NatWest Cup – 5th Round Preview, Predictions, & Key Games

The NatWest Cup returns again this week for the 5th Round and it looks set to be a thrilling round.

The fourth round saw some of the biggest names in school rugby sent crashing out of the tournament and the same is expected to happen again this week with some huge sides paired against each other.

With that in mind, we take a look at each section of the competition, giving you some thoughts on the key fixtures of the round, who the favourites are, a few predictions, plus a look back at some sides who have already departed.

North A

Key 5th Round Fixture:

RGS Newcastle v Durham – Two giants of the game with an intense rivalry between them. Durham won by a point earlier in the season but having suffered a heavy defeat to Woodhouse Grove at the weekend, RGS Newcastle might just feel that they are catching Durham at a good time. All four look very competitive though, with Grammar School at Leeds v Stockport Grammar another massive game.

Section Favourite:

Durham – Durham are just favourites but could easily miss out to RGS, while Stockport, GSAL, and much of the rest of the draw all have a really strong shout in this one.

Already Missing?

King’s Macclesfield – One of the strongest sides in the region, they were unfortunate to come across the excellent Stockport Grammar in the previous round.

2013/14 U18 NatWest Schools Cup North A

 

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

A

RGS Newcastle v

Durham School

Winner A v Winner B

Winner A/B

v

Winner C/D

B

Barnard Castle v Bradford Grammar School

C

RGS Lancaster v Stonyhurst College

Winner C v Winner D

D

Grammar School at Leeds v Stockport Grammar School

North B

Key 5th Round Fixture:

Ampleforth v QEGS Wakefield – These sides are both known throughout the world of schoolboy rugby, QEGS are one of the most successful Schools Cup sides with an excellent reputation, despite having never got over the final hurdle in the competition. Neither has perhaps been world beaters this season, but both have an opportunity to go right to the end of this section.

Section Favourite:

Ellesmere College – Not as strong a section as North A but no less competitive, Ellesmere are probably just favourites but that said, Merchant Taylor’s have every chance of knocking them out.

Already Missing?

St Ambrose College – Fell at the first hurdle to Lymm High School, had the draw been kinder they could easily have still been competing strongly in this competition.

2013/14 U18 NatWest Schools Cup North B

 

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

A

Audenshaw School v Lymm High School

Winner A v Winner B

Winner A/B

v

Winner C/D

B

Ellesmere College v Merchant Taylor’s

C

Ampleforth College v QEGS Wakefield

Winner C v Winner D

D

Pocklington v Bishop Burton or Hymers College

Midlands A

Key 5th Round Fixture:

Warwick v Solihull – A huge West Midlands derby between two sides who have been challenging right at the very top of the school tree this year. Calling this one is nearly impossible and it should be a Cup classic, Warwick may just have the edge at home, maybe. It just shades out Stamford v Uppingham, another huge local derby and one that should produce an epic match.

Section Favourite:

Stamford – The way the draw works means that Stamford should be at home for the rest of the section, and given that they have not lost at home since 2010/11 that makes them favourites. Look out for the winner of Warwick v Solihull though, they will rightly fancy their chances. At various times we have had each of them as favourites for the section.

Already Missing?

Nottingham High School – Lost heavily to Uppingha in the last round but showed their quality in defeat to Solihull this weekend, losing by just two points.

2013/14 U18 NatWest Schools Cup Midlands A

 

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

A

Stamford School 14-10 Uppingham School

Stamford v Winner B

Winner A/B

v

Winner C/D

B

Bedford Modern v Saffron Walden CHS

C

Bishop’s Stortford College 22-27 Bloxham

Bloxham v Winner D

D

Warwick School v

Solihull School

Midlands B

Key 5th Round Fixture:

Adams Grammar School v RGS Worcester AND King’s Worcester v King Edward Vi, Stratford – We have selected two fixtures here because the key for us about the 5th Round in Midlands B is the potential for a round six tie between bitter rivals RGS Worcester and King’s Worcester.

Section Favourite:

Oakham – Oakham are the standout side here but Norwich, who are already through after beating King’s Grantham, will be stern opposition if Oakham reach round six.

Already Missing?

Northampton School for Boys – Everyone had a soft spot for this side last year after their remarkable run to the final, however there will be no repeat of that result after they lost to The Perse in round four.

2013/14 U18 NatWest Schools Cup Midlands B

 

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

A

Adams Grammar School v RGS Worcester

Winner A v Winner B

Winner A/B

v

Winner C/D

B

King’s Worcester v King Edward VI School, Stratford

C

Oakham v

The Perse

Winner C v Norwich School

D

Norwich School 10-8 King’s School, Grantham

London & South East A

Key 5th Round Fixture:

St Benedict’s v Hampton – This section is truly astonishing in its depth of quality, to the extent that whoever wins this section will probably be the favourites for the Cup. A week ago Hamtpon would have been firmly backed to beat St Benedict’s but having lost to Campion, who play St Joseph’s, two weekends ago and then seeing St Benedict’s beat Campion by 27 points this weekend this game suddenly has a different spin and a very hard edge. The reward for the winner? A probable tie against Whitgift, what a section.

Section Favourite:

Whitgift – In different edits of this preview we have had Whitgift, St Benedict’s, Hampton, and St Joseph’s as our favourites. While you read it we have probably changed our minds a further five or six times. St Joseph’s have the best chance of making round seven but we just think that Hampton and Whitgift might have the edge over them if they get there. Of those two we think Whitgift are marginally more likely to make it to round seven. An impossible choice.

Already Missing?

John Fisher – In another section they might have been quarter finalists, as could KCS Wimbledon, but as it is the 4th Round was to prove the end of the round for them.

2013/14 U18 NatWest Schools Cup London & South East A

 

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

A

Seaford College v

Whitgift

Winner A v Winner B

Winner A/B

v

Winner C/D

B

St Benedict’s, Ealing v

Hampton

C

Campion School v St Joseph’s College

Winner C v Winner D

D

Skinners’ School v Dartford Grammar School

London & South East B

Key 5th Round Fixture:

Trinity School v Eastbourne College – Dulwich are the firm favourites for this one with Harrow the most likely side to present a challenge to them in round seven. However in this round Trinity v Eastbourne stands out as a competitive fixture and one that could produce a winner capable of giant killing.

Section Favourite:

Dulwich College – The back to back champions and the firm favourites for the section. Harrow could give them a very tough game if that tie emerges but you would still back Dulwich to win.

Already Missing?

King’s Canterbury – They were never likely to win the section but  a sixth round clash against Dulwich never seemed unrealistic. A round 4 defeat to Chatham House was to be as good as it got for King’s though.

2013/14 U18 NatWest Schools Cup London & South East B

 

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

A

Chatham House Grammar School v The Judd

Winner A v Winner B

Winner A/B

v

Winner C/D

B

Dulwich College v

Felsted

C

Harrow v Dame Alice Owen’s School

Winner C v Winner D

D

Trinity School v Eastbourne College

South West A

Key 5th Round Fixture:

Exeter School v Truro School – Truro are the slight favourites for this as they look to build on an excellent campaign last year. Exeter are going well though and this looks set to be the tie of the round in South West A. St Peter’s Glocuester v Stowe ought to be interesting too.

Section Favourite:

Stowe – The strongest side in this section this year but they must negotiate past St Peter’s, while Sherborne are always a threat even though they are not at their best this year.

Already Missing?

Downside – They were never likely to light the section up but they were expected to go further than a knockout at the first hurdle.

2013/14 U18 NatWest Schools Cup South West A

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

A

Exeter School v

Truro School

Winner A v Winner B

Winner A/B

v

Winner C/D

B

Richard Huish/Millfield v Beechen Cliff

C

St Peter’s Gloucester v Stowe School

Winner C v Winner D

D

Sherborne School v Dauntsey’s School

South West B

Key 5th Round Fixture:

Marlborough v Portsmouth Grammar School – We were going to go with Sir Thomas Rich’s v Colston’s but having seen PGS beat Bryanston this weekend the possibility of them causing an upset against a Marlborough side struggling for consistency makes this the tie of the section. The St Joseph’s Festival Plate winners will be up for this one.

Section Favourite:

RGS High Wycombe – There is quality throughout this draw but RGS look the strongest side. They are among the strongest few in the country and will be desperate for a quarter final spot.

Already Missing?

Sexey’s – They might not have been challengers for the quarter final berth but they would have expected to do better than be knocked out 37-0 by Chew Valley in round three, a side who then lost 68-0 to Colston’s.

2013/14 U18 NatWest Schools Cup South West B

 

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

A

Marlborough v Portsmouth Grammar School

Winner A v Winner B

Winner A/B

v

Winner C/D

B

Reading Blue Coat v RGS High Wycombe

C

Sir Thomas Rich’s School v Colston’s

Winner C v Winner D

D

King’s College Taunton v Bicton College

 Do you agree with our predictions? Who do you think will win each section, and what do you see as being the key fixtures this week?

 

Let us know via the contact box below or @FifteenRugbyXV

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