Sutton u15s went to the end of season tournament at Nuneaton Old Edwardians on Sunday to play a different version of the game, 10-a-side, which sees reduced numbers of both forwards and backs on the field, giving more space for attacking rugby whilst retaining a little more of the structure of the full 15-a-side game than in 7s.
The format saw 6 teams entered from across the region plus a touring side from Dunstable. Sutton had to play 2 games in the qualification rounds. The first of these was against Dunstablians. Sutton were soon into their stride, scoring an opening try through Owen Notley, converted by Matt Smith. Further tries followed from Matt Smith, Jimmy Hollis, Ethan Fryer, Alex Moore, Joe Dean and two from Henry Nevitt. Henry also added 3 more conversions. Final score 48-0. This game saw Sutton pass the 100-try mark for the season.
The second game was against the home team, North Warwickshire Barbarians. Sutton fielded a much changed side and won by 14-0, with tries from Matt Smith and Henry Nevitt. Both also added a conversion each.
This saw Sutton into the semi-final, where they once again faced NW Barbarians. Sutton had learned from the previous game and were in dominant form, scoring 8 tries in a 50-5 victory. Archie Grimshaw scored a hat-trick, Joe Dean and Matt Smith both scored 2 and James Taylor scored one. Henry Nevitt and Matt Smith added 5 conversions between them.
Sutton were then in the final against a very strong Stratford team. Both sides had been losing semi-finalists in the Warwickshire Cup, so a close game was expected. The first half was very tight, with Stratford edging into a 5-0 lead. Sutton had a try disallowed for a knock-on at the end of the half. As Sutton chased a response in the second half, Stratford scored 2 more opportunist tries and a fine team try to open up a 22-0 lead. Sutton had the final try of the tournament through Ethan Fryer, to make the final score 22-7 to Stratford.
This represented a fine end of the season for Sutton and reflected the improvement that the team has made over the year. At the start of the season, Stratford beat them 50-0 in the cup. Sunday’s game was much closer and could have gone either way, especially in the first half. Plenty to look forward to next year as u16s!