It wasn’t all disappointment for Welsh teams in Englandon Sunday. The national team may have struggled in Twickenham, but Gowerton’s under 16 rugby team travelled to play in the 38th annual Queen Elizabeth School, Barnet 7s competition and returned home as tournament winners.
Their success was founded on the power of their forwards with Jordon Liney, Morgan Morris, Jack Cambriani, Steffan Gibbon, Max Harris and Ethan Harris all carrying strongly. Half backs Callum Lewis and captain Phil Jones controlled the tempo of the games well and distributed impressively whilst outside backs Steffan Tyrrell and Tom Howell were a constant threat with their pace.
Gowerton played St. Georges College from Surrey, St. Colomba’s College, St. Albans and Salvatorian College from Harrow in their group winning all three games to progress to the last eight as group winners.
They defeated St. Georges 24-5 with tries from Lewis, Gibbon, Cambriani and Howell. Howell and Jones added a conversion apiece.
A Liney hat trick and tries from Howell and Cambriani were supplemented by 2 Jones and a Howell conversion as Gowerton defeated St. Colomba’s 31-10. That was followed by a comfortable 38-5 victory over Salvatorian College with Gowerton’s six tries coming from Liney (2), Tyrrell (2), Max Harris and Howell. Howell kicked one conversion and captain Jones added another 3.
The last 8 of the competition contained many of England’s top 7-a-side public school teams. In the quarter final Wellington College were the opponents and a Howell hat trick and a fourth try from Morris one of which was converted each by Jones and Howell took them into the semi-final 24-7 where they played Surrey school John Fisher and in a game where the final result was always in doubt Gowerton eventually triumphed 28-21 with Howell (2), Morris and Jones all scoring tries. Howell and Jones added two conversions each.
In the final, Gowerton faced Hertfordshire school, Berkhampsted and with Howell (2) and Jones cancelling out 3 tries from their opponents the scores were tied 19 all when with the last play of the game Howell escaped the cover to complete his hat trick and score his eleventh try of the tournament and in the process clinch a nail biting victory that saw captain Phil Jones lift the trophy for the first time in the twenty one years that Gowerton have been travelling to play in the competition.
Gowerton’s year 9 team also travelled to play in the under 14 cup, but despite an extremely spirited performance with Sam Cambriani, Cameron Hogan, Oli Quick, Jack Soproniuk, Max Treharne, Rhys Edwards, Joe Bright-Key, Cameron Clayfield, Iwan Jones and Garin Thomas, all showing up well they were defeated 39-0 by Whitgift School, Croydon, 21-7 by Rugby School and 17-12 by Trinity School from Devon and failed to progress beyond the group stages of the competition. Gowerton’s try scorers were Jack Soproniuk (2) and Max Treharne.