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NatWest Schools Cup: Round 6 North review

18 December 2013

  • Durham School and Stonyhurst College march on to last 16
  • QEGS Wakefield continue to enjoy another fine Cup run
Durham School v Barbard Castle School in the NatWest Schools Cup

Photo: RFU Archive

Durham School and Stonyhurst College have booked a meeting in the NatWest Schools Cup last 16 as the North completed its round of NatWest Schools Cup sixth round fixtures.

Stonyhurst College and The Grammar School at Leeds played out a brutal sixth-round fixture at Stonyhurst that saw the home side come out 6-3 winners.

History suggests strained relations between Yorkshire and Lancashire, and this was a truly epic battle despite no tries being scored, with physicality one of the main characteristics of this Cup tie.

Centre and captain Tom Morgan kicked the crucial points for Stonyhurst, who are yet to be beaten this season.

Head of Rugby Simon Charles said: ”It was a brutal yet fascinating game of schoolboy rugby between two exceptionally committed teams.

“Leeds took an early lead with a penalty, but we responded with two second-half penalties. Both sides tested each other in all departments but defences were quite simply outstanding.

“There were some standout performances for us by number eight Victor Keunen (England U16 and Harlequins Academy), open side Ethan Carroll and hooker Matthew Radley.”

Durham School followed up their derby win against RGS Newcastle by beating Barnard Castle School, the alma mater of Rob Andrew, the Underwood brothers and Matthew Tait, 17-3 in their sixth-round tie. It was another tight and hard-fought encounter between two relatively local rivals.

Durham edged ahead through a penalty from Adam Redman and then scored a try through flanker Dominic Warby, which was converted by full back Redman.

“Barney” attacked the breakdown with real aggression, and both teams had chances to score but some excellent defence kept the margin tight.

The game wasn’t put to bed until the last 90 seconds after a well-worked move from the Durham backs to cut through the Barney back line through full back Redman, who offloaded to centre Jacob Bushnell to score under the posts.

In the U15 competition, last season’s beaten finalists QEGS Wakefield have enjoyed yet another fine Cup run this season by reaching the last 16 once again after beating Wilmslow High School 17-0 in their sixth-round fixture.

QEGS ran in three tries through Joe Gatus, Tom Jenkinson and Ches Hani-Okoroafor and put in a magnificent defensive display to keep Wilmslow scoreless.

Head Coach Gary Pickersgill said: ”It was an outstanding defensive display from the whole team to limit a very potent Wilmslow side to very few chances. We took our chances to score three tries, all out wide, and probably missed another couple which should have been turned to points.

“I thought we managed the game well, playing in the opposition half wherever possible, and keeping Wilmslow contained in front of a solid defensive line. The forwards laid a solid platform with good set piece possession and the backs played sensibly and to the conditions, turning pressure into points.”

Elsewhere, RGS Lancaster beat RGS Newcastle to confirm that last 16 fixture with QEGS, whilst in the other half of the draw Crossley Heath beat Birkenhead School and Trent College beat Pocklington School to set up their last 16 fixtures.

In the Vase competition, Ermysted’s Grammar, Wilmslow High, Sandbach, Wirral Grammar, Crossley Heath and Worksop College all ascended into the sixth round in the U18 competition.

While in the U15 competition, Silcoates, QES Kirkby Lonsdale, Altrincham Grammar, Stockport Grammar and Worksop College all won their fifth-round fixtures.