Eastwood High School through to SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship semi-finals

Eastwood High School through to SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship semi-finals

The sun broke through at Scotstoun last Wednesday, making conditions perfect for attacking rugby during round four of the 2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship.

All five competing schools did not disappoint producing some brilliant running rugby, taking full advantage of the benign weather conditions.

Round four brought together Stonelaw High School, Jordanhill School, North West Community Campus, Lockerbie Academy and Eastwood High School as 225 players competed across 30 matches.

It was Eastwood High School who progressed through to the semi-finals, edging past impressive tournament debutants Lockerbie Academy.

Last year's finalists won nine, drew one and lost two of their 12 matches, scoring 63 tries in the process.

Each school had S1 and S2 boys’ teams and an under-15s girls' team competing with a total of 227 tries scored during the day’s action.

This is the third year Glasgow Warriors’ official Community Partner, SP Energy Networks, have supported the Championship that aims to raise awareness and improve access to grassroots level rugby – whilst also promoting active and healthy lifestyles to young people.

The Championship, and important community engagement it generates, also seeks to recognise sport as a valuable life tool in teaching children about team working, leadership and communication skills.

A total of 1,215 boys and girls from 27 schools across west, central and southern Scotland are battling it out to be crowned 2020 champions.

Eastwood High School rugby coach Gordon Reid said: "I think there was some excellent rugby played by all five schools and we just managed to sneak through to the semi-finals which is great.

"It was a tougher qualifying week compared to last year and the quality of rugby across the board has definitely improved.

"Half our kids competing this year are new to the tournament and all three teams had to work hard for their wins so we are very proud to get through.

"The weather obviously helps but the players were buzzing all day and really enjoyed themselves.”

He added: "We now have upwards of 110 S1 to S3 kids playing at the school so rugby is doing really well.

"We're trying to introduce kids into a good rugby environment like this where they can learn the values of the game."

Eastwood girls’ captain Melody Nehme led her team expertly as they went unbeaten, winning three and drawing one of their four matches.

The 14-year-old said: "I like playing in tournaments such as this, the competitive aspect of the matches and getting to know people from other schools.

"It feels amazing playing at Scotstoun and playing for Scotland Women when I'm older would be brilliant.

"I absolutely love rugby and also being captain where you can help motivate your team.

"Captaincy can make you stronger and more confident as a person and walking on the pitch with all the players makes me feel very proud.”

Jordanhill S2 skipper Keith Scott is no stranger to Scotstoun; the 13-year-old is a Glasgow Warriors ball boy and can be seen pacing the track at Scotstoun during home matches.

He said: "It is great fun being a ball boy and I get to watch up close my favourite player Jonny Gray at most home games.

"Being back at Scotstoun again playing is really fun.

"A lot of responsibility comes with captaincy but at the end of the day, it's enjoyable.

"We have a close bond as a group and rugby allows you to meet and make new friends.

“You can be any size to play rugby as well so I would recommend anyone to give it a try."

A record number of 405 girls are taking part in the 2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship.

Supporting women and girls on the pitch is mirrored in SP Energy Networks' support of women in the workplace through activities like apprenticeships, women returners’ programmes and their #NotJustForBoys campaign in partnership with the Scotland Women Rugby team.

Lockerbie Academy girls’ captain Hannah Colledge enjoyed her first run out at Scotstoun saying: "It has been good fun.

“We are new as a team but have come together very well and quickly created a nice team spirit.

"It's good to play when the weather is sunny and hopefully we will be back again next year."

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