- Graham-Buck brace helps Graveney past St George’s
- Graveney now meet Altrincham Grammar School For Boys in final
Photo: In At The Side
Graveney School produced a scintillating display to beat St George’s College, Weybridge 36-7 in the NatWest Schools U15 Vase semi-final at Allianz Park today, setting up a final date with Altrincham Grammar School For Boys at Twickenham.
This was a fascinating contest between two sides with contrasting styles. St George’s brought power and control, while Graveney looked to employ a lightning fast tempo to their game.
It was the control and game management of St George’s that stamped a marker first. Twice they came close to scoring only to be held up once, and bundled into touch on the other occasion with some heroic scramble defence from Graveney.
Graveney made their first big impression on the game 10 minutes in. A sweeping counter-attacking move saw the ball moved to centre Charlie Vincq-Wilkinson, who offloaded to flanker Cameron Hyne, who fed wing Alex Graham-Buck, who then turned on the turbo charge to scorch across the pitch to score.
Graham-Buck performed the same act five minutes later to score again.
The pace and athleticism of the Graveney side was causing all sorts of problems for St George’s.
Five minutes later Graveney crossed again. Captain and scrum half Archie Dunnill showed sharp reflexes to pounce on a loose ball from a scrum to score and give his side a stunning 17-0 lead at the break.
The ferocious pace of this pulsating encounter continued in the second half. Graveney soon found themselves crossing again, this time fly half Matt Harrison showed enough pace to go nearly the length of the field to score.
The game was slipping away from St George’s, who were in desperate need of a shot of adrenaline into their performance.
That came in the form of a lung-busting run from St George’s centre Jamie Kelly which almost resulted in a try, but Kelly was held up. They weren’t to be denied though, as seconds later Joe Duggan scored.
Graveney realised that the best form of defence was to maintain the frighteningly fast pace of their attack, and it paid dividends when Taylor Bell scored.
Graveney rounded off the scoring with the final play of the game through centre Jaymyn Pattel-Haddad. Pattel-Haddad had carried with menace all game and fully deserved his 40-metre effort.
Graveney Head Coach Stacia Long commented: ”I’m thrilled. We probably did some thing most teams wouldn’t have done it that situation; ran it when most teams would have kicked, played it out from our half a couple of times.
“But we scored from it. We don’t want to play boring, ‘shove it up the jumper’ rugby – we want to play fast, free-flowing rugby and that’s what we coach them to do, as that’s how they get the most enjoyment out of it.
“We never spoke about playing at Twickenham. We refused to even mention it, we just wanted to make sure we concentrated on each game as it came.
“I’m so pleased for the spectators who came, you could hear them all the way through and it meant so much to the boys.
“Most of the parents don’t get to watch the boys play as they mostly play midweek games, so for them to be able to see a game like this is fantastic.”
1. Pernell Blankson 2. Anthony Pham 3. Kareem Swandells 4. Taylor bell 5. Tyrell John 6. Will Tomlinson 7. Cam Hyne 8. Josh Clark-Bell 9. Archie Dunnill 10. Matt Harrison 11. Alex Graham-Buck 12. Charlie Vincq-Wilkinson 13. Jaymyn Patel-Haddad 14. Bernell Scott 15. Perry Blankson
Replacements: 16. Darius Glenn-Sempare 17. Owain Powell 18. Zac Walpole 19. Bolia Bamolende 20. Arun Jackson 21. Ramone Stroude-Garcia 22. Victor Nzolele
1. Jack Walters 2. Will Cooke 3. Tom Peers 4. Demi Tola-Odembe 5. Ryan Nutter 6. Marco Crawshaw 7. Connor Kelly 8. Joe Terry 9. Harry Delaney 10. Rory O'Neill 11. Harry Weatherall 12. Jamie Kelly 13. Oli Hall 14. Ed Morrison 15. Joe Davie
Replacements: 16. Louie Dunmore 17. Johnny Beaumont 18. Oscar Reilly 19. Max Deal 20. Joe Duggan 21. Tom Hoo 22. Jamie Boden