Warwick School Under-13s were crowned national champions after beating Trinity School, Croydon, 12-7 in the final of the School Sports Magazine-sponsored tournament at Bloxham School.
Playing downhill and with a light wind at their backs, Warwick dominated territory and possession in the opening stages, but with nerves getting the better of both sides, handling errors were prevalent.
Staunch defence from Trinity and a relaxed approach to the policing of the offside line limited opportunities and the sides went in at the break with the scoreboard blank.
With the advantage of the conditions after the interval, it was Trinity’s turn to have the better of the field position, with Warwick forced to try and play from deep in the face of their opponents’ kicking game.
They eventually broke out with a strong counter attack followed by a clever box kick from scrum-half Max Hayward which penned Trinity back on their line. Slick interplay down the blind side then allowed centre Finlay Smith to show and go before touching down under pressure.
Hayward kicked an excellent conversion from close to the sideline to make it 7-0.
A Warwick mistake at the restart allowed Trinity to build a number of phases and the pressure eventually told when their right-winger scored in the corner.
The conversion was once again nailed to bring the sides level with five minutes remaining.
Trinity were on a high but valiant defending from Calvyn Louis and full-back Ethan Evan Cook secured a turnover.
The pace was frenetic as the final whistle approached and a lineout steal from Jack Forsythe inside the Trinity 22 led to a direct run from the flanker which carried him to within inches of the line.
Fast recycling shifted the ball to centre Harry Spencer who hit the defence and spun twice, eluding the covering players to touch down and ensure a memorable end to a pulsating encounter.