- Eight-try Dulwich dismantle Warwich
- Anthony Nzegwu lands Twickenham hat-trick
Photo: Capture the Event
Wing Anthony Nzegwu scored a hat-trick of tries to inspire Dulwich College to a 53-5 win over Warwick School at Twickenham and third consecutive triumph in the NatWest Schools Under 18 Cup.
Champions Dulwich showed all their cup experience by coming out of the blocks firing on all cylinders.
An early break by full back Ali Neden saw a promising move come to an abrupt end when centre Jacopo De Simone brought him down.
Dulwich were then temporarily reduced to 14 men after the referee penalised one of their players 12 minutes into the match for a dangerous tackle, but the card lifted the Dulwich performance, as around five minutes later they were crossing for the first try.
After kicking to the corner Dulwich built some pressure, and after a couple of powerful thrusts flanker Funsho Olaleye forced his way over (7-0).
The restart went straight out, and after another menacing carry by full back Neden the ball was sent wide to wing Anthony Nzegwu who showed enough pace to go over in the corner (12-0).
Warwick were rattled, and after another restart was put straight out Dulwich had yet another threatening scrum from which to build their attack.
Dulwich scrum half Pierre Thompson was quick to spot a gap in the Warwick defence and put in a delicate chip which bounced inside the in goal area evading Neden, but falling perfectly into the hands of captain Felix Maddison who was following up to score.
When the half time whistle went Dulwich had a healthy 17-0 lead, but Warwick had come back twice already this season, so it wasn’t a foregone conclusion at this point.
Dulwich are a rare breed of cup animal though, and they continued to turn the screw as soon as the second half kicked off, crossing again through Tom Marchant after one of their infamous driving mauls (24-0).
Neden pushed the score out even further with a penalty, and Warwick had a mountain to climb at 27-0 down.
By now it wasn’t a question of if, but by how much, and when Nzegwu hacked through for his second, it was beginning to look quite bleak for the 2007 champions Warwick.
Warwick pulled back a consolation try through flanker James Ainsworth, but Dulwich were quick to hit back with Nzegwu scoring his third of the day (41-5).
Dulwich crossed twice more through replacements Omar Malik and John Waugh to take Dulwich past the 50 mark and into the annals as the second best Schools Cup team to date.
A gleaming Dulwich captain Felix Maddison said: “I’m exhausted but hugely proud. It was definitely our best performance of the season, and to produce it on an occasion like this just make it that much sweeter.”
Warwick captain Joe Blake added: ”We had our tactics in place but on the day Dulwich were just that much stronger than we were.
“Once they got that momentum they’re a difficult team to stop, and full credit it to them; they’re an outstanding team.”
15. Ali Neden
14. Ed Berry
13. Jacopo De Simone
12. Jo Charnley
11. Anthony Nzegwu
10. Matt Beese
9. Pierre Thompson
2. Omar Nasir
3. Josh Ibuanokpe
4. Hector McKimm
5. Tom Marchant
6. Funsho Olaleye
7. John Winter
8. Felix Maddison
Replacements: 16. Andrew Baron, 17. Charlie Dee, 18. Luke Bliss, 19. Sam Younger, 20 John Waugh, 21. Ed Berry, 22. Omar Malik
15. Will Stride
14. Carrick Waldron
13. Bryn Grantham
12. John Anderson
11. Devon Berrington
10. Henry Stride
9. Harry Bassett
1. Jake Byrne
2. Will Priestley
3. Oliver Matthews
4. Josh Fox
5. James Ainsworth
6. Jordon Ainslie
7. Joe Blake
8. Matt Riley
Replacements: 16. James Bliss, 17. George Nellany, 18. James Allen, 19. Harry Abell, 20. Noah Thorne, 21. Jamie Shillcock, 22. Jordon Ainslie