U15s Cup Champions

 

Wellington College ended their unbeaten domestic year by securing the NatWest U15 Schools Cup with a 25-12 victory over Warwick School at Twickenham.

The victory ended Warwick school's hopes of sealing the double in the U15 and U18 competitions. 

A brace from Wellington captain Fin Baxter, was accompanied by a try from replacement wing George Morison and 10 points from the boot of fullback Max Thomas.

Wellington dominated early possession in the match, and were rewarded for their superb ball retention after just five minutes.

An attacking lineout on Warwick's five metre line saw captain Baxter, break off the back of a maul to run under the sticks unopposed. Thomas added the extras.

Warwick scrum-half Jack Aston then missed a penalty for an opportunity to reduce the deficit to four points. But moments later, team captain Jack Forsythe broke off the back of a halfway line scrum, perplexing the Wellington pack he jinxed past two defenders to cross the whitewash. Aston converted to level the match.

As the first-half drew to a close, both sides enjoyed phases of attacking play, with neither defence cracking. A marauding run from Warwick wing Ben Beresford was matched only by a 20 metre catch-and-drive from the Welly pack. With neither side giving a inch and time on the clock up, referee David Clarkson brought an end to the first 40.

Brilliant Baxter

Wellington started the second stanza much as they did the first, and Thomas needed no invitation to run onto a set-piece move from a sturdy attacking scrum. The fullback cantered over from 20 metres to put Wellington five points ahead - the kick was unsuccessful.

Wellington continued to attack relentlessly towards the Warwick line from kick-off, and it paid off minutes later, when Baxter surged over from five metres to earn his second of the day.

Undeterred, Warwick composed themselves and plugged away inside the Wellington 22 for a number of phases, until a moment of individual brilliance struck. Fullback Ethan Evan-Cook soared into the air to claim a cross field kick from his fly-half, Finlay Smith, and scampered over the line. Aston was unable to add the extras however.

With 10 minutes remaining, there was a decisive moment in the match. From a Wellington scrum, number eight Ted Johnson peeled off the short side and fed his backline. Quick hands then saw replacement, Morison put into space, and the wing won the foot race to the line. The kick was missed.

With a 10 point cushion, Wellington slowly took a hold of the game, shutting Warwick's attack down with suffocating defence. A Thomas penalty with five minutes remaining then extended Wellington's lead to 13 points, and secured their first Cup win at under 15 level since 2008.

Teams

Wellington: 15. Max Thomas, 14. Paul Dewey, 13. Harry Cain, 12. Charlie Bradbury, 11. Alex Teague, 10. Michael O’Donoghue, 9. Finn Livingstone-Learmonth, 1. Marcus Rhodes, 2. Lucas Brooke, 3. Fin Baxter (Captain), 4. Arvind Sangha, 5. Max Watson, 6. Nick Teague, 7. Cassius Forshaw, 8. Ted Johnson.

Replacements: 16. Alessandro Heaney, 17. Ben Murrin, 18. James Kinnear, 19. Guy Bryer, 20. Tommy Offer, 21. Monty Bradbry, 22. George Morison.

Warwick: 15. Ethan Evan-Cook, 14. Max Hayward, 13. Harry Spencer, 12. Tom Boorman, 11. Ben Beresford, 10. Finlay Smith, 9. Jack Aston, 1. Tom Durant, 2. Matt Rigby, 3. Tom Hales, 4. Will Pugh, 5. Dan May, 6. Kai Nwangwa, 7. Jack Forsythe ©, 8. Will Banfield.

Replacements: 16. Will Dudley, 17. James Parker, 18. Giles King, 19. Cameron Dunn, 20. Will Mobberley, 21. Tom Patrick, 22. Kunwoo Ha.

Wellington College: Tries: Baxter 2, Thomas, Morison - Con: Thomas 1 - Pen: Thomas 1.  

Warwick School: Tries: Forsythe, Evan-Cook - Con: Aston 1.

Warwick School were aiming to do the double next week in the NatWest Schools Cup finals with their U18 and U15 sides having both reached the Cup finals. Wellington College were the last school to achieve this in 2008 so will be trying to spoil Warwick's party.

Warwick seal final spot 

Warwick will meet archrivals Wellington in the U15 Cup final at Twickenham on Wednesday, 29 March after proving too strong for Ivybridge Community College, beating them 33-22. 

They went into half-time against Ivybridge just 5-0 ahead thanks to a try from hooker Matt Rigby. Finlay Smith scored early in the second half converted by Jack Aston to make it 12-0. 

Ivybridge raised hopes of an upset when Jake Bond forced his way over from a line-out before Warwick centre Harry Spence raced onto his own chip to score a try near the posts.

Ivybridge once more fought back and a try in the corner by wing Mason King, following a neat pass from flanker Jack Mills, cut the deficit to 19-12.

However, Warwick finished the stronger as flanker Jack Forsythe crossed twice after finding holes in the Ivybridge defence. 

Two tries in the last final minutes from Ivybridge's Jamie Moore and Bond wasn't enough to close the gap. 

Wellington in comfortable victory 36-5

Prop Fin Baxter is enjoying a season to remember in Wellington’s charged towards another Twickenham appearance. The loose head scored three tries in a quarter-final win over St Peter’s York and added two more in this latest win.

The Wellington pack camped out in the Whitgift half in an opening that saw Baxter score after 10 minutes. By half-time, Wellington had a stranglehold on the match scoring further tries from flanker Cassius Forshaw and lock Max Watson.

The pressure continued in the second half as Baxter gained a second followed by captain Arvind Sangha also getting on the scoresheet.

Whitgift scored through lock Alex Ezimora but Wellington when substitute Paul Dewey scoring his team’s sixth try in the final seconds. 

 

 

 

 

 

 Updated 30th March 2017

Berkshire RFU

Senior


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