First Festival 2023


After a hectic summer of finding a replacement partner after the sad demise of London Irish we welcomed Ealing Trailfinders down to the Cage for the first time. New coach Jake Wagner has been acquainting himself with South East London as he travels around to our 10 secondary schools and delivers weekly coaching sessions.

The first tournament is always touch and comes after about 5 or 6 school sessions. The game is therefore very new to all the participants and scores are generally quite low as the ball tends to fly forward on multiple occasions.

6 teams attended the first festival, reigning champions Sacred Heart, former champions St Michaels, perennial contenders STAC, new joiners Compass Bermondsey, recent joiners ARK Allsaints and originals London Nautical.

As mentioned, games are often tight so against the backdrop of multiple 1 – 1 and 0 – 0 draws it was interesting to see St Michaels emerging victorious 5 – 0 on more than one occasion. We welcomed back London Nautical after a season long absence and they impressed with a 100% record on the day. Champions Sacred Heart got off to a wobbly start before finding their feet and with good wins about STAC and Compass.

Allsaints struggled to score tries but at the same time were defensively sound, STAC got off to their traditional slow start but will improve as the season progresses. New joiners Compass struggled on their debut but showed improvement throughout the day and managed to draw their last match against Nautical.

We look forward to seeing their progress in November.

More to explorer

Update after 2nd Festival

Most of the 10 schools who take part in the Big Yellow rugby program have now had eight weeks of rugby coaching

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