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NatWest Schools Cup: Midlands round-up

09 October 2013

  • Solihull School claim victory against local rivals
  • New additions Denstone College also off to winning start
Bromsgrove v Warwick U15 in NatWest Schools Cup

Photo: RFU Archive

Solihull School 1st XV beat local rivals Bishop Vesey’s Grammar school 24-10 in the pick of the U18 second round NatWest Schools Cup ties in the Midlands.

Solihull have been one of the form sides in the Midlands this season. An intense fixture list has seen them beat traditionally strong sides in RGS Worcester, The King's School Worcester, Old Swinford Hospital and last year’s Schools Cup finalists Northampton School For Boys.

Solihull ran in four tries on the day through Freddie Sykes, John Allen, Roy Gnyla and Tom Regan, whilst Kieran Joyce added two conversions.

The win means that Solihull will play King Edward VI, Five Ways School in the third round. Solihull have certainly found themselves in the tougher half of the Midlands draw alongside the likes of Bedford Modern, Warwick, Bishop’s Stortford High School and Stamford School to name a few.

Despite the winning start in the Cup and the good start to the season, head coach Steve Thompson insists Solihull aren’t looking too far ahead: “The good thing about this group of boys is that they won’t get complacent. Complacency is a word we use a lot, it’s a word the boys hate and I know they won’t get carried away.

“It was something that we decided before the season started that we’d go heavy at the start of the season so that the boys could get their match fitness and sharpness.

“We have two games a week until we play Bromsgrove, then we go back to one game a week on Saturdays. But we’re always monitoring the players, and we also have a physio that comes in twice a week to monitor them.”

Schools Cup new boys Denstone College got off to the perfect start against Newcastle-under-Lyme where they came away 62-5 winners.

Denstone scored tries through Ben Jones (two), Ben Cherry, Ben Burrows (two), Levi Davis, Dougie Oldham, Joe Cliffe and Ben White.

Director of Rugby at Denstone College, Jamie Taylor, commented: “It was a decent performance from us, I am very pleased with the way in which we are progressing after wins over Bromsgrove and Adams Grammar.

“I am especially pleased that the boys have been able to make big improvements in the areas we have targeted early in the season, but there is still plenty to work on before we play Ellesmere a week on Saturday.”

Bishop’s Stortford High School’s Jordon Albert picked up a 30-point haul for his side in their 57-0 second round win against St. Columba’s College from St Albans.

There are some mouth-watering third round fixtures in the U18 draw in the Midlands. Nottingham High School take on former England centre Dan Hipkiss’s old school Uppingham School, 2012 Schools Cup Vase winners take on Saffron Walden High School and Stamford School take on Bourne Grammar.

In the other half, RGS Worcester are up against Hereford Cathedral School, The King’s School Worcester against King Edward School Birmingham should be a tough clash, whilst Leicester Grammar School await the winner of Oundle against Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College.

In the U15 Cup, one of the form sides in the country last season in Bromsgrove, who were stunned by Midlands rivals Warwick in the semi-final when many had them down as clear favourites to lift the trophy, beat Tewkesbury 50-0.

Ironically those two sides are destined to meet each other again this season, only in their pool, should results go according to form and previous history in the tournament.

A lot of rugby still needs to be played for that clash to happen, however. Also in that side of the draw are Bedford Modern, St Edward’s Oxford, Cheltenham College and a Bedford side that has only lost once so far this season – in preseason to an outstandingly talented Reigate Grammar School side.