After a season of intense practice, constant training, and gruelling games, the Saint Olave’s rugby team reached the final of the Jimmy Cup – a regional rugby cup for schools in London – receiving their sought-after victory and beating their competitors Hayes in one of the most thrilling rugby matches of the year.

The Jimmy Cup: a rugby competition taking place throughout the autumn term of the academic year, it is formulated so that qualifying schools knock each other out over the course of the competition until only two remain. Only one game determines which teams progress and which teams are eliminated. With competitors ranging from private schools such as Eltham College to grammar schools such as Saint Olave’s, each match is an event to remember.

After winning against Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School – 14 to 5 – on Saturday 11th December, Olave’s qualified for the final round of the Jimmy Cup taking place on Wednesday the 14th. Their competitors? Hayes School. A strong rugby team which Saint Olave’s had in fact played previously this season (outside of the Jimmy Cup tournament) and had lost to by one meagre point – a missed conversion lost them the match.

Despite this prior defeat, the Olave’s team was confident they could win due to their incredible performance in recent games and their stellar team chemistry. The game, which was open to be spectated by all, was advertised immensely in the upcoming week as students pledged to support their team at Sidcup Rugby Club on the night of the match. The confident mood seemed to be infectious – interviewing one Year 12 member of the team, it was stated that ‘We’ve been playing so well recently, and we have a really strong team. As long as everyone keeps calm on the night, we can definitely beat Hayes – our team is better than theirs.’

These words of confidence wavered slightly when two of the team’s best players were revealed to not be playing – one due to an injury and the team’s captain due to a sudden emergency. However, the turnout on the night was incredible and all the supportive spectators were able to celebrate Saint Olave’s win in the final against Hayes, with a score of 20 – 14. After 2 tries, 2 conversions, and 2 penalties, the game finished with a victory for the Olave’s team: an abundance of celebration, praise, and school spirit.