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NatWest Schools Cup: Round 6 Midlands review

18 December 2013

  • The Perse School maintain their unbeaten record
  • Langley School look favourites to go all the way
The Perse School v Norwich School in the NatWest Schools Cup

Photo: RFU Archive

There was a little less drama than the previous round in the sixth round of the NatWest Schools Cup in the Midlands as the favourites came through their fixtures unscathed.

The Perse School continued their fairy-tale season by defeating a gusty Norwich School side 21-12 at Perse.

Centre Pete Gordon got them off the mark with an early penalty, before lock Alex Jackson charged down a Norwich clearing box kick and gathered to score the first try.

Gordon nudged another three points for Perse, who were fast building a healthy lead and looking menacing in attack.

It seemed as though it was only a matter of time before they crossed again, and it was Northampton Saints Academy wing Oli Parker who applied the finishing touch in the corner.

Norwich eventually found their feet and enjoyed some good periods of pressure before half-time but failed to register any points, which left them trailing 16-0 at the break.

Perse set out to close the game out after half-time and appeared to do have done so when prop Alex Locke finished off a powerful, well constructed driving maul.

The home side then took their foot off the gas a little after that, and allowed a spirited Norwich side that refused to lie down back into the match with two late consolation scores from flanker Joe Tennant and lock Joe Gurling.

Stamford School came through their sixth round tie without too many complications after registering a 34-6 home win against Bedford Modern.

It has been one of Stamford’s finest seasons to date, and one that has pleased captain Connor Collet who said: “We were all determined to prove that last year’s achievements were no fluke and the boys have delivered some great performances. Everyone has played their part. We can’t wait for January!” 

Collet has been a standout performer for Stamford along with Northampton Saints Academy duo George Cox and Declan Spaine. Stamford will now play Warwick, who beat Bloxham School 46-7 in their sixth round match to reach the last 16.

In the U15 competition Langley School from Norfolk have continued to make a name for themselves as one of the potential favourites for the competition.

They recorded a 48-7 win against John Cleveland School, the alma mater of England centre Manu Tuilagi.

Joe Hegarty, Joe Milligan, Ashley Cooper and Owen Sharp were among the scorers on this occasion, and Head of Rugby at Langley School Tim Malone believes this age group are spearheading the resurgence of rugby at the school.

He said: “They played very well. They had a couple of unbeaten seasons whilst coming through the school, but they’ve recently starting playing some much tougher fixtures.

“We hosted a festival recently and beat schools like Abingdon, Millfield and Merchiston Castle which shows that the school is making progress with its rugby.

“This team has led the way for some time, and there are good teams coming up behind them as a result.”

Elsewhere, Aylesbury Grammar came through a tough encounter to beat Bloxham School 13-6 with Sam Nicholson scoring the crucial try in that match, while champions Warwick won their sixth round tie with relative ease.

In the Vase competition Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, Hereford Sixth Form College and Nottingham High all won their fifth round matches comfortably, while there was also success for Trent College.

In the U15 Vase competition, there were wins for Cheltenham College, Bishop’s Stortford High, Loughborough Grammar and Norwich.