- Sir Thomas Rich’s Grammar secure another convincing win
- Sherborne School go through in thrilling encounter
Photo: RFU Archive
Sir Thomas Rich’s Grammar School confirmed their credentials as title contenders in the fifth round of the U18 NatWest Schools Cup, after defeating six-time winners Colston’s School 61-0.
With only one defeat on home soil all season, Sir Thomas Rich’s have been among the standout performers on the schools rugby circuit. A record that includes notable wins over Stowe School, RGS Worcester as well as a 32-0 win over Colston’s School in an earlier block fixture. It was no surprise that the Gloucestershire school went into the match as favourites, not that Director of Rugby Rhys Williams was taking anything for granted.
Sir Thomas Rich’s took an early lead that was quick to quell the spirits of the Colston’s side. From there it was one-way traffic as the home side ran in nine tries including braces for Lee Hathaway and Tom Evans while Callum Dean, Duncan Lynch Liam Jenkins, Sam Colbert-Smith and Harry Johnston also got their names on the scoresheet. Fly half Ross Preedy, who holds the school's 1st XV record for most points in a season, added eight conversions to bring his side's tally to 61.
Sherborne School edged past Dauntsey’s School in a thrilling encounter in the South West. Sherborne School went into the game with a number of players struggling with illness and they began sluggishly. Trailing 7-10 at the break, Sherborne traded penalties with Dauntsey’s taking the score to 10-13 with minutes left. The home side then fought their way into Dauntsey’s 22 before fly half Ed Coulson exploited an overlap to crash over for the decisive score. Coulson converted his try and Sherborne held on for dramatic 17-13 win.
RGS High Wycombe were made to work for the first time in this season's NatWest Schools Cup as they came up against a resilient Reading Blue Coat School, who had benefited from the services of England attack coach Mike Catt in the build-up to this tie. However, the away side proved too much for the Reading-based school as they ran in five tries from Jack Statham, Ben Wood, Sam Spargo, Jordan Coupland and Freddie Owen as well as two conversions from Wood to give RGS High Wycombe a 29-10 win. Matt Bell and Jacob Scadden crossing the whitewash for Reading Blue Coats.
Stowe School set up a sixth-round tie with Sherborne School after defeating 2006 Cup winners, St Peter’s, Gloucester. Meanwhile, two Liam Redrup tries weren’t enough for King’s College Taunton as they went down 24-10 to Bicton College, who will face Sir Thomas Rich’s in the sixth round. Portsmouth Grammar School’s Cup run also came to a disappointing end at Marlborough College, going down 28-15.
In the U15 NatWest Cup, Beechen Cliff put Bristol Grammar School to the sword, running out 41-0 winners, including tries from Jack Hurley, Ned Newman and Jack Mackay. The Bath-based school are one of only a handful of state schools left in the competition and now face a formidable Canford School side who have swept all before them this season, including a 38-7 win over Portsmouth Grammar School in their Cup tie.
Elsewhere in the U15 South West B draw, Wellington School defeated Blundell’s 10-24 and RGS High Wycombe joined their U18 side in the next round of the Cup with a 45-7 win over Churcher's College.
In one of the fixtures of the round, Wellington College beat Abingdon 0-24 to secure their place in the next round of South West A. Exeter School went down 5-12 to rivals Truro School, while Millfield enjoyed a 50-0 win over Sherborne School. Newent Community College battled past The Crypt Grammar School, 22-27.
In the Vase competition, Pangbourne School have seen both their U18 and U15 sides through to the next round of the competition. The former defeated Dr Challenor’s Grammar School 33-7 while the latter cruised past Chesham Grammar School 52-14.
Royal Latin School’s dreams of another trip to Twickenham, this time at U18 level were dashed by The Cotswold School, who ran out 25-22 winners.