Calderdale College Rugby League Team – the Best in the Country8th April 2014
On Wednesday 2nd April, Calderdale College Rugby League team won the Student Rugby League National Colleges Final by defeating Lancashire finalists Hopwood Hall from Rochdale 50 – 6.
The College currently have 7 students as part of the Halifax RLFC Under 20s squad and in 2013, 3 were part of the England Colleges squad. This season the team remains undefeated, winning the Yorkshire cup against New College Pontefract (34-10) for the second year in a row and clinching the Yorkshire Premier League for the first time with a win over Wakefield (46 -0).
Lee Greenwood, Calderdale College Rugby League Coach and Halifax RLFC Assistant Coach said: “We watched Hopwood Hall play in the National Semi Final. They have some really good players and we were expecting it to be our hardest game of the season.”
Last year the College qualified for the National Final, but were defeated by Runshaw. This year has been a whirlwind of ruby successes which has led to the College going one step further by winning the trio of championship games – The Yorkshire Cup, The Yorkshire Rugby League and National Final.
"To win the National Final for the first time is a fantastic achievement for the College. Many thanks must go to programme managers and tutors who have supported the Rugby Development Centre and allowed our students to train and play without it affecting their studies. Now we have come this far, we aim to finish the season undefeated and hopefully we will see more of our students representing Yorkshire and England Colleges shortly,” continued Lee.
The team will now continue to train and will go head to head in the Student Rugby League Champion Play-Offs against the top four Yorkshire and top four Lancashire Colleges: “After the Easter break, we have the Championship playoffs. We have been drawn to play Warrington Collegiate in the Quarter Finals on Wednesday 30th April, with the Final scheduled for Wednesday 21st May.”
Calderdale College won their first National Final in style with a 50-6 win over Lancashire side Hopwood Hall. With both teams coming in to the final undefeated, it promised to be a tight affair. For large parts it was, but Calderdale were clinical in attack and brutal in defence. Callum Dunne finished with 4 super tries, the highlight being a full length sprint after taking a Hopwood kick on his own line. Brad Allen, Tom Garratt and Michael Handol were outstanding for Calderdale. Louis Hobbs and George Hulme had both scored close range tries and Ryan Sweeney had kicked 2 goals before Dunne grabbed his first 2. Hopwood gave themselves a lift by scoring a converted try on the half time whistle to go in 20-6. The Halifax side cut loose after the break though, stand-off Jake Smith setting up Dunne and full back Billy Gaylor for excellent scores. Centre Ollie Bartle added a superb individual effort, Dunne notched his fourth and Sweeney converted his own try to take the score to a resounding 50-6.