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Reading Blue Coat take victory in Continental Tyres Schools Cup final – Reading Today Online

Mark Chappell

Reading Blue Coat created memories to last a lifetime in their Continental Tyres Schools Cup final victory, according to coach Jason Dance.

Blue Coat’s under-15s side beat Woking-based Gordon’s School 22-12 for Bowl glory in the swirling rain at Saracens’ StoneX Stadium.

The side amassed a 17-0 half-time lead and despite a valiant Gordon’s fightback, Dance’s charges held on for a brilliant victory in front of the parents and friends.

“It’s amazing for the boys. It’s a fantastic experience to play on the same pitch as Owen Farrell and to sit in the same changing rooms that Maro Itoje has been in,” said Dance.

“It’s a super day and one they will remember forever. We had two busloads of supporters, including the whole of the year group with our senior leadership team looking after them. They battled to get here, and it was great for the boys to have the support of their whole year group.”

Captain James Lumm started the Blue Coat party early on. Joshua Wilson added a second try and seven points from the boot of Harry Millard looked to have constructed an unassailable lead.

Gordon’s fought back to cut the deficit to a single score, but Byron Crow ensured there was no late drama with a nerve-settling third try.

“I think they changed their tactics in the second half, they kicked the ball more and it became a midfield struggle,” said Dance.

“In the first half when both teams played a little more we had the upper hand.

“I think our early carries in the first 10 minutes were really important in setting the tone for the game. They came back strongly, their 12 kicked really nicely but our full-back Michael Evans dealt with that really nicely.

“I think those first 10 minutes was where the game was won.”

Dance also hailed the efforts of director of rugby Toby Seward in creating a rugby programme which allowed the team to thrive.

“It’s been an extremely long season, we started in Italy back in August and they’ve built as they’ve gone through the season,” Dance added.

“We’ve had ups and downs but to finish off with a win here after two terms of rugby is absolutely fantastic and a real credit to our director of rugby Toby Seward who puts on a lot of things for the guys, and they’ve really produced this year.”

The Continental Tyres Schools Cup is an important part of the age-grade rugby landscape in England, with schools’ rugby often where players fall in love with the game for the first time.

For more information visit the Continental Tyres Schools Cup section of the England Rugby Website

By Ben Hart, Sportsbeat

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