Rugby Union: The holders survive early scare: Welsh sides at the forefront of annual extravaganza at Rosslyn Park

ROSSLYN PARK may be destined for the Third Division, but rest assured their name will not be forgotten. Each year at Roehampton the club treats us to a springtime of rugby genius, the National Schools Sevens continuing to blossom and this time laying on over 600 matches spread across four days.

From humble beginnings in 1939, when Frank Lyall sent out invitations to 16 schools, the tournament has grown into the largest of its kind in the world, and now caters, on average, for 3,000 youngsters annually. Small wonder that Derek Tanner, who ran the show for 22 years, was recently awarded a BEM.

It was Tanner, now in his 79th year, who saw to it that what was once the property of the public schools was opened up to all and the grand old man was on hand yesterday as the big Open competition got under way.

One group in particular was almost too rich for Llandovery, the holders. In their third match, they were held to a 19-19 draw by St Joseph's from Ipswich, and they eventually reached today's knock-out stages by beating St Edward's, Liverpool, 31-12.

They should be made to feel quite at home as four other Welsh sides also progressed - Brynteg from Mid Glamorgan, St Cyres from Penarth, Strade, formerly Llanelli Grammar School, and Bishop Gore from Swansea.

Ampleforth, the Yorkshire giants, have been sleeping quietly since collecting six Festival and an Open title in the Eighties. Watched over as usual by John Willcox, who won 16 caps for England as a full-back, they overwhelmed their first four opponents running up 205 points and conceding one try. The real test, though, begins against Strade.

Rosslyn Park Schools Sevens

Group A: Gravesend 3 Millfield 31; John Cleveland College 5 RGS Guildford 45; Millfield 36 King Edward VII, Lytham 5; Gravesend 7 RGS Guildford 24; Gravesend 7 King Edward VII, 40; Millfield 40 John Cleveland 0; King Edward VII 17 RGS Guildford 21; Gravesend 26 John Cleveland 17; King Edward VII 34 John Cleveland 14; Millfield 21 RGS Guildford 12. Winners: Millfield.

Group B: Brynteg 17 Wallington 14; St Edmund's, Ware 12 Newcastle-under-Lyme 14; Wallington 14 Arnold 28; Brynteg 39 Newcastle-under-Lyme 5; Brynteg 26 Arnold 14; Wallington 7 St Edmund's 31; Arnold 24 Newcastle-under-Lyme 19; Brynteg 19 St Edmund's 14; Arnold 14 St Edmund's 12; Wallington 14 Newcastle-under-Lyme 28. Winners: Brynteg.

Group C: Maidstone 0 Hampton 47; Mount St Mary's 7 St Cyres 24; Hampton 33 Ripon 12; Maidstone 7 St Cyres 50; Maidstone 12 Ripon 38; Hampton 21 Mount St Mary's 5; Ripon 7 St Cyres 22; Maidstone 0 Mount St Mary's 29; Ripon 12 Mount St Mary's 12; Hampton 10 St Cyres 33. Winners: St Cyres.

Group D: RGS High Wycombe 25 Sir Thomas Picton 5; London Oratory 22 St Olave's, Kent 5; Sir Thomas Picton 0 St Bede's 40; RGS High Wycombe 12 St Olave's 17; RGS High Wycombe 19 St Bede's 7; Sir Thomas Picton 0 London Oratory 36; St Bede's 15 St Olave's 21; RGS High Wycombe 0 London Oratory 21; St Bede's 5 London Oratory 31; Sir Thomas Picton 7 St Olave's 59. Winners: London Oratory.

Group E: Chichester 14 St Joseph's, Ipswich 24; Llandovery 35 Emanuel 12; St Joseph's 12 St Edward's, Liverpool 24; Chichester 21 Emanuel 12; Chichester 14 St Edward's 40; St Joseph's 19 Llandovery 19; St Edward's 24 Emanuel 7; Chichester 0 Llandovery 40; St Edward's 12 Llandovery 31; St Joseph's 45 Emanuel 7. Winners: Llandovery.

Group F: Warwick 26 Tasker Millward 7; Eltham 36 Gunnersbury 7; Tasker Millward 7 Birkenhead 24; Warwick 40 Gunnersbury 7; Warwick 14 Birkenhead 19; Tasker Millward 0 Eltham 33; Birkenhead 45 Gunnersbury 5; Warwick 0 Eltham 47; Birkenhead 5 Eltham 31; Tasker Millward 28 Gunnersbury 21. Winners: Eltham.

Group G: Chislehurst & Sidcup 38 Belmont Abbey 25; Queen Elizabeth, Barnet 5 Reigate 35; Belmont Abbey 0 Wirral 26; Reigate 26 Chislehurst & Sidcup 14; Chislehurst & Sidcup 12 Wirral 26; Belmont Abbey 5 Queen Elizabeth 31; Wirral 15 Reigate 7; Chislehurst & Sidcup 19 Queen Elizabeth 29; Wirral 33 Queen Elizabeth 5; Belmont Abbey 7 Reigate 45. Winners: Wirral.

Group H: Bassaleg 19 City of London Freemen 33; Coopers' 14 Nottingham 10; City of London Freemen 14 King's, Macclesfield 21; Bassaleg 7 Nottingham 19; Bassaleg 19 King's 19; City of London Freemen 26 Coopers' 26; King's 14 Nottingham 7; Bassaleg 19 Coopers' 35; King's 26 Coopers' 7; City of London Freemen 19 Nottingham 48. Winners: King's.

Group I: John Fisher 12 Tiffin 15; Rydal 14 Aylesbury 10; Tiffin 5 Bradford 47; John Fisher 12 Aylesbury 19; John Fisher 10 Bradford 38; Tiffin 39 Rydal 7; Bradford 31 Aylesbury 0; John Fisher 19 Rydal 12; Bradford 35 Rydal 0; Tiffin 17 Aylesbury 5. Winners: Bradford.

Group J: Strade 43 Broxbourne 0; Campion 17 Judd 7; Broxbourne 7 Manchester 27; Strade 21 Judd 5; Strade 21 Manchester 12; Broxbourne 0 Campion 45; Manchester 17 Judd 12; Strade 26 Campion 5; Manchester 5 Campion 19; Broxbourne 0 Judd 35. Winners: Strade.

Group K: Ampleforth 47 Dartford 0; Caerleon 26 Dame Alice Owen's 7; Dartford 40 De Aston 7; Ampleforth 47 Dame Alice Owen's 5; Ampleforth 61 De Aston 0; Dartford 7 Caerleon 29; De Aston 33 Dame Alice Owen's 14; Ampleforth 50 Caerleon 0; De Aston 17 Caerleon 12; Dartford 33 Dame Alice Owen's 17. Winners: Ampleforth.

Group L: Bethany 26 King Edward VI, Nuneaton 0; RGS Newcastle 27 St Benedict's 0; King Edward VI 7 Saintbridge 22; Bethany 19 St Benedict's 7; Bethany 21 Saintbridge 7; King Edward VI 0 RGS Newcastle 50; Saintbridge 0 St Benedict's 31; Bethany 10 RGS Newcastle 40; Saintbridge 10 RGS Newcastle 31; King Edward VI 5 St Benedict's 27. Winners: RGS Newcastle.

Group M: Solihull 19 Glantaf 14; Minster 7 Latymer U 17; Glantaf 15 Merchant Taylors' 28; Solihull 19 Latymer U 17; Solihull 33 Merchant Taylors' 5; Glantaf 17 Minster 0; Merchant Taylors' 7 Latymer U 33; Solihull 33 Minster 0; Merchant Taylors' 52 Minster 7; Glantaf 12 Latymer U 12. Winners: Solihull.

Group N: St George's, Harpenden 21 Enfield 19; Bishop Gore 10 Stonyhurst 5; Enfield 14 Hymers 47; St George's 0 Stonyhurst 36; St George's 17 Hymers 19; Enfield 0 Bishop Gore 24; Hymers 12 Stonyhurst 19; St George's 12 Bishop Gore 22; Hymers 17 Bishop Gore 19; Enfield 8 Stonyhurst 19. Winners: Bishop Gore.

JUNIOR TOURNAMENT Quarter-Finals: City of London Freemen 7 Dulwich 20; Bishopston 14 Reigate 5; Bristol 10 London Oratory 13; Hymers 31 Bradford GS 7. Semi-finals: Dulwich 55 Bishopston 0; London Oratory 33 Hymers 5. Final: Dulwich 17 London Oratory 7.

PREP SCHOOLS' TOURNAMENT: Quarter- Finals: The Downs 7 Clayesmore 12; Prior Park 19 St Johns, Beaumont, Berks 7; Woolborough Hill 10 Caldicott 12; Clifton 5 St Mary's Hall 10; Semi-finals Clayesmore 0 Caldicott 17; Prior Park 5 St Mary's Hall 0. Final: Caldicott 22 Prior Park 0.

(Photograph omitted)

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