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U18 NatWest Cup – Quarter Finalist Predictions and 6th & 7th Round Draws

With a fair smattering of U18 NatWest Cup games coming up this midweek before the Christmas break, it is worth having a quick look at how things are shaping up.

We are now in the 6th round, though Richard Huish and Beechen Cliff are still to play their 5th round tie, which means that we are now one game away from what are effectively the ‘regional finals’ before the national quarter final redraw.

Two sides have already booked their places in the 7th and final regional round, Stonyhurst in North A after a 6-3 victory over Grammar School at Leeds, and Trinity school in London & South East B after an impressive 27-24 victory against Harrow.

Below are the 6th and 7th round draws for all of the U18 NatWest Cup sections; our predicted winners in each round are in italics. We have also got a one-paragraph section review and our predicted quarter finalist for each section.

 

U18 NatWest Cup Draw

 

North A

North B

Rd 6

Durham v Barnard Castle

Stonyhurst 6-3 Grammar School At Leeds

Lymm High v Merchant Taylor’s

QEGS Wakefield v Pocklington

Rd 7

Durham/Barnard Castle v Stonyhurst

Lymm/Merchant Taylor’s v QEGS Wakefield/Pocklington

 

Quarter Final Re-Draw

         

North A:

Predicted Quarter Finalist – Durham

A very interesting section that has largely gone as expected. On paper Durham are the strongest in the section but Barnard Castle have a legendary Cup history behind them while Stonyhurst are the dark horses for this years competition and could easily work their way through to the quarters.

North B:

Predicted Quarter Finalist – Merchant Taylor’s

This section was blown wide open when Merchant Taylor’s knocked out the Daily Mail trophy winners, Woodhouse Grove. On that basis MTS are now the favourites for the section, particularly as they probably have the best non-cup record this year of the four. Lymm are equally capable though, while QEGS are in form and have great cup pedigree.

 

U18 NatWest Cup Draw

 

Midlands A

Midlands B

Rd 6

Stamford v Bedford Modern

Bloxham v Warwick

Adams Grammar v King Edward VI, Stratford

The Perse v Norwich

Rd 7

Stamford/Bedford Modern v Bloxham/Warwick

Adams Grammar/King Edward VI v The Perse/Norwich

 

Quarter Final Re-Draw

         

Midlands A:

Predicted Quarter Finalist – Stamford

In our view this looks likely to end up as a Stamford v Warwick 7th round tie. That is not to knock Bloxham or Bedford Modern but Stamford and Warwick are two of the best around. Warwick have beaten some incredible teams this year but it seems likely that a 7th round tie would be at Stamford, where Stamford simply do not lose.

Midlands B:

Predicted Quarter Finalist – The Perse

This section was blown wide open when The Perse knocked out Oakham and King Edward VI knocked out King’s Worcester. Adams Grammar are a real threat but The Perse have continually surprised teams this year and we think that they are just favourites to make it to the quarters.

 

U18 NatWest Cup Draw

 

London & South East A

London & South East B

Rd 6

Whitgift v Hampton

Campion v Dartford Grammar School

The Judd v Dulwich College

Harrow 24-27 Trinity

Rd 7

Whitgift/Hampton v Campion/Dartford GS

Judd/Dulwich v Trinity

 

Quarter Final Re-Draw

         

London & South East A:

Predicted Quarter Finalist – Whitgift

How do you pick a winner between Whitgift and Hampton? We expect the winner of that tie to go on and seal a quarter final spot and we make Whitgift mild favourites but it is incredibly tight to call. That said, Campion could be a real threat after knocking of St Joseph’s College, they are on a real roll, while Dartford are no slouches either.

London & South East B:

Predicted Quarter Finalist – Dulwich College

Things seem to falling into place for Dulwich in this competition. The Judd will not be an easy opponent but we would expect Dulwich to win that, however the tie against Trinity in round 7 could be very interesting, particularly after Trinity showed their quality by beating Harrow.

 

U18 NatWest Cup Draw

 

South West A

South West B

Rd 6

Truro v Richard Huish/Beechen Cliff

Stowe v Sherborne

Marlborough College 11-15 RGS High Wycombe

Sir Thomas Rich’s v Bicton College

Rd 7

Truro/Richard Huish or Beechen Cliff v Stowe/Sherborne

RGS High Wycombe v Sir Thomas Rich’s/Bicton

 

Quarter Final Re-Draw

         

South West A:

Predicted Quarter Finalist – Stowe

Stowe v Sherborne looks like being the tie of the section here but Stowe will be the favourites for both that game and the quarter final spot. That said, Truro are a quality outfit and have good Cup experience from last year so they could pose a threat, though having only been given a game once this season in the Cup due to others pulling out there will be desperate simply to play. Richard Huish will be dangerous, it might have been Millfield’s 2nd XV that they beat but any victory over Millfield tends to give a big morale boost.

South West B:

Predicted Quarter Finalist – RGS High Wycombe

Along with London & South East A this is probably the most competitive group in the competition. Any of the four sides could conceivably get the quart final spot and deserve it. We think RGS High Wycombe will be the ones to seal it though, the quality they have shown this season has been excellent.

Do you agree with our predictions? Who do you think will reach the quarter finals and are there any teams that you would like to avoid? Let us know via the comment box below or via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV)

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