Daily Mail Cup Semi Final – Focus On: Dulwich College

Dulwich College are bidding to win back-to-back Under 18 Daily Mail Cups after beating Old Swinford Hospital in the final last year. Victory again this year would elevate them to the status of Daily Mail greats; we take a look at some of their facts and figures ahead of Saturday’s semi final against Hampton.

Head Coach – Sam Howard

Captain – Dom Wroe-Wright (Openside Flanker)

Star Man – Josh Ibuanokpe (Prop/Number 8)

Results so far:

Quarter final – Dulwich 20-10 Sherborne

Last 16 – Dulwich 19-5 KCS Wimbledon

Round 5 – Dulwich 18-5 Hurstpierpoint

Round 4 – Dulwich 27-0 Judd School

Round 3 – Dulwich 28-12 Eltham College

Round 2 – Dulwich 40-0 Dartford Grammar School

Round 1 – Bye

2012 Daily Mail Cup Record – Winner, 15-8 v Old Swinford Hospital

Best Daily Mail Achievement – Under 18 Winners 2012, Under 15 Winners 1995 (37-0 v Bristol Grammar School)

A word from the coach:

XV: How has the preparation been ahead of the weekend?

Sam Howard: It’s all been good, we’ve trained well and the boys have had a good rest over half term, they’re as fit as they’ve ever been.”

XV: How is Dom after his injury earlier in the season?

SH: “Dom’s fine, he didn’t train last week but he’s been back in training this week and looking very determined.”

XV: Has any performance really stuck out in this year’s Cup run?

SH: “We were very good against Sherborne in the previous game. They’re a good side with lots of very good players but for the first half and beginning of the second half in that game we were very good. We dropped off a little at the end but against a side like that you don’t expect to have it all your own way, that was probably our best Cup game. Our run probably hasn’t been as difficult as last year but our form has been just as good, if not better.”

XV: Do you think that the experience of winning the tournament last year will give you an edge?

SH: “It definitely helps in that the boys know what it takes to win and what to expect, and how to handle being in the hotel etc. The other sides have all got good experience too though, but it certainly can’t hinder us, put it that way. Our experience in the final should help, coming from behind under pressure like that should stand us in good stead for what will be a close semi.”

XV: Will there be any key areas of the game?

SH: “Our lineout has been good recently so that will be important. I’m sure they have looked at it, but it’s certainly one area where we’re stronger than last year. Obviously the dominance of our forwards up to this point has been important.”

XV: Will beating Hampton earlier in the season (24-14) have any bearing on Saturday’s game?

SH: “I don’t know, not to much I expect, it’s cup rugby so it’s different. It could make a little bit of difference confidence wise but not much, look at last year, we lost to Whitgift in the regular season but beat them in the Daily Mail.”

Dulwich versus Hampton will be the first of the two semi finals to be played at Broadstreet RFC on Saturday. They will kick off at 11am before Northampton School for Boys versus Warwick at 1pm.

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