Filton Secure More Sevens Success
Bristol Apprentices capture Rosslyn Park National Sevens title
Filton College finished the 2011 season in style with victories in two of the UK’s toughest school rugby competitions.
Over the course of several gruelling days, the Bristol Rugby apprentices captured the Rosslyn Park National Sevens tournament, before concluding a spectacular year with a win at Sedbergh Tens, an elite schoolboy tournament featuring the cream of British schools rugby.
Filton College coach George Tavner commented; “I am absolutely delighted for my players. To win both these tournaments caps off a fantastic season and reflects the hard work the boys have put in. The self -belief these players have in their own ability is underpinned by the team spirit we have created. I was confident that if we performed as I knew we were capable of, we would win, but to get over the line and achieve this potential is brilliant. I am extremely proud of them all.”
In the first of a two-part series, we look at the story of Filton’s success at Rosslyn Park.
The Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens is the largest tournament in the world with 365 schools competing. On the first day, Filton topped their group with five straight victories – overcoming Reigate Grammar School, Gower School, Amman Valley School and Alton College to finish top of the group. Charlie Grant and Joe Gadd were lively as Filton ran riot, while Sam Hanks pitched in with some outstanding individual efforts.
In the second round, Filton faced a determined Welsh outfit, Bro Myrddin. In possible their strongest performance of the tournament, the Bristolians swept the opposition aside and dominated proceedings throughout. James Letherby and Auguy Slowak crossed the whitewash for a brace while Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier marshaled the side expertly from the sweeper position.
The following day another Welsh school laid in wait. This time, Welsh Schools Cup finalists Bro Morganwgg stood between Filton and round 3. In a brutally physical encounter, Filton cruised to a 45-5 victory thanks to a litany of tries, including superb scores from Will Thomas and Jacob Unwin.
While many would have expected a close battle between Sedbergh and Filton in the quarter-finals, the superior fitness of the Bristol Apprentices shone through as they recorded a thumping 40-0 victory – the heaviest defeat Sedbergh have ever suffered at Rosslyn Park. Filton’s impregnable defensive display was led by some ferocious tackling by Tom Jones.
In the semi-finals, Filton clashed with Sussex Open Tournament victors Brighton College. The Bristolians battled hard against a very strong Brighton side, winning 24-7 in the process. Player of the tournament Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier was in imperious form and was ably assisted by Filton’s captain and leading try-scorer Alex Davis.
The victory set up a mouthwatering local derby with rivals Hartpury College in the final. Despite conceding an early try, Filton fought back to lead 7-5 at half time after Will Thomas had touched down following a jinking run.
In an intensely competitive second period, the game was decided by a moment of magic. Jean Baptiste-Bruzulier produced an audacious chip over the on-rushing defence to go over and secure a 14-5 win. The victory confirmed Filton’s place as one of the most successful schools 7s teams ever, having won 5 tournaments in a row.
You can watch the final between Hartpury and Filton here.
Filton captain Alex Davis commented; “We are all delighted to win this tournament. JB (Bruzulier), Will (Thomas) and myself have taken much of the plaudits for winning the tournaments this season. In truth we have needed all 12 players in every tournament we have won. Players like Connor (Phillips), Lethers (James Letherby), Tom Jones and Sam Hanks deserve special mention for the work they have put in. I wish I could mention all of them as it has been a real privilege to lead this side. It has been a season we will all never forget.”
The Sevens Squad end the season having won 45 out of 46 games, scoring 2500 points in the process. Throughout the entire season, the team conceded less than 200 points.
Alex Davis (c), James Letherby, Tom Jones, Connor Phillips, Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier, Will Thomas, Sam Hanks, Curtis Asante, Joe Gadd, Auguy Slowik, Jacob Unwin, Charlie Grant.
For Filton's results this season, click the link