Rugby Union: King's take the crown: Rosslyn Park sevens

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The Independent Online
IT helps to have a bit of form going into the National Schools Sevens, but King's Canterbury broke the general rule and the hearts of a battling Blundells to capture their first Festival title by making all the smart moves before the interval in yesterday's final at Roehampton, writes Barrie Fairall.

'We hadn't won a thing prior to coming here,' said Roy White, the London and South- East 18 group coach who masterminded the triumph. All King's had going for them was a semi- final appearance in the Kent Sevens just over a fortnight ago - their only previous win in the Rosslyn Park showpiece came in the 1964 Open tournament.

They surprised everyone in the competition for schools playing rugby in one term, reeling off eight successive wins over two days and running up 196 points in the process. They reached the final with room to spare, ousting last year's runners-up, Christ College, Brecon.

Blundells, on the other hand, did have some form. The Devon boys had walked away from Taunton with the West of England title and destroyed the hat- trick hopes of Berkshire's Wellington College in the quarter- finals.

In the final, though, Blundells were hit early by two tries from the flying Roger Gardner and King's were 16 points up at the break thanks to a touchdown from Myles Orsler, the England 18 Group No 8, and three conversions by Ben Craddock.

While Blundells eventually closed the gap to 21-17, they left with a rare record - beaten in their opening group match and then again at the very last.

King's Canterbury: Tries Gardner 2, Orsler. Conversions Craddock 3. Blundells: Tries Garrett, Coad, Clifford-Jones. Conversions Stormonth.

King's Canterbury: R Gardner, J Bishop, B Craddock (capt), J Irone, L Williams, M Edwards, M Orsler.

Blundells: S Garrett, A Knott, J Stormonth, J Sessions-Hodge, J Coad (capt), R Clifford- Jones, S Bull.

Referee: J Burtenshaw (Croydon).

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