Skip to the content

2021 National Touch Series – Round 2 round-up

The 2021 National Touch Series remains as competitive as ever, with six different teams winning trophies across the Round 2 Elite and Development tournaments in Banbury.

In winning the Elite Cup competition, Wigan Touch Warriors put themselves on top of the league standings, helped no end by three of the other Round 1 semi-finalists not passing the quarter final stages this time around.

The Warriors’ 5-1 final win over BBR was both a defensive masterclass, and also the largest margin of victory across all of the other six finals played during the weekend. However Wigan had to fight to get to the final in the first place, only beating Oxford in extra time in the quarter finals then seeing off a dogged Cambridge Hornets outfit in the semi-finals.

The Elite Plate and Bowl trophies were all nerve-wracking affairs as soon as they reached the semi-finals and finals, with all six matches decided by no more than one try each.

CSSC London Eagles 1 won a second trophy for their club in two rounds – Eagles 2 having lifted the Bowl last time out – and their final against Raptors was one of the matches of the weekend, the Londoners scoring the clinching try late on after Raptors had edged themselves in front repeatedly.

The Bowl was no less dramatic, as Green+Gold – one of the oldest teams in the Elite NTS – dug deep to hold off a young and talented Crewe and Nantwich Blaze. This was a low-scoring affair, with the teams tied at 1-1 at half-time. The teams exchanged tries after the second half, too, with Green+Gold eventually finishing as 3-2 victors.

Wigan lead the table on 92 points, six points ahead of London Scorpions. Hot Custard, Nottingham Hoods, Cambridge Hornets and NQ Rebels are all on 76 points, but given the competitiveness of the top 10-12 teams this season the Warriors cannot take even a quarter final place for granted in Oxford in Round 3 at the end of July.

CLICK HERE to see the full league standings, as well as to re-watch the Field 1 action and check out a photo gallery

The Development NTS on Saturday had set the tone for the weekend, Galaxy London scoring winning tries on the hooter in both the quarter and semi-finals against PFT Touch Rugby and Cheltenham Tigers respectively, before keeping Manchester Chargers at arm’s length in the final, 7-4 the final result.

The Development NTS is also very competitive, and EY London Vipers – Cup finalists in Round 1 – could only make the Plate final this time around to decide who would finish ninth and 10th.

They came up against Peterborough, who were perhaps the most improved team of the weekend compared the opening round, where they had finished 20th. Blending youthful exuberance from the 2019 Junior Touch Championship England teams with some older heads, the team also included several players who are new to Touch, and they showed how much they had learned in taking the Plate final firstly to extra time and then scoring the winning try to win 5-4.

Another team to show improvement was Thames Valley Vikings, who rose from 19th to finish 17th as Bowl winners. Banbury Saxons maintained their record of reaching a final in both their home events, but unlike Round 1 they could not finish things off, the Vikings winning 6-5.

Cheltenham’s semi-final finish added to their Round 1 Cup title to put them on 92 points at the top of the table. Manchester Chargers’ consistency in reaching the final four for two rounds running has the on 86 points, with Bristol Jets and PFT Touch Rugby ready to pounce on any slip ups, sitting on 82 points apiece. Credit to Yorkshire Thorns, who became the 33rd club to compete in the NTS in 2021, showing their quality by reaching the semi-finals.

Round 3 is at Oxford RFC on Sunday, August 1st.

CLICK HERE to see the full league standings, as well as to re-watch the Field 1 action and check out a photo gallery

We are England Touch

We are the players. We are the supporters, willing us on. We are the medals, waiting to be won. We are the touchdowns, waiting to be scored. We are the men and women of all ages. We are the talent of today. We are the potential for tomorrow. We are one team. We are England Touch