b'THE ELLESMERIAN 98Rugby - 1st VIIEllesmere College has a rich tradition of rugby sevens and over the yearsMichaelmas season had resulted from a very dominant pack so some the College has enjoyed some considerable success. This format of theradical changes were made for this tournament. School after school game allows Ellesmere to compete with schools far larger than ourselves. made the error in trying to play traditional sevens in what soon escalated into a mud bath. However, the big forward-dominated The first tournament on the calendar is the Christ College BreconEllesmere side opted for a tight contact-based game, which proved to Sevens. This has been the case for the last 15 years. This tournamentbe the smart move. This served them well all the way to the semi-final was always a great way for schools to put their training to the testwhere they played the hosts in a game where people could not tell while engaging in some competitive rugby. However, the clientele ofthe two teams apart due to the conditions. However, the forward this tournament has changed considerably over the years. What wasbased team was always a gamble, as losing possession on a wide field previously a tournament for a handful of private schools has nowwould often leave them vulnerable. Kings Worcester took advantage changed out of all recognition, with Sixth Form colleges now adding aof the slow defenders and just pipped the result as Ellesmere different dimension to the competition. This would prove to be asquandered an opportunity in the dying seconds of the game.tough learning experience for the Ellesmere team with results not going their way. Too much contact and poor defence led to fourThe highlight of the season is the trip to London for Rosslyn Park. This defeats. However, all was not lost. As is often the case in rugby sevens,is a fantastic opportunity for the Ellesmere pupils to see some of the the underdog can often defeat a favourite. The highlight of the day wasbiggest rugby schools in the country and allow themselves to get Ellesmeres victory against Llandovery. The game took place on thecaught up in the rugby fever of the worlds biggest school boy main pitch and saw the black and whites do an excellent job oftournament. The competition is always made up of small groups of keeping the ball. They took their opportunities and won 21-17.four and if you are unfortunate to lose a game then the chances of progressing in the competition are reduced considerably. The beginning of March saw the country battered by torrential rain.Unfortunately, Ellesmere lost their first game which meant that they Lots of tournaments were cancelled due to pitches being underwater.were up against it. However, they fought on valiantly with a good win Fortunately, Worcester School bravely decided to go ahead with theiragainst Wellingborough College and running Epsom close.competition. This would prove to be a memorable evening. EllesmereAlthough the 1st VII were unable to win any silverware this year, it have always played a very expansive form of rugby when it comes tocould be seen as a success with rugby sevens making its return, along sevens.This can perhaps be summarised by avoiding contact at allwith some memorable performances. costs when in attack. However, given the conditions, coaches Murphyand Williams picked a very different side. The success of the AJM'