Local Rugby Academy takes on Portuguese tournament

Over the Easter holidays, Truro College Rugby Academy students travelled to Lisbon for the prestigious Portugal Youth Rugby Invitational Tournament.

The trip started on a high for the Truro team with a dominant win over WindhoekHS from Namibia who were very physical in all areas. This first 'friendly' set the tone for the rest of the trip with some high-quality rugby.

Steve Larkins, the Rugby Academy Coordinator at the College, thought the location of the tournament was ideal.

We were based near one of the biggest surfing beaches in Portugal, which allowed us to train and prepare in excellent conditions.

Steve Larkin

The tournament just outside of Lisbon started well for the team with a comprehensive win over the Iron Armour Academy based in Australia and New Zealand. Iron Marmour treated the Cornish lads to an extremely intense and confrontational Haka, which was filmed and has since had over 20K views.

This was followed up by two wins against tough Portuguese Opposition in Kituro RC and Belenenses, who threw everything at the Truro squad but the young Truro College players weathered the storm and came through to top the group and progress into the quarterfinals. 

The Truro College Rugby Academy team during the 2019 Portugal International Youth Rugby Festival

The Truro College Rugby Academy team during the 2019 Portugal International Youth Rugby Festival

The quarters saw students produce a mature and polished display to see off CDUL from Portugal. This set up a semi-final against the Wasps Academy based at Coventry College. The last play of the game saw the team produce some awesome rugby to score and convert to beat them and progress into the final at the first attempt.

The final was always going to be tough as the team from Truro College were predominantly an Under 17s team against an Under 19s team of Sale Sharks. This proved to be the case with Sale beating a very battered Truro College team.

Despite the trophy being snatched away at the last hurdle, Steve was incredibly proud of the students, saying: "The team were excellent both on and off the field and were definitely the crowds favourite, with games played in front of 2000 to 3000 spectators. The organisers were so impressed they have already invited us back for 2020. 

It was an unbelievable experience for all involved and to finish the trip with six our of seven wins was the icing on the cake. Trips such as this place Truro College firmly on the international Rugby map.

Steve Larkin

"This was the Rugby Academy's 15th overseas trip and will be considered one of the best. Thanks to Truro College for supporting the trip and giving the players memories which will last a lifetime."

The team's time in Portugal finished with a cultural visit to Lisbon where the squad was able to see the many wonderful buildings and landmarks of the old city.