Connect with us

School Rugby

Warwick survive late scare to reach U18 NatWest Cup final

Fast starts to both halves sealed a superb U18 NatWest Cup semi final victory for Warwick at Allianz Park.

Hooker William Priestley scored within two minutes of the game beginning after a sensational break from wing Thomas Howard, sealing the perfect start for the men from the Midlands.

Durham pegged back a penalty as they grew into the game, however a yellow card for winger Garry Izomor, for taking out Thomas Howard in the air, gave Warwick a numerical advantage as they entered the closing stages of the first half.

They reacted brilliantly, piling on the pressure as they worked their way into the Durham 22, securing a scrum on the Durham 5 metre line.

Durham had actually had the ascendency in that area through the first half, with Jake Ellwood doing particularly well to win a couple of penalties. This time though the Warwick front row really stepped up, with Irish Schoolboy international, Jake Byrne, really stepping up to the mark.

That forward momentum allowed Warwick to break, and it was captain and openside flanker Joe Blake who went barging over from close range with the last play of the half, much to his and the outstanding Warwick supporters’ delight.

Fullback William Stride landed the conversion to make it 12-3 to Warwick at the break, and given Durham domination of the middle period of that half, it was an outstanding scoreline for the blue and white hoops.

The start of the second half was to turn the scoreline from outstanding to game changing though as within seconds of the restart Stride himself went over in the corner, finishing off a lovely move in the far right hand corner with aplomb. That left him with an incredibly difficult conversion, but that mattered not, the score had still been stretched out to 17-3.

Warwick then began to really pile the pressure on, but the Durham defence was truly resolute, yielding only a single penalty, landed by Warwick’s Jamie Shillock.

Following that though, all heel broke loose as Durham launched what can only be described as one of the most spirited comebacks that this writer has witnessed.

Warwick have been known for loving a close game in this competition but even they cannot possibly have legislated for this end to proceedings!

Durham first hit back after Warwck fly half, Henry Stride, saw yellow with just ten minutes left. Immediately the northern school hit back through a sensational finish from winger Matthew Wilson, which Adam Redman brilliantly converted to narrow the Warwick lead to just ten points.

If that was a nervy moment for the Midlands side though, Redman’s sensational run and score in the left hand corner with just five minutes left to play must have been one of the most stress inducing moments of Head Coach Mark Nasey’s coaching career.

His side held on though, showing that famous spirit and determination of theirs to see the game out, sealing a 20-15 victory and sharing a joyous moment with their fans at the final whistle.

A sensational game, and one that will leave Warwick supporters with a trip to Twickenham to organise now, for the 2014 U18 NatWest Cup Final.

Full Time: Durham 15-20 Warwick

Durham

1. Jake Ellwood  2.Mark Davison  3. Alex Tunstall  4. Harry Bryant  5. Jack Barker  6. Dom Warby  7. Will Burns  8. Dan Leach  9. Dan Taylor  10. Matt Proctor  11. Garry Izomar  12. Jack Balakeney  13. Jacob Bushnell  14. Matt Wilson  15. Adam Redman. 

Replacements: 16. Charlie Scott  17. Austin Anderson  18. Chris Field  19. Will Hampshire  20. Tony Elliot  21. Matt Whaley  22. Henry Wadsworth.

Warwick

1. Oliver Matthews  2. Will Priestley  3. Jake Byrne  4. Josh Fox  5. James Ainsworth  6. James Allan  7. Joe Blake  8. Matt Riley  9. Harry Bassett  10. Henry Stride  11. Devon Berrington  12. Carrick Waldron  13. Bryn Grantham  14. Tom Howard  15. Will Stride.

Replacements: 16. James Bliss  17. Jamie Shillock  18. Harry Abell  19. Noah Thorne  20. Jordan Ainslie  21. John Anderson  22. Harry Fitzpatrick.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in School Rugby

Skip to toolbar