Eastwood High School qualify for knock-out stages

Eastwood High School is the first school through to the knockout stages of the 2019 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship after the opening round of qualifying at Scotstoun on Wednesday.

The Glasgow southsiders were impressive during an entertaining day of rugby as an S1 and S2 boys' team and an under-15 girls' team from five schools competed across 30 matches. 

Eastwood High School edged out Annan Academy, Loudoun Academy, Smithycroft Secondary School and tournament debutant's Stonelaw High School to qualify out their group at the third time of asking.

Across 12 matches, Eastwood's three sides scored a total of 63 tries with their girls winning all four matches.

Delighted Eastwood High School PE teacher Gordon Reid said: “I'm really delighted for the pupils, they played some terrific rugby to qualify.

"It was a great day and it's always good to come down to Scotstoun for what is a fantastic tournament organised by SP Energy Networks and Glasgow Warriors.

"We were two points off qualifying two years ago and last year we were in a group with Shawlands Academy who ended up winning the competition, so to qualify now is amazing.

"The players are absolutely buzzing, they did themselves proud."

He continued: "When I joined the school about eight years ago we had a small rugby presence but now we've got 120 girls and boys playing.

"So the numbers have really grown and for me it's about participation and enjoying the game of rugby. They love it."

For some of the girls competing it was their very first experience of competitive action and they got to rub shoulders with the Scottish Women's squad who were training ahead of Friday night's Six Nations clash against Ireland at Scotstoun.

Annabel Sergeant passed on some advice during a break from training and was impressed with what she saw.

The Scotland winger said: "It's great to see so many girls out playing rugby and there's some talented players taking part.

"When I was that age there wasn't any rugby at school so this competition represents a brilliant opportunity for them.

"Getting to build their skillsets at such a young age is great for the game in Scotland and encouraging to see.

"My rugby team is like one big family and that's what I enjoy about our sport."

A total of 193 tries were scored yesterday with 210 players taking part.

Loudoun Academy pupil Alexander Hendry impressed for his school's S2 side and he enjoyed competing in the Warriors Championship for a second year.

The 14-year-old said: "Coming to Scotstoun and playing against the other schools is something I really look forward to. It brings our team closer together as a unit and helps us develop.

"Speed and strength are probably my best assets and I love the way Stuart Hogg plays for Scotland and Glasgow Warriors."   

Glasgow Warriors winger Lee Jones attended Friday's launch of the 2019 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship at Whitelee Windfarm and was keen to see some of the pupils he met last week in action yesterday.

He said: “Speaking to a lot of the kids, some of them wouldn't be involved in rugby if it wasn't for this competition so it's good they can get a taste for it today.

"I was eight when my folks took me down to mini-rugby training in Selkirk. I fell in love with it.

"My pals played as well and that was massive for all of us when you were heading to training on a freezing cold Sunday morning."

- At the beginning of the 2017/18 season Glasgow Warriors announced a landmark three-year partnership with SP Energy Networks which saw them become the club’s Official Community Partner.

SP Energy Networks, which operates across central and southern Scotland, are working with Glasgow Warriors on a wide-range of community initiatives, including the SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship.

More than 1,000 girls and boys from 25 schools are competing in this year’s competition which will give a platform to grassroots talent to display their skills at Scotstoun Stadium.

Q2 - Wednesday 20 February: Lenzie Academy, Maxwelltown High School, Falkirk High School, Cumnock Academy, Oban High School.  

Q3 - Wednesday 27 February: Balfron High School, Auchinleck Academy, Queen Margaret Academy, Kirkcudbright Academy, St Andrew's RC Secondary School (Glasgow). 

Q4- Wednesday 6 March: Kyle Academy, Coatbridge High School, Largs Academy, Ayr Academy, St Paul's High School   

Q5 - Wednesday 13 March: Marr College, St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, Jordanhill School, Boclair Academy, Wallace High School.

Semi-finals: Wednesday 27 March

Finals Day: Saturday 27 April (prior to Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Rugby)