Junior Rugby League made a welcome return to Harvey Hadden Stadium Nottingham this week with the Qualifying Round of the Robin Hood Trophy.
The Robin Hood Trophy is in its inaugural year and is open to Year 7 Boys teams from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Played to Midlands Junior Rugby League rules the games are 9-aside and the action is fast paced with little time to pause for breath as the Tries and Big Hits come thick and fast.
Due to the number of teams on the day Trophy organisers at the Rugby Football League (RFL) have had to announce an additional Plate competition. Community Rugby League Coach for Derbyshire Kane Chambers explained,
‘A number of schools today exceeded even their own expectations and had enough lads for two teams which is testament to the appeal of Rugby League but also the efforts of PE & Sports Staff. Due to the number of teams I’m pleased to announce that we’re going to run the Robin Hood Plate Competition alongside the Cup Finals next week. This is further evidence that School Rugby League is booming in the area which is timely with our local clubs Junior programmes kicking off after Easter.’
After the qualifying rounds the standings see Nottingham City’s hard-hitting Hadden Park High as top seeds closely followed by perennial dark horses Nottinghamshire’s George Spencer Academy. Derbyshire’s Heanorgate A are on a steep learning curve and ranked third; the tough Derbyshire outfit will surely have a hand in deciding who wins the spoils in Week 2. Bramcote Park A are likely to provide a few surprises as their B team’s ranking suggests there will be plenty of selection headaches for Head Coach Bateman in the next few days.
(1) Hadden Park High
(2) George Spencer Academy
(3) Heanorgate A
(4) Bramcote Park A
(5) Bramcote Park B
(6) Heanorgate B
Finals will be played on Tuesday 13th March @ Harvey Hadden Stadium and will see Midlands Champion School’s heavyweights Frederick Gent enter the fray. The boys from the north have been given a bye due to Champion Schools commitments and will want to get back to winning ways after a tough encounter versus Telford’s Burton Borough in the Midland’s Champion Schools Final. Freddie Gents A team will enter the Trophy competition whilst Freddie Gents B will be looking to prove that Head Coach Nick Lomas’ talent pool runs deep, as they take their place in the Plate competition.
Every player involved has more than just silverware and personal pride to play for next week as County Schools selectors will be in attendance to identify representative players for ‘Nottinghamshire vs Derbyshire: Best of Enemies’ which will provide the curtain raiser before the Heroes Trophy where Nottingham Outlaws Frist Grade play the Royal Artillary on 31st March @ Harvey Hadden Stadium.
The Robin Hood Trophy has been planned to allow school players additional competition before joining Junior Rugby League clubs this summer and comes after coaching in schools and afterschool clubs. If you are interested in playing, volunteering or supporting Rugby League in the area or at your school then please get in touch via:
Community Rugby League Coach for Nottinghamshire
George Strachan – firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Rugby League Coach for Derbyshire
Kane Chambers - Derbyshire.CRLC@rfl.uk.com