High school in national finals

Captain Connor Stewart with grand final shield and U14 Whitley Bay High School.
Captain Connor Stewart with grand final shield and U14 Whitley Bay High School.

WHITLEY Bay High School reached the last 16 of the National Carnegie Champion Schools rugby league competition by beating St John’s College 46-18 in the north east grand final on Tuesday.

Both teams went into the game in great form with St John’s winning their Durham final and Whitley Bay the Tyne and Wear final.

The game was played at the The Pavilion in Peterlee.

Whitley Bay started the stronger, scoring a quick try after only three minutes from speedy winger Adam Cass.

This was then followed by a strong run from captain Connor Stewart to take the score to 8-0 after seven minutes.

St John’s rallied and quickly began to complete their sets strongly, testing the Whitley Bay defence.

However, Whitley again hit St John’s with quick hand work and line speed to break through and give themselves a 30-0 lead at half-time.

St John’s started the second half well and found the attacking prowess that they had shown in their victories throughout the previous rounds.

Two quick tries from them took the score to 30-10 as Whitley Bay’s defence were unable to handle strong running from the St John’s forwards.

But Whitley Bay managed to spread their play along the same lines as they had during the first half to allow Luca Deriu to score in the corner to make the score 34-10.

The second half remained very tight with both sides traded tries.

But it would be Whitley Bay who just managed to edge out their opponent’s fantastic second half fight back to take the game 46-18.

Whitley Bay’s Jack Tait was named man of the match after scoring a try and assisting in three others.

He said: “The result was fantastic and we can’t wait for the next round.”

The win means Whitley Bay progress through to the last 16 where they will face tough competition from the rugby league heartland schools.

Head coach David Lee said: “We know the task in front of ourselves is huge, not many people will give a north east school a chance against teams from Wigan and Leeds, but we have a quality group of lads who are determined to test themselves against anyone in the next round.”