For the second time in successive years, the Festival of Rugby was played out at Scotstoun stadium, alongside the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s competition.
The event allows potential future stars of the game to share the billing with world class athletes and provides a youthful backdrop to the international sevens competition.
The Saturday of the Festival of Rugby weekend, saw 160 under-18 boys take to the pitch to compete for silverware.
The under-18 tournament consisted of 16 rugby sevens teams from across Scotland, in a two-tiered knock-out schedule, in a celebration of rugby, good spirit and fierce competition.
Whilst the majority of the tournament is carried out on the outside pitches, the Cup finalists get the chance to take the main stage and battle it out in front of a packed Scotstoun stadium.
The Plate competition final was played between Strathmore and Ellon, with Ellon emerging victorious thanks to a 14-12 margin.
Celebration of club and school rugby
On the main pitch, the Festival of Rugby Cup competition was played between Biggar and Kelvinside Academy. Kelvinside won, streaking to a convincing 24-7 victory, with tries from Joshua Thomson, James Couper and a brace from Ross Cowan. Biggar managed a consolation try through Mark Bertram but it wasn’t enough on the day.
Whilst Kelvinside took the honours, both sides can be proud for providing a magnificent final spectacle, and adding yet further entertainment to the day for the 13,000 strong, Scotstoun crowd.
On Sunday, the Festival of Rugby turned its attention to the boys’ secondary school first and second years, and the girls’ uner-12, under-15 and under-18 competitions.
The boys’ first and second year competitions both consisted of a round-robin, with teams awarded points following the guidelines set by the Positive Coaching Scotland foundation. The scoring system, which was developed with the help of The Bill McLaren Foundation, rewards teams for tries scored, team ethic, sportsmanship and respect for referees.
Glasgow Hawks were victorious in the first years’ competition, with Stewart's-Melville and North Berwick close runners up. In the second year competition, GHA came out on top, followed closely by Dundee and North Berwick.
Boys and Girls building sevens legacy
The Girls’ under-12 competition also made use of ‘Midi Rugby scoring system’. Starting with a skills session, the girls moved onto a round robin of their own with the Central Crusaders placing first.
The under-15 and under-18 girls’ competitions made up the final action of the Festival of Rugby. Both events saw two pools of action with winners of each, competing in a final.
The final of the under-15 competition was contested by Langholm and Oban, with Langholm taking the crown, whilst the under-18 title final ended in a draw. In the spirit of the day, it was decided that the top honours should be shared, and so Community School of Aucterarder and Grantown Grammar could both celebrate at the end of the day.
After another greatly enjoyable and successful Festival of Rugby weekend, Glasgow Warriors RDM and festival organiser, Kenny Brown expressed his satisfaction with how the weekend went.
“The Festival of Rugby is a very special occasion. It gives young players the opportunity to be part of a high profile 7s event, and in doing so raises the profile of sevens rugby within youth sport.
“What’s unique about the festival is that it allows both school and club sides to compete against one another which otherwise would almost never happen, and so we get some really tasty match-ups, like we had in the boys under-18 Cup final with Biggar (club) and Kelvinside Academy (school).
“The players looked like they really enjoyed themselves, and so did the crowds. We saw some excellent rugby all weekend. A big well done to everyone that took part!”
Talking of the fantastic partnership between the Festival of Rugby and the Emirates Airline 7s, Brown added, “There will always be a place for youth rugby alongside such events, so long may it continue!”