- St Joseph’s face Dulwich College in U18 Cup this Saturday
- Eight semi finals in all over two weekends at Broadstreet
The Daily Mail RBS Schools Cup competitions have reached the nerve-jangling semi final stage, with the next two weekends (March 10/11 and 17/18) of knockout matches at Broadstreet RFC near Coventry sorting out the eight teams to go through to the prestigious finals at Twickenham Stadium on Wednesday April 4.
This weekend will see the semi finals of the Daily Mail RBS U18 Cup and Vase at Broadstreet, including an enticing all-London & South East match-up in the Cup between Dulwich College and St Joseph’s College from Ipswich.
A stand-out season for St Joseph’s so far has seen four of their players - flankers Gabriel Carroll and Shaq Meyers, wing/full back Chris Lord and fly half Joe Tarrant – selected for the England U18 Clubs and Schools squad to meet Ireland in April, and wing George Wacokecoke reach the England U17 squad.
But Dulwich showed they have a tenacious defence when they qualified as the away team from a 17-17 quarter final draw at Abingdon School.
Ravens Wood from Bromley in Kent were denied in last year's U18 Vase semi finals by a last gasp score from St George's, Weybridge.
Now Ravens Wood are back at the same stage after defeating Sheldon 22-3 in the quarters with four tries including two in the second half by props George Tossell and Tom Davey, the captain.
Coaches Nick Freds and Tom Beaumont are hoping the side can go one better this time and book a trip to the Home of England Rugby.
The Leys from Cambridge are in the U18 Vase semi finals, too, hoping to follow up their U15 side’s Twickenham victory in the 2009 Vase final.
The Leys had a convincing 28-6 win against Stockport Grammar School in the previous round and now face Wirral Grammar School.
The following weekend (March 17/18) it is the turn of the Under 15 Cup and Vase to take centre stage, with Trinity School, Croydon, flying the London & South East flag in the Cup against Leeds Grammar School.
Leeds secured their place with an impressive 17-3 win over a highly-rated Whitgift School team, but Trinity’s 27-7 win over Bedford Modern suggests the Yorkshire boys face a stern test if they are to reach the Twickenham showpiece.
Trinity have been beaten only once in three years and have yet to have their colours lowered this season, with former England Counties and Saracens prop Aaron Liffchak putting his professional stamp on rugby at the school.
With 756 points scored and only 111 conceded in their first 20 matches and nine players in the Harlequins School of Rugby, Trinity represent a major hurdle for Leeds, especially in the front row, where Liffchak is an expert tutor.
Daily Mail RBS Schools semi-finals 2011-12 (all at Broadstreet RFC near Coventry):
Saturday March 10:
U18 Cup: The King’s School, Worcester v Old Swinford Hospital (11am); Dulwich College v St Joseph’s College, Ipswich ( 1pm).
Sunday March 11:
U18 Vase: Wirral v The Leys (11am); Reading Blue Coat v Ravens Wood (1pm).
Saturday March 17:
U15 Cup: RGS High Wycombe v Stowe (11am); Leeds Grammar School v Trinity School, Croydon (1pm).
Sunday March 18:
U15 Vase: Harrogate GS v Sir Thomas Rich’s (11am); Chew Valley v Dauntsey’s (1pm).