22nd June 2018, 13:40 | champion_schools

St John Fisher set to renew Final rivalry

St John Fisher set to renew Final rivalry


  • v St Peter's, Manchester
  • Victoria Park, Warrington
  • Friday, July 6
  • 3.40pm kick off

Coach: Lauren Cloke

Squad: Ruby Enright, Reanne Harrison, Mya Taylor, Gabrielle Akaidere, Natalia Ambroziak, Jodie Gaskin, Courtney Gooch, Nancy Hirst, Kiera Coughlin, Mia Diskin, Paige Lister, Ebony Briggs, Tiegan Ramsden

This will be the third consecutive year the squad have made the Champion Schools Finals. And in each of those finals they have played today’s opponents, St Peter's.

In Year 7 they lost on golden point but gained revenge last year with a 30-18 victory over.

So what makes this group of girls so special?

"They just bleed Rugby League basically," said coach Lauren Cloke.

"They play in school and outside school for local clubs and are fully committed, which makes my job a hell of a lot easier."

In previous years St John Fisher has been the sole Kirklees representative - but this year another school put themselves forward.

They turned out to be a really strong team, which gave the girls something of a shock and it turned out to be a close contest.

"They stepped up their game instantly as soon as they realised the importance of it," said Lauren. "The Festival went exactly to plan, we were happy with the draw and didn’t lose a game and played really well."

So what are the attributes of the squad?

"We're quick and nimble, which I think is our biggest strength," she said.

"We've also got some really big strong players who defend well and some nippy forwards who just run rings round people."

Players to look out for include Ruby Enright, the captain who is their quickest player while Nancy Hirst is incredibly committed and always trying to motivate the team.

Lauren, who came to the school four years ago, has been instrumental in the success of girls' Rugby League at the school: "Since we've had one group go through, others have thought 'we can do that' and it's spurred them on."

She pays tribute to the parents for their support and also the school and staff.

"We got a new head teacher this year and he’s brand new to all this. I think he needed a little bit of convincing about them taking afternoons off outside of school but he's been supportive.

"The teachers are incredibly supportive letting them out of lessons to enable them to get to these tournaments."

  • Road to the Final
  • St John Fisher 18-0 St Peter's (Wigan)
  • St John Fisher 6-0 Astley
  • St John Fisher 30-10 Bishopshalt
  • Semi Final
  • St John Fisher 22-18 Castleford Academy