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Grammar School at Leeds lift U15 Cup at Twickenham

04 April 2012

  • Grammar School at Leeds win U15 DMRBS Cup at Twickenham Stadium
  • Dauntsey’s School see off Westcountry rivals Sir Thomas Rich’s School for Vase

Daily Mail RBS Schools Day 2012

Photo: Capture the Event

RGS High Wycombe 12 The Grammar School at Leeds 17

Clinical finishing and defensive steel helped The Grammar School at Leeds to their first ever U15 Daily Mail/RBS Cup, denying holders RGS, High Wycombe their fifth trophy in the process.

RGS dominated the opening exchanges and grabbed the first try on the quarter-hour mark through prop Josh Avis, who bludgeoned his way over the whitewash from close range after his side had been camped in Leeds territory.

But Leeds were in front only two minutes later when lively fullback Tom Gorman sliced open the RGS defence before rounding the last man for a try in the corner, converted superbly by multi-talented hooker and skipper Sam Ward.

Lock Harry Mawer thought that he had bagged Leeds’ second try on the stroke of half time only for referee Will Halford to disallow the effort for a knock on.

Ward, however, was on hand to slot a simple penalty for an offside earlier in the move to grant his side a five-point lead at the interval.

Leeds extended their advantage seven minutes into the second period as flanker Will Shepherd’s scything break took him under the posts, with Ward making no mistake in adding the extras.

RGS dominated possession and territory for the remainder of the match but Leeds’ defence was stern and well-organised, although the Yorkshiremen had to rely on a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Gorman on George Stokes to preserve their lead after the RGS centre had broken clean through.

Buckinghamshire side RGS, who had only lost once in five previous appearances at Twickenham in the final of this competition, were finally rewarded for their persistence with a second try for Avis in a carbon copy of his first effort.

Connor McKillop struck an excellent conversion to bring RGS to within a converted try of victory, but Leeds held firm for a win that their ruthlessness in attack and tenacity in defence deserved.

Sir Thomas Rich’s School 5 Dauntsey’s School 17

A brace of first half tries from Toby Small enabled Dauntsey’s School to overcome fellow West Country side Sir Thomas Rich’s School and lift their first U15 Daily Mail RBS Vase.

Sir Thomas Rich’s started brightly and opened the scoring after only four minutes when lock Max Price burrowed over from close range.

Dauntsey’s responded strongly and exerted tremendous pressure on the Gloucestershire side’s try line, although they found dismantling a defence that had only conceded three tries in this year’s competition an arduous task.

But the miserly Thomas Rich’s defence eventually cracked on 18 minutes, with impressive open-side flanker Small evading two tackles to squeeze over for Dauntsey’s and restore parity.

Small was soon responsible for the Wiltshire outfit seizing the ascendancy as his powerful, swerving run from 45 metres left four defenders trailing in his wake as he crossed in the corner.

And Dauntsey’s, containing three sets of twins in their starting line-up, were in dreamland three minutes into the final play of the half when imposing skipper and number eight Will Britton barged over for a try, at full stretch following a number of phases in Thomas Rich’s territory with Max Romer-Lee slotting an excellent conversion from out wide.

Remarkably, that kick turned out to be the final score of a tense and cagey affair, the second half of which saw Tommy enjoy the lion’s share of possession but fail to make significant inroads into their opponents’ defensive rearguard.

Replacement James Foylan went closest for them during a rare period of sustained pressure, but a combination of multiple handling errors and unyielding Dauntsey’s defence, marshalled superbly by their back row of Britton, Small and Sam New, meant that the trophy’s destiny was never truly questioned.