As the school year for 2021/22 draws to a close, we’re reflecting back on what has been an amazing year for High School Rugby League in Warrington.
Our competitions started way back on 14th September, kicking off with our Year 11 Warrington High Schools Legends Cup. The Legends Cup is our inter-school, 13-a-side competition, that determines the following season’s Champion Schools representatives. Since then, we have had Rugby activity on almost every Thursday afternoon with our schools taking part in four tiers of competition:
The RFL Champion Schools Region and National Competition – (Tier 1)
Warrington High Schools Legends – (Tier 2)
Rugby League World Cup – Emerging Nines -(Tier 3)
Rugby League Wrold Cup – Mixed Touch -(Tier 4)
Rugby League World Cup – Mixed Touch
Our first competition to draw to a close was the Tier 4 Mixed touch. Mixed Touch is aimed at new participants across our schools, where the contact element of the sport is removed to promote a great opportunity for new players to learn the game without any fear.
Teams from Birchwood, Cardinal Newman, Great Sankey, Padgate Academy, Sir Thomas Boteler and St Gregory’s took part. This competition involved 100 males and 82 females across 5 weeks, many of whom were brand new to Rugby League. All of which had a fantstic experience, challenging themselves, learning new skills and for many getting to chance to represent thier school in a Rugby League fixture.
The Under 13’s Final was played on a cold January evening afterschool at the Ball Hall a Sir Thomas Boteler High School, were Birchwood and Sir Thomas Boteler. It was a thrilling game where Birchwood won in extra-time! The Under 15’s Final was between Cardinal Newman and Sir Thomas Boteler. Sir Thomas Boteler won the game 6-0 in a vary dominant performance.
Boys and Girls Rugby League World Cup – Emerging Nines
The second competition that finished this year was the Rugby League World Cup – Emerging Nines. This competition involved teams made up of mostly new players to Rugby League and allowed schools with smaller numbers the opportunity to compete at an appropriate level and have an opportunity to play in the first of our finals evenings at Victoria Park.
The competition had 258 players take part, 162 boys across the following schools, Beamont, Birchwood, Culcheth, Padgate, Penketh and Sir Thomas Boteler for the boys competition. Alongside this, to continue our local support and further growth of girls rugby league in the town we had 96 girls involved from Birchwood, Cardinal Newman, Penketh, Sir Thomas Boteler and St Gregory’s.
The Nines Finals were as follows:
Year 7 Boys Final
Penketh High 11 v 5 Beamont – Player of the Match- Spencer Lowe (Penketh High)
Under 13’s Girls Final
Birchwood 3 v 2 Penketh – Player of the Match- Sienna Lawrence (Birchwood)
Year 8 Boys Final
Birchwood 11 v 7 Beamont – Player of the Match- Demba Cham (Birchwood)
Under 15’s Girls Final
Cardinal Newman 14 v 11 Birchwood – Player of the Match- Leila D’Symonds (Cardinal Newman)
Year 9 Boys Final
Penketh 10 v 1 Beamont – Player of The Match- Leon Stretton (Penketh)
Demba Cham – Year 8 Boys MOTM for Birchwood
Sienna Lawrence – U13s Girls POTM for Birchwood
Our final competition to draw to a close was our Warrington High Schools Legends Cup. This is our highest level of local competiton, where Schools compete in a 13 a side competition for the prestige of being the best school rugby league team in Warrington at each year group. With each of these trophies named after Warrington Wolves Legends.
Teams from Birchwood, Bridgewater, Cardinal Newman, Culcheth, Great Sankey, Kings Academy, Penketh, Sir Thomas Boteler and St Gregory’s took to field to represent their school. These teams were across Years 7 to 11 and had 518 children take part! Played over three rounds in September, March and June, this competition lead the top two teams to the Legends Final and the third-place team to be the third seed National Representative.
Year 11 Boys Final (Played in September)
Culcheth High 14 v 12 Bridgewater
Year 7 Boys Final
Bridgewater 24 v 16 St Gregory’s – Player of the Match- Isaac Lyddon
Year 8 Boys Final
Bridgewater 14 v 10 Great Sankey – (In Golden Point) – Player of the Match- Fredrick Hartill
Year 9 Boys Final
Bridgewater 18 v 36 Kings – Player of the Match – Leon Johnson
Year 10 Boys Final
St Gregory’s 18 v 12 Great Sankey – Player of the Match – Jacob Bull
Champion Schools National and Regional Competitions
Bridgewater’s Fredrick Hartill pictured with Warrington Wolves Head of Youth, Gary Chambers
This year was the first year the Champion School’s finals have returned since 2019 due to COVID, immediately picking up where we left off with two Nationalist Finalists! Showing the growing success and increasing standard in High School Rugby League in Warrington on the National stage agasint all other high schools in the country.
Throughout the National competition, we had 10 out of 15 teams qualify through the group stages of the regional competition into the North West Quarter Finals, five of which qualified into the semi-finals.
We also had three teams make it through to the National Quarter and Semi Finals (Bridgewater Year 7 & 8) with Bridgewater year 8’s narrowly losing by 4 points in a thrilling encounter in the National Semi Finals, held at Crosfields. With Bridgewater Year 7’s and Great Sankey 10’s qualifing through to the National finals up in Newcastle ahead of Magic Weekend. Great Sankey played on the Friday Night, winning a very tight encounter with a try in the final stages and a kick from the touchline from Daniel Regan, that has had over 10,000 views on Twitter! Bridgewater Year 7’s had the amazing experience of playing on St James Park on the Saturday, where they unfortynatley fell short in their final with a 18-6 defeat to Castleford Academy.
Great Sankey Y10s after their thrilling victory in Newcastle!
A fantastic experience for our Bridgewater Y7s at St James’ Park
2,240 minutes of Rugby League have been played by over 1,000 Players across 4 Tiers of competitions, where eleven schools in Warrington have taken part in Rugby League for the first time in 5 years, two Warrington schools have played in national finals with one been crowned national champions; we think the future looks EXTREMELY bright!