- Local rivals John Fisher and Whitgift to meet for second year in a row
- Cup holders Dulwich College to face Eltham College
Photo: RFU Archive
Three huge fourth-round fixtures have now been confirmed in the London and South East U18 draw for the NatWest Schools Cup following the completion of the third-round fixtures.
Eternal Croydon rivals John Fisher and Whitgift will meet at Whitgift School for the second year running in this round.
In a hard-fought encounter last season Whitgift won 33-19, and the two sides have already met once this season – Whitgift again were the victors in a dramatic 25-24 battle watched by thousands at John Fisher’s Plough Lane ground.
The two schools rugby giants won their respective third-round fixtures comfortably with John Fisher beating Glyn 55-3, and Whitgift beating City of London Freeman’s 60-3.
John Fisher captain, Seaghan Davey, said: “We can take a lot of confidence going into that cup match. We won't get caught up in the occasion like we did last week next time. Take away that first 10 minutes from that match, and we would have beaten them, so that's what we'll be drawing on next time.”
Another huge fourth-round occasion will see KCS Wimbledon and Hampton go head to head. Hampton came through a tricky third-round match with Wimbledon College with a 31-0 win, whilst KCS beat Caterham 32-5.
Both schools enjoyed a double U15 and U18 success. KCS Wimbledon’s U15 side beat John Fisher 21-19, while Hampton beat Orleans Park 61-5.
Hampton’s Head of Rugby, Zoran Higgins, said: “It was a quiet and confident performance from our U18 side against a good Wimbledon side. No one in their right mind would have wanted the draw we’ve been given, and I’m sure KCS would have preferred to have avoided it too. But I’m sure it will be a great match.
“Our U15 side are a good team. They’ve only lost one game this season against RGS High Wycombe, but they’ve got a tough draw as well.”
KCS Wimbledon’s Head of Rugby, Neil Roberts, added: ”We had a few injuries against Caterham, but were very good for the first 25 minutes. We dominated set pieces and would have like it to have been more comfortable, but they defended very well.
“Full credit to our U15s team. They have had a woeful time with injuries, and ended up having to field a mixture of the A and B side, so to get the win was fantastic.”
In another repeat of a good cup fixture from last season, the NatWest Schools Cup holders will play Eltham College in the fourth round. Dulwich of course were triumphant last season, and were made to work hard by Chislehurst and Sidcup in their third-round fixture, running out eventual 30-7 winners.
Dulwich’s U15s were also triumphant against Chislehurst and Sidcup, finishing the match as comfortable 48-0 winners.
Eltham College set up their second bite at the champions thanks to a straightforward 66-0 win against Beths Grammar School.
Eltham College head coach Sean Thompson looked ahead to the match with an enthusiastic tone, despite their clear underdog status, saying: “The boys are looking forward to it. We're at home again, and if things go our way during the game who knows what could happen. We're certainly not going into it thinking game over.”
One of the surprise packages of the cup this season, Seaford College, beat Worth School 26-19 with Alfie Renwick scoring a brace, and captain Jamie Wilcock scoring one along with Freddie Ransom.
Whitgift School’s U15s came through a scare against Tooting academy school Graveney. Whitgift edged the encounter 29-26, but the result highlights the beauty of the Cup in that a school without a recognised rugby pitch can push one of the traditionally big rugby schools in the region so close.
Elsewhere in the region, St Benedict’s Ealing enjoyed an U15 and U18 Cup double. Their U18 side beat The London Oratory School 52-7, while their U15s beat local rivals Gunnersbury 10-5.
In the NatWest School Vase competition, Hurstpierpoint beat Christ Hospital School 14-10.