It has been an amazing week for the students at Warwick School.
After three very tense, closely contested matches this week, the U15 and U18 rugby teams are through to the NatWest Cup semi-finals and the U13 team has secured a place in the Finals of the School Sports Magazine National Cup.
The U15 rugby team recorded a hard fought victory against a strong Bromsgrove School side. Warwick started well, pinning Bromsgrove in their own 22, but lacked the clinical finishing to cross the line. Broomsgrove then scored and converted a try in the last play of the half very much against the run of play to go in at half time with a lead.
Warwick started the second half slowly, and conceded an early try which was crucially not converted. The spirited Warwick team battled hard for the remainder of the game as they attempted to breach the Bromsgrove defence. With 10 minutes left, Oscar Roberts sliced through the opposition and offloaded to Archie Rippon, who scored beneath the posts. An exciting last 10 minutes followed, and after a sustained period of pressure Alex Green managed to bundle his way over the line in the last play of the game. With the conversion from the touchline missed, the game ended 12-12. However, Warwick, being the away team, went through to the next round.
The U18 side narrowly saw off the challenge of Hampton School in what became an 'arm wrestle' on a heavy pitch. Both teams started the contest nervously, and the tussle in the forwards proved to be the deciding factor. An overthrow by Hampton just on half-time provided an opportunity for Warwick to attack, and after superb play by open side Joe Hill and inside centre Josh Grimes - fast ball allowed number 8 Tom Dodd to break through a stretched defence to touch down, with kick dult converted by Captain Will Stride to give his side a 10-3 lead.
The pendulum swung in Hampton’s favour in the second half, with some strong territorial gains resulting in two penalties to make it a nail-biting finish. Warwick worked their way up to the Hampton try line, where the last five minutes of the game were played out with the 'blue & white' jerseys launching attack after attack at the Hampton line. Hampton’s defence stayed staunch and with the final score of 10-9, Warwick secured a place in the semi-finals.
The U18 team plays QEGS Wakefield on Saturday 27 February and the U15 team plays Wellington College on Sunday 6 March. Both of these semi-finals will take place at Allianz Park, the home of Saracens. Warwick School has an outstanding record in the NatWest Cup with the U15 team appearing at the Twickenham Finals for the past three consecutive years, winning the title in 2013 and 2014 and the U18 team at the Finals in 2014, finishing runners up.
The U13s capped a brilliant week for Warwick rugby by beating Woodhouse Grove School, Bradford, 13-10 in the School Sports Magazine National Cup semi-finals. The occasion and large crowd caused nerves and both sides made errors early on. However, an interception by Tom Whitwell led to the first points for Warwick as Woodhouse conceded a penalty, with Elliot Tanner kicking a the points. Woodhouse Grove scored the first try through their pacey left wing, but Warwick hit back through Harvey Brown to lead 8-5 at half-time.
Brilliant offloads led to a further try by each team, with Will Mobberley scoring in the corner for Warwick. Warwick’s forwards got on top in the last 10 minutes of the match but a number of desperate tackles were needed to ensure victory. Warwick will now play Trinity School, Croydon in the final at Maidenhead RFC on Wednesday 2nd March.
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