Harpenden Under 17s lift National Cup

RFU National Under 17s Cup Harpenden 21 Tarleton 8 HARPENDEN were confirmed as the best Under 17s rugby team in the country after winning the RFU National Cup. They beat Lancashire champions Tarleton 21–8 in the final played at Sixways Stadium

RFU National Under 17s Cup

Harpenden 21 Tarleton 8

HARPENDEN were confirmed as the best Under 17s rugby team in the country after winning the RFU National Cup.

They beat Lancashire champions Tarleton 21-8 in the final played at Sixways Stadium, home of Guinness Premiership side Worcester.


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Both teams fully played their part in ensuring that the match was a great spectacle and a fitting final for this prestigious competition. The large crowd, formed of travelling supporters for both teams, was vocal throughout as they were treated to a game of great intensity. Neither team was allowed to feel comfortable until the final minutes.

Harpenden took an early 7-0 lead when Louis Gabriel scored the games first try close to the posts after 11 minutes. Jack Cook added two points with a successful conversion.

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Tarleton edged into the lead when they finally breached the impressive Harpenden defence with a penalty and an unconverted try. At this time Harpenden were unfortunately down to 14 players following the games only yellow card.

Harpenden then showed both the individual brilliance and excellent team work which has taken them so far this season. John Collins scored a quite breathtaking individual try, as he ran the ball back from 50 meters to score under the posts after 55 minutes and he was also on hand to finish off a quite superb team effort after 65 minutes. Both tries were successfully converted by Jack Cook.

Harpendens forwards then effectively closed the game down for the remaining minutes to ensure the 21-8 win.

After the game, played on Sunday, May 4, Harpenden coach, Robin Longden, said: "This is a great result for the whole squad and really reflects the dedication to the team they have shown as individuals over the years. What a way for them to finish their junior rugby careers. As a club we are very proud of them all and personally it has been a privilege to coach them."

Harpenden: Jimmy Speirs (captain), David Arbuthnott, Tom Baker, George Barnes, Joe Beale, Andrew Brown, John Collins, Jack Cook, Courtney Dodds, Tris Francis, Louis Gabriel , Rory Grant, Adam Hills, Luke Johnson ,Zac Kent, Sean Longden, Ali Mills, Dougie Norris, Tom Rhodes, Michael Singleton, Toby Turk, Gus Williams.

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