Double Header at Allianz
Warwick School’s U15 and U18 rugby teams have both reached their respective semi-finals of the Schools Cup national competition.
U15 quarter-final match report:
The Warwick U15s know how to create a tense game of rugby … the Schools Cup quarter-final against Northampton School for Boys certainly didn’t disappoint!
Northampton’s main pitch looked sublime under floodlights suggesting that they had not been suffering with the same rain that has left puddles on pitches at Myton Road. Both teams started strongly and were firing into collisions. Perhaps Warwick were too eager and gave an early penalty away near the 22m resulting in a 3 point lead for Northampton. Almost immediately Warwick got a penalty of their own and Elliot Tanner stepped up to take the 3 points.
Both sides were looking to move the ball and play attacking rugby, only determined defence was standing in the way. Instead of going around or running through … Tom Patrick decided kicking over was the way forward. Working in unison with winger Harvey Brown, a little kick behind was gathered expertly in one hand and Harvey stepped several defenders before diving over to score. Several minutes later Tom again spotted space out wide. A cross-field kick was gathered by Harvey who this time stepped even more defend - 3 down at half time despite some very close passages of play.
In the second half the nature of the game changed dramatically. A hugely inspired Northampton side were not going to let Warwick win without a fight. They decided to play a more direct and confrontational style of play utilising their size advantage. Several of their forwards and a large centre pairing were now threatening to score and eventually made a breakthrough 10 minutes into the second half. The score line at 15 - 8 still meant that Warwick had an advantage due to scoring first and being the away team resulting in at least 2 scores needed for Northampton.
This Warwick team then found themselves unable to escape their own half and needing to defend with everything they had. Constant Northampton attacks from lineout mauls, pick and goes and direct running lasted for 15 minutes. Every player on the pitch showed a level of commitment this team has been accused of lacking. Despite numerous injuries the Warwick wall stood firm. Tackle after tackle was made and despite visible exhaustion in some boys they kept on going. The referee declared the last play of the game and Northampton managed to squeeze their way over the line and their 10 took a perfect conversion from the touchline. Sadly for them it was too late but they had played a huge part in an exciting game of school boy rugby.
Warwick now need to recover some tired and injured bodies in time for the semi-final on Sunday 4 March at Allianz Park, home of Saracens. They will be playing against Manchester Grammar School k/o 2.00pm. This will be an exciting weekend for Warwick School with the 1stXV also playing in their national semi-final on the Saturday, against Whitgift School, k/o 5.00pm. All supporters are welcome!