Competitive 2021 Juniors Nationals sees titles split
The 2021 Nationals drew to a close at a sun-drenched Oxford RFC, with the four titles being split across three regions.
West Wildcats and North-West Blades secured their first titles of 2021 in the Girls 15s and Boys 15s respectively.
Both of these competitions were played out across round-robin stages, with the Wildcats winning a best-of-three series against South-East Taipans 2-0 with the final match drawn. This was the first time that England Touch has been able to run a specific Girls 15s category at the Nationals, and hopefully these teams can inspire their peers from other regions to come and compete in 2022 and beyond. It was also good reward for the West, which was the only region other than the South-East to enter a team into every category across all four divisions.
The Boys 15s was the largest category of the day with five teams taking part. The Blades were the team to watch, though, and with four wins from four against South-West Saxons, South-East Taipans, West Wildcats and second-placed Midland Tigers they were worthy winners.
The other two categories, the Boys 18s and Girls 18s, both headed to the South-East Taipans.
The boys topped their pool on try difference from Midland Tigers, with the two teams then meeting in the final. After having drawn in the pool stage 6-6 the final was another tense 30 minutes, with the Taipans pipping their opposition 7-6 with a try in the final minute.
For a second tournament in 2021 the final match of the day was in a female category, with the Taipans and Blades putting on an excellent show of competitive Touch. The nil-nil half-time scoreline reflected the structures and awareness of both defences to hold out whatever was thrown at them.
But the Blades suffered a massive setback when Girls 18s MVP Amelia Payton suffered an injury, and the Taipans capitalised with a trio of unanswered tries to win 3-0.
CLICK HERE to see the day’s results
CLICK HERE to check out photos