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Graveney beat Clevedon to reach NSC U15 Vase semi-final

13 February 2014

  • Graveney School beat Clevedon Community School 40-7 in U15 Vase quarter-final
  • Graveney one game away from Twickenham in first year of competing 
Graveney School v Clevedon Community School in the NatWest Schools U15 Vase quarter-final

Photo: David Clark-Bell

Tooting’s Graveney School U15s are just one match away from Twickenham after running in six tries to beat Clevedon Community School 40-7 in the NatWest Schools Vase quarter-final at Allianz Park.

Graveney have attracted significant praise from the rugby community this season after making such positive progress in the tournament in the first year they have participated.

Graveney PE teacher, Anastacia Long, had never played or coached rugby until four years ago when a young Kyle Sinckler, now England U20 and Harlequins prop, asked her whether they could start a school rugby team.

For the first three years the school could only field teams by combining age groups, but now they have a team at every age group, including 45 girls, playing weekly.

It’s the type of success story that draws Sky Sports cameras on to the synthetic touchline at Allianz Park, but any thoughts of them simply being a heart-warming story were quickly banished with their fast handling and even faster runners.

Their pace, power and athleticism was complemented by the assured half-back pairing of Archie Dunnil and Matt Harrison.

Some nimble footwork from Harrison handed Graveney their first try, and the pair both landed a penalty to give the South London state school a healthy 13-0 lead.

Graveney enjoyed complete control of possession and territory, and at U15 level that normally means trouble, and one man who caused plenty of mischief was Graveney outside centre Jaymyn Patel-Hadded.

After the stocky centre had shaken off some early nerves, he produced a brilliant solo effort to score Graveney's second try.

Every good team needs an aggressive open side and Graveney's no. 7 Cameron Hyne fits the bill. His try before half-time gave Graveney a 25-0 lead and all but assured their spot in the semi-final.

Graveney's half-back pairing struck again after the break when scrum half Dunnil put in a cheeky chip for Harrison to score a pre-planned move, executed brilliantly (30-0).

Clevedon were better in the second half. Having re-gathered their thoughts at half-time, their defence was organised and their scramble defence brave, preventing at least three more tries through sheer determination.

Clevedon were also clinical with their first visit to the Graveney 22 when prop Tom Upton, who was an effective ball carrier all game, smashed over.

But that score didn't throw Graveney off course. Centre Patel-Haddad crossed for another try, and Graveney's final score was something to behold. Spinning the ball wide from their 22, they moved the ball from one side of the pitch to the other with confidence and patience, and when an overlap was created it was exploited by wing Alex Graham-Buck.

Graveney coach Anastacia Long reflected: "I think this was our best performance to date and we managed the game much better than in previous matches.

"We cannot thank Saracens and Allianz Park enough for giving us the opportunity to play on this wonderful surface and to the parents, Harlequins and RFU coaches and Old Ruts supporters for providing spectators and vocal support."


Clevedon School

15. Sam Cooper
14. Jack Houston
13. Sam Poulter
12. Mason Parslow
11. Brent Manners
10. Ben Thole
9. Rhys Talbot

1. Jack Crew
2. Charlie Tucker
3. Tom Upton
4. Tom Carter
5. Jake Perry
6. Callum Fear
7. Simon Elrick
8. Ed Mathias


16. Sam Drew
17. Morgan Matthews
18. Dan Butler
19. Micki Britton
20. Adam Warren
21. Casey Cleeves
22. Mitchell Jordan

Graveney School

15. Perry Blankson
14. Bernell Scott
13. Jaymyn Patel-Haddad
12. Charlie Vincq-Wilkinson
11. Alex Graham-Buck
10. Matthew Harrison
9. Archie Dunnill

1. Kareem Swandells
2. Anthony Pham
3. Pernell Blankson
4. Taylor Bell
5. Tyrell John
6. Wil Tomlinson
7. Cameron Hyne
8. Josh Clark-Bell


16. Darius Glenn-Sempare
17. Zac Walpole
18. Ramone Stroude-Garcia
19. Arun Jackson
20. Victor Nzolele
21. Bolia Bamolende
22. Owain Powell