In what was a tense and exciting cup final, Peter Symonds College rugby team came from behind twice to beat Brockenhurst College 33 - 11 and take home the Hampshire Under 18’s Schools Cup 2016/17. 

In the early minutes of the game, the Peter Symonds players found themselves 3 points down as the Brockenhurst side opted to kick an early penalty. Symonds hit back instantly with some quick hands moving the ball to the right wing and creating an opportunity for George Brown who worked hard to score and give Symonds the lead (PSC 5 - Brock 3).

The penalty count against Symonds was high and they were to pay a price when a second kickable penalty was awarded to the Brockenhurst side (PSC 5 - Brock 6). The size of the Brockenhurst forwards meant that they could dominate with hard and direct running. Staying on their feet and they took advantage of this, however, it was from a Peter Symonds error that they would score their next points to extent their lead to 11 – 5.

The loss of Sam Clarke and his leadership experience through injury would see the Symonds players needing to pull together and it was Clarke’s replacement Bradley Cumming whose hunger to take part seemed to propel through the contact area to add his name to the score sheet, with Ollie Cook converting (PSC 12 - Brock 11).

Having aligned themselves with the breakdown laws, Symonds earned a penalty of their own and their tempo in attack complimented their defensive efforts. After two quick phases of play Josh Henderson scored in the corner and with a conversion of significant quality by Oliver Cook taking the half-time score to Peter Symonds 19, Brockenhurst 11.

The half-time break provided an opportunity for some technical adjustment in the scrummage in a bid to counter the first half physical dominance of the Brockenhurst pack. It also provided an opportunity for the Symonds Captain Toby Warburton to re-iterate his pre match messages and rally his troops for the important post break battle.

As the second half began, it was clear that the physicality was to intensify. Brockenhurst upped the anti and whilst all in the Symonds side should be applauded for their efforts across the board, two players were to take center stage and their defensive performances can only be described as magnificent. Ben Connor and Ben Donnell are names to remember and it will be interesting to see how their careers progress. 

Having sustained Brockenhursts onslaught the Symonds players were able to benefit from the fatigue that their heavier opposition were clearly struggling with. In the final quarter the game began to open up allowing Symonds to play some expansive rugby creating opportunities for George Brown to score a cup final hat-trick, with the reliable Ollie Cook kicking both to make the final score Peter Symonds College 33 pts and Brockenhurst College 11pts.


Mike Marchant, Head of Peter Symonds Rugby, enthused; "We are really pleased with what is happening in rugby at Peter Symonds College. Both the Women's and Men's squads have performed superbly on the field of play. Our team photograph this year consisted of literally dozens of player boys and girls who enjoy the game at all levels and that is so important when living in a world where performance is so often simply based upon a score line".


Posted on 12/01/17 at 12:56

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