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NatWest Schools Cup: Round 5 North review

03 December 2013

  • Old rivalries rekindled in the north
  • Stonyhurst College maintain unbeaten record
Durham School kick during a NatWest Schools Cup match

Photo: RFU archive

There were several notable clashes in the fifth round of the NatWest Schools U18 Cup in the north, as old rivalries were rekindled.

In Yorkshire, The Grammar School at Leeds overcame the tough obstacle of Stockport Grammar School.

Both sides contain talented lower sixth year groups that met two years ago in the U15 competition, which Leeds went on to win.

Leeds ran out 16-5 winners this time round, thanks to a try from flanker George Hall, whilst Sam Ward and Jack Harrison shared the rest of the points from the boot.

Grammar School at Leeds captain Will Davies commented: ”We played at a fast tempo throughout – our line speed and determination in defence in the closing 20 minutes was probably a key factor.

“We felt we could have done more things right; for example being a little more clinical in try-scoring situations. The feeling was that we didn't do ourselves justice with the scoreline, but the overall feeling was very positive and we're now looking forward to visiting Stonyhurst in a couple of weeks' time.”

Stonyhurst College continued their unbeaten run this season with a 26-10 win against RGS Lancaster.

Stonyhurst scored tries through England U16 back rower Victor Keunen, and a brace through outside centre Rob McDermott.

Durham School beat their eternal local rivals in the north east RGS Newcastle 22-5, thanks to a brace from captain Ruari Bell and tries from Garry Izomor and Adam Redman.

There were also wins for Barnard Castle and Lymm High against Bradford Grammar and Audenshaw respectively.

In the U15 competition RGS Newcastle prevented Durham from doing a school double when they ran out 21-12 winners with tries coming from Ikenna Obonna, Oli Handcock and Rory Pye.

Coach Alex Brown said: “It was a pleasing victory against a very physical and direct Durham side. It took a fantastic defensive display to keep Durham at bay for large periods of the game, and was a performance of real character combined with excellent finishing when opportunities came knocking.”

Last season’s beaten finalists in the U15 competition, QEGS Wakefield, snuck to an 8-0 win against Yorkshire rivals Woodhouse Grove.

QEGS scored a try through Joe Gatus, and a penalty from Henry Wright.

Head coach Gary Pickersgill said: “We had a lot of possession, but made too many errors, some of which were forced by Woodhouse Grove who had an excellent work rate and defence. With a little more patience we might have won more comfortably.”

In the U18 Vase competition Sandbach produced a convincing performance to beat local rivals Cheadle Hulme 48-17.

Head coach Joel Unsworth said: “It was a stop-start performance but we are pleased with the result. Cheadle are always a gutsy side that never make it easy for you so to score eight tries is pleasing. We hope that we can build on our good run when we play against Altrincham Grammar in the Cheshire Cup next Wednesday.”

In the U15 competition there were wins for Wilmslow High, Yarm, The Grammar School at Leeds and Bolton School Boys Division.