concept of tag rugby and making the game so accessible for kids. Saving the ruined rugby faces like my husband’s for later in life!

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    • It is fab, Sara, but unfortunately tag rugby doesn’t go on for long. They only do it up to under 8s at club level and to the end of primary in some schools.

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  16. Wow 12 tries Sarah that’s amazing, you must be so unbelievably proud of him. I love that photo too, just oozes passion for a game he clearly loves. Great post, thank you for sharing with #whatsthestory

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    • Thank you, Charly, I really was very proud! I love capturing these action shots and the determination on their faces 🙂

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  17. Thanks very much, MoolBoots 🙂

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  18. AWESOME post. Looks like it was a great match. Shame that the other team didn’t exactly play fair but great that your boy enjoys the game so much xx #magicmoments

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    • Thanks very much, WWofL 🙂 He’s getting more enthusiastic about rugby by the day (generally speaking football is still his first love) as he has been on such a roll with it lately 🙂 x

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    • Thanks very much, Afra 🙂

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  19. 12 tries? That’s amazing! Well done to your son and a fab set of photos 🙂 Don’t like the other team’s attitude. No Team Player award for them!

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  20. Thanks very much, he did brilliantly! The other team’s attitude was very disappointing.

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  21. Great action photo Sarah, you son sounds great at Rugby 🙂 none of my boys have ever tried it…

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  22. I never imagined I’d have rugby playing boys, Claire, but they absolutely love it 🙂

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  1. Lack of confidence - Mum of Three World - […] team. This isn’t the under 8’s coach’s player of the season. This isn’t the saviour of the school rugby…

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