29 April 2008
A team of promising young rugby stars from Lewis School, Pengam have returned home victorious after beating teams from across Europe at an International Rugby Festival in Paris.
The boys took the top title after a hard fought campaign which saw them dominate the event with their skill levels and enthusiasm.
After the group stages the team was ranked number one and didn't concede a point in five matches. The finals day proved to be very successful when the team beat Dinnington RFC 19-0 in the semi-final to set up a final against Denstone College.
The players certainly kept their best rugby for the last game as they totally outclassed a strong Denstone team 50-0 to take the trophy as winners of the International Rugby Festival.
The team has experienced an impressive turnaround compared to last year's season when they suffered a number of heavy defeats. When the team returned to school last September their rugby coach & PE teacher Gareth Richards arranged training every Monday lunchtime for the players and hoped that the team could develop and improve their performances.
The 2007/8 season has proven to be very successful for the school. The Year 8 team continued their good form after the Year 7 Super 12 Cup win, the Senior team got to the Welsh Cup Plate Competition quarter-finals, but the season's biggest success story has been the improvement in results of the Year 9 team.
This season the Year 9 team were entered in the Welsh Schools Coca-Cola Cup along with 200 secondary schools in the country. The teams play in local leagues during the first phase with the winners progressing to the knockout phases of the competition.
No Lewis School rugby team had ever gone past the last 16 of the Welsh Cup so the team had already made a bit of history and were determined to crown a fantastic season by beating Gowerton and in the process get the opportunity to play in the Welsh cup final at the Millennium Stadium.
The team played their heart out and gave Gowerton a massive challenge but despite the defeat the team can hold their heads up and be very proud of such a fantastic achievement.
The transition from average Caerphilly county borough team to Welsh Cup semi-finalists has been nothing short of extraordinary and the boys have already targeted the next Coca-Cola Welsh Cup in two years time at under 16 level where they hope to go one better and get that dream date at the Millennium Stadium.
PE teacher and rugby coach Gareth Richards is very proud of the boys, "The team are a privilege to teach and coach and would train everyday if I asked them. They have progressed so well this year and it all comes down to hard work, commitment, enthusiasm and a fantastic team spirit. I believe that if they can maintain this they will no doubt be challenging again in two years time."
Head of PE, Mike Cameron, said, "It has been a fantastic year for the school with the rugby, football and cross country teams having their best seasons for some time. We have benefited from the introduction of the 5x60 programme, with our officer Mike Jones providing opportunities for those who are not in our school teams. I look forward to the athletics season and to continue our success next season."
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