OUTWOOD Grange Academy will be hoping its Year 9 rugby league team can make it a hat-trick of Carnegie Champions Schools titles next month.
Outwood take on Leeds-based Priesthorpe High in the final of the prestigious school rugby league competition at Twickenham Stoop, London, on Friday, August 26.
The current Year 9 squad won the national event at both Year 8 and Year 7 age groups, setting them up for what would be a record-equalling third success in the competition.
They made it two title triumphs from as many final appearances last year when they defeated Brentwood County High School, from Essex, 38-8 in the final.
It followed their success at Year 7 level when they beat local rivals Castleford High School 20-12.
The team will travel to London next month looking to prove they’re still the best rugby league side in their age category.
They booked their place in the final the hard way, after coming through some tough opposition at regional and national level.
Outwood kicked-off their route to the final with a convincing 18-0 victory over Bradford-based Thornton in the first round of the Yorkshire competition before enjoying a comprehensive 42-6 win at North Yorkshire school King James in round two.
An equally-comfortable 48-6 triumph over Hull side Malet Lambert followed for Outwood to see them through to the last-four.
Their progression to the semi-finals was enough to earn them a place in the national stages, but they took their eyes off the ball and lost 16-12 to South Holderness, from Hull, who went on to eventually win the Yorkshire stage of the competition.
Outwood were keen to bounce back and they dusted themselves down before beating Lancashire top seeds Wade Deacon in the second round of the nationals.
A close-fought 18-14 victory over old foes Castleford High followed in the quarter-final.
And Outwood found out that revenge was a dish best served cold when they booked their place in the final with a 26-16 win at South Holderness in the semi-finals.
Only Leeds side Priesthorpe High stand between Outwood and a third consecutive Carnegie Champion Schools success and coach Roy Sampson will be hoping to see his men lift the trophy again.
See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the district.