Headingley Carnegie Stadium staged the Leeds & Hunslet Schools’ Rugby League Year 7 and Year 11 Cup Finals and the appreciative crowd was entertained with some skilful and determined play from all the teams.
David Horner scored an early try for Garforth in the Year 7 final, but Corpus Christi dominated possession for the rest of the half and played some exciting rugby. Tries from Shaun Jordan, Dylan Simpson, Jack Cooper, Joel England and Adam Gibbons helped them to build up a comfortable 30-8 half-time lead, the only Garforth response being a try by Jack Barnes. Corpus Christi continued to dominate the game in the second half and further tries came from Cristiano Osei (2), Brandon Bond, Simpson and a fine solo effort from full back Cooper, whilst stand-off Gibbons finished with 12 goals from as many attempts. Garforth played well with what little quality possession they had and Dylan Russell scored one of the game’s best tries straight from a kick off. The final score was 60-14 to Corpus Christi.
In the Year 11 final, Bruntcliffe lifted the Wilson Cup, following a very impressive display in attack and defence against a fully-committed Lawnswood side. Bruntcliffe stand-off Jacob Flathers scored the game’s first try before a period of stalemate with both teams battling hard for the next score. Lawnswood suffered with the loss of stand-off Andrew Wright through injury and two tries by centre Braden Hunter enabled Bruntcliffe to take a 12-0 half-time lead. Hunter completed his hat-trick early in the second half, courtesy of a fine pick-up and pass by winger James Downey. Bruntcliffe’s terrific defence then withstood a battering from the Lawnswood attack, before late tries by Sam Thornton and Declan Brereton gave them a 28-0 victory. However, the score did not reflect the effort put in by Lawnswood, who were well led by Captain Jack Young.
Leeds Rugby Foundation organised a memorable evening and presentations were made by Rhinos favourite Keith Senior.
On the previous evening at the Leeds Rugby Academy at Kirkstall, Bruntcliffe also won the Year 9 final, with a very polished performance, to beat John Smeaton 48-0. Judah Masive and Brandon Tester were outstanding for Bruntcliffe, with Austin Broadbent, Callum Baker, Owen Lumb and Josh Hoban also amongst the tries.
Leeds Rhinos Community Development Manager, Jonny Wainhouse commented, “It has been a special couple of days for schools rugby league. The students involved have been given a day to remember and have had an opportunity to play on the hallow turf at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and also play on the Archi Gordan 3G pitch, based at the Leeds Rugby Academy. All this has been made possible due to partnerships coming together. The Leeds Rugby Foundation have built a strong relationship with the Leeds & Hunslet Schools which has enabled Leeds City College to support the High School programme the Leeds Rugby Foundation deliver”.