Year 9 Italy Tournament Winners 2019

The Year 9 rugby team are back from a fantastic tour to Northern Italy, where they won the Plate competition in the prestigious 28th Trofeo Topolino tournament in Treviso, hosted by Paese and Benetton Rugby Club.

Having enjoyed training on the beach and a cultural trip to Venice in the first two days, it was time to play some rugby and St Anselm’s started the tournament well on Saturday, winning their opening two games 7-0, with Jackson Roy finishing off well-worked moves on the wing. Our third game was against the eventual finalists, and St Anselm’s had to soak up a lot of pressure and defended for their lives, making tackle after tackle. However, with a minute to go in the game, the opposition scored a well-worked try to win it: this would prove to be the only try we would concede in the entire tournament.

After a long three hour break, St Anselm’s regained their winning momentum with a brilliant 28-0 victory thanks to tries from Gabriel Ford, Josh Ajayi and two from Tom Buckley-Pointer. Another win, this time a two-try victory made possible by some excellent tackling and a wonderful solo effort from Cathal Lynch, meant that we finished day one of the tournament with four wins from five games.

The sunshine of Saturday was replaced by torrential, non-stop rain on Sunday, but the Year 9s were not daunted by this one bit. They began in the same manner as the previous day, with a 7-0 win: James McNamara bundling home the only try of the game. An hour later, St Anselm’s saved their best performance for their final game. Resolute defending, excellent handling in awful conditions, and three super tries resulted in a 21-0 win against the home side Paese. Charlie O’Connor, Josh Ajayi and another brilliantly-taken Cathal Lynch score were just rewards for a top performance all round. You know you have played well when the home Paese supporters give you a standing ovation when you return to the stand after the game.

Having won six out of seven games, conceding only one try and scoring twelve, St Anselm’s won the Plate competition: the College’s first piece of silverware in the competition. Credit must also go to Freddie Arista, who kicked 100% (13 out of 13) of his conversions and penalties over the two days: a fantastic achievement!

All 24 players were a credit to the College, both on and off the pitch. They have gone from strength to strength this year and should look forward to a successful season under Mr Hale’s guidance next year.

Mr Booth.