Watford Grammar School for Boys Under-15 rugby team were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the National Schools Plate.

The team put up a brave fight but were beaten 24-19 by Brighton College in a tight contest on Tuesday.

Head of rugby Ali Dawson said: “This is the furthest we have reached in a national knockout tournament for many years and the team have represented the school fantastically. It is disappointing that we haven’t progressed further but we wish Brighton College all the best in the next round.”

Second row Kai Zhou finished off an excellent team move for the opening try. Fly-half Shay Rafter’s conversion handed Watford a 7-0 lead inside the first ten minutes.

But Brighton fought back and edged into a 12-7 lead at half-time.

Tries from Number 8 Kaden Elsey and winger Chris Mensah helped Watford draw level at 19-19 with only five minutes remaining.

But this was not enough because in the event of a draw, Brighton would progress under tournament rules due to being the away side.

Watford pushed forward in search of the win but Brighton capitalised and scored a final try to book their place in the semi-finals.

Director of sport and Under-15 coach Giles Wallis said: “I am incredibly proud of the boys this season. They have shown great passion and commitment throughout the knockout campaign. We came from behind in both the previous rounds to win but unfortunately today wasn’t our day.”