- Warwick through to second consecutive final
- Two tries in first five minutes enough to see Warwick through
Photo: Capture the Event
Champions Warwick School Under 15 will play QEGS Wakefield in the NatWest Schools Cup final for the second year in a row after they survived a Wellington College comeback to win their semi-final 12-8 at Allianz Park today.
Much like their Under 18 side last week, Warwick exploded out of the blocks at a devastatingly fast pace and within a minute they went ahead when centre Paolo Peschisolido battered his way to the line.
The blue Warwick tide, with encouragment of their vociferous support, was relentless – and they soon found themselves crossing again.
Centre Theo Spencer punctured a deep hole in the Wellington defence, linking up with fellow centre Peschisolido who in turn released full back Nick David to score.
A penalty for Wellington by full back Dylan Moss settled a few jangling nerves, and they were thrown a lifeline when Warwick wing Will Tanner was sent to the bin for taking out Wellington wing Jack Sellors.
Buoyed by the one man advantage, Wellington soon found themselves firmly back in the contest. Flanker and captain Matt Frost finished off a well manufactured driving maul, leaving the Berkshire school trailing 12-8 at half time.
The second half was a tight and tense affair, played for the large part between the halfway line and the Warwick 22. Wellington pressed, dominating the scrums and the breakdown, but they just weren’t able to break through the authoritative Warwick defence.
Warwick School head coach Tom Pierce reflected: “We knew coming into the game it was going to be a massive challenge.
“Wellington are a terrific side, with a very strong fixture list and fair play, they demolished us at the breakdown and in the scrums.
“In the end our start was enough, and I thought our defence was outstanding at the end as well. It’s absolutely amazing to have two sides from Warwick in the final. People have been talking, putting pressure on me all week about it.
“It will be an incredible experience for everyone involved with the school: pupils, staff, parents, Old Warwickians.”
Wellington College head coach Dan Rosen added:”When you concede two tries early doors like that it was always going to be difficult to come back.
“We came back and gave a good go of it, but fair play to Warwick, they held strong.
“It’s been a good season for us from where we started. We’ve come on a lot as a team, and yes, it would have been nice to have reached the final, but it just wasn’t to be today.”
1. Max Cunningham 2. Henry Mason 3. Bertram Cole-Fontayn 4. Matt Edmondes 5. Louis Edmondes 6. George Harding 7. Matt Frost 8. Josh Bashan 9. Freddie Mackaness 10. Riordon Morley 11. Seb Cross 12. Ben Harrington 13. Rory McMichael 14. Jack Sellors 15. Dylan Moss
Replacements: 16. Sam Galy 17. Dirik Van Der Spuy 18. Charles Jupp 19. Sam Sweetland 20. James Naylor 21. Alex Shoff 22. Frank Horsfield
1. Tristan Brooker 2. Martin Ho 3. Oran Aske-Hayley 4. Oliver Richardson 5. Oliver Thorneywork 6. Jack Firth 7. Will Fawcett 8. Nick Rigby 9.Sam Forster 10. Ben Harding 11. Will Tanner 12. Theo Spencer 13. Paolo Peschisolido 14. Dylan Bhadhan 15. Nick David
Replacements: 16. Sam Hill 17. Zach Shirly 18. James McSharry 19. Harvey Innocent 20. Colia Louis 21. Joe Graham 22. Charles Arnault