The event consisted of 24 teams, 6 playing in the Cup completion and 18 in the Plate, one of which was Test Valley School.
Test Valley were drawn in a tough group consisting of Ryde School, Sandown Academy (both from the Isle of Wight), Toynbee School, Warblington School and Wyvern School.
Game 1: V Ryde.
Test Valley started well scoring early on but then fell behind to two quick tries. In the second half Test Valley scored more unanswered tries before having to hang on after conceding a late try. Won 20 – 15.
Game 2: V Sandown.
Sandown had looked good in their first match and continued their strong form and, despite Test Valley putting together some good rugby, they were unable to cross Sandown’s line and conceded a try in each half. Lost 10 – 0.
Game 3: V Wyvern
Test Valley dominated this game in the forwards which provided a solid platform for the team to play through the backs. Test Valley scored two early tries before adding a third in the second half. Wyvern scored a well-deserved consolation for their efforts. Won 15 – 5.
Game 4: V Warblington
Test Valley played some of their best rugby within the group stages in this game. Managing to break the line in attack and looking far more organised in defence. As a result test Valley scored 2 tries in each half. Won 20 – 5.
Game 5: V Toynbee
This was a game of quite literally two halves for Test Valley. In the first half they were strong going forward and managed to keep a strong defensive line and as a result went into half time three tries to one up. However in the second half Test Valley went to sleep and their defensive line was not good, as a result Toynbee’s strong runners broke through on more than one occasion to get themselves back into the game and Valley were a little lucky to hold on. Drew 15 – 15.
From their results Test Valley finished second in their group meaning that they would play Connaught School and Kings’ School in the fight for 4th, 5th and 6th position in the plate.
Game 1: V Kings’
Kings had looked impressive in their first match but Test Valley managed to organise their back line to counter the threat of Kings’ fleet footed backs. Despite this Test Valley went a try down before scoring two of their own to make it 2- 1 at half time. In the second half Test Valley had the advantage of the slope and spent long periods in the Kings’ half before, against the run of play Kings’ equalised. This appeared to spur Test Valley on and sharper rugby lead to them scoring two more tries without reply. Won 20 – 10.
Game 2: V Connaught
Test Valley were straight back on after having just worked hard to beat Kings’ and for a while it looked as if it would take its toll on the team with them going one try down after poor tackling. Again conceding a try appeared to be the catalyst that was needed to inspire Test Valley and for the rest of the game they dominated in the forwards and backs running in five tries and conceding one further try. Won 25 – 10.
As a result the team finished 4th overall in the plate. It also became apparent that Test Valley’s original group must have been one of the strongest with Sandown winning the first place league and Ryde the 3rd position league.
The team played well and improved as the day went on and this is definitely something to build upon in the future.