Daily Mail Cup heats up as the last 16 takes shape

With the end of the school rugby term fast approaching, the Daily Mail Cup at both Under 18 and Under 15 level is beginning to take shape with eight of the sixteen area finals across both age groups already finalised.

The Under 18’s had a big day yesterday with King’s School Worcester, Whitgift, King’s School Macclesfield and Warwick all sealing their places in the last sixteen with strong victories.

Sherborne will today be looking to set up a fixture with rivals and schoolboy pacesetters Marlborough when they take on Bishop’s Wordsworth this afternoon. The form guide would suggest that Sherborne ought to win but Bishop’s Wordsworth are more than capable of pulling out a surprise result if Sherborne fail to perform to their best.

Durham v RGS Newcastle and RGS High Wycombe v Sir Thomas Rich’s were meant to take this place but bad weather has seen them both postponed.

Durham v RGS Newcastle will be a particularly interesting contest with Durham one of the top school sides this year facing a motivated and historically proud RGS Newcastle side who will want to show that they can still be top dogs in the North.

The only other fifth round fixture to be played are Wirral Grammar School for Boys v QEGS Wakefield and Truro College v Blundell’s.

Guessing who might win the competition is a tough business with the number of quality sides left fighting it out in the last sixteen but if we were to hazard a guess it would be that it will be one of Dulwich, Durham and Marlborough.

With such quality in the competition though, it will really come down to who plays best on the day and how each side copes with the increase in travelling that the quarter finals and beyond bring. Indeed it is perfectly conceivable that each of the three sides mentioned might fail even to win their Area Final.

Fixtures for the final area rounds of the U18 & U15 Daily Mail Cup (Predicted area winners in italics):

U18 Daily Mail Cup

London & South East A

KCS Wimbledon v Dulwich

London & South East B

Whitgift v Hampton School

Midlands A

King’s School Worcester v Northampton School for Boys

Midlands B

Warwick v Stamford

North A

Wilmslow High v Durham or RGS Newcastle

North B

Wirral GS for Boys or QEGS Wakefield v King’s School Macclesfield

South West A

Truro College v  Blundells

RGS High Wycombe v Sir Thomas Rich’s

South West B

Sherborne or Bishop Wordsworth’s v Marlborough

U15 Daily Mail Cup

London & South East A

London Oratory v Maidstone

London & South East B

Whitgift or Dulwich v St Paul’s

Midlands A

Stowe or Bedford v Warwick

Midlands B

Bromsgrove v Berkhamsted

North A

Bishop Heber v Bradford Grammar

North B

King’s Grantham v Crossley Heath

QEGS Wakefield v Altrincham

South West A

Blundell’s v RGS High Wycombe

South West B

Wellington v King’s Taunton or Thomas Hardye

Let the debate begin!

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