Warwick beat Wellington to set up a chance to win back to back U15 NatWest Cup titles


Warwick  beat Wellington College in the U15 NatWest Cup semi final, giving them a chance to defend the title that they won so excellently last year.

Even more incredibly, their opponents at Twickenham in two weeks time will be QEGS Wakefield, the side that they defeated 12-6 last year, after the Yorkshire defeated Whitgift in the first semi final.

It was a magnificent 12-8 victory over the 2008 champions, Wellington College, inspired by an incredible first half attacking performance, followed by an outstanding second half defensive effort.

Warwick began the game at an incredible pace, mirroring – in fact, bettering – the effort of their U18s who also reached their final last week, a big early burst put them deep into Wellington territory before they worked their way over for centre Paolo Peschisolido to go absolutely waltzing through. It was magical stuff and a magical start.

In was only a minute or so later that they were over to score their second, this time through full back Nick David, who showed electric pace and superb footwork and strength to dance down the right hand touchline, holding off a couple of tackles in the process to score in the corner.

It was a sensational start, and just five minutes in it left Wellington College absolutely shell-shocked. The fear would have been that they would capitulate form their, many sides would, however a Dylan moss penalty just settled the nerves and got them a foothold in the game after ten minutes.

That seemed to calm the nerves, and from there Wellington began to build. A yellow card for Warwick’s Will Tanner, for taking the man in the air, helped.

Wellington took full advantage of the extra man, knocking the penalty into the corner and then setting up on of those rolling mauls that have been so important across every semi final so far.  Captain Matt Frost was the man at the tail, and it was he who flopped over to bring his side right back into the game at 12-8 down.

That was to remain the score at the break, Warwick had been brilliant in the opening period, sensational in fact, but it was a tremendous combination of skill and determination from Wellington to bring themselves back into contention.

In the second half Wellington really took advantage of that swing in momentum, really taking the game to Warwick.

We said in our Twitter commentary that it was reminiscent of RGS High Wycombe v Dulwich College in last week’s U18 semi final, and it was spot on, Dulwich own that game with an outstanding second half defensive effort and that was the case for Warwick today.

Wellington kept battering away over and over again but Warwick held firm, winning some sensational penalties in the process, with the back row of Firth, Fawcett, and captain Nick Rigby doing outstanding work.

Their electric backline was digging them out of a whole too, with every counter attack their pace gained vital yardage and momentum, with Peshcisolido and David particularly impressive.

Ultimately, those two early first half were enough though, despite Wellington’s constant assault on the Warwick line, and now history beckons for Warwick, who have the unique chance to win the U15 title back to back and win the U18 and U15 double. Schools Cup history.

First they must see off QEGS Wakefield though, who will be determined to avenge that final defeat last year. What a day it is set to be at Twickenham on Saturday 29th March!

Wellington College:

1. Max Cunningham  2. Henry Mason  3. Bertram Cole-Fontayn  4. Matt Edmondes  5. Louis Edmondes  6. George Harding  7. Matt Frost (captain)  8. Josh Bashan;  9. Freddie Mackaness  10. Riordon Morley  11. Seb Cross  12. Ben Harrington  13. Rory McMichael  14. Jack Sellors  15. Dylan Moss.

Replacements:  16. Sam Galy  17. Dirik Van Der Spuy  18. Charles Jupp  19. Sam Sweetland  20. James Naylor  21. Alex Shoff 22.  Frank Horsfield.


1. Tristan Brooker  2. Martin Ho  3. Oran Aske-Hayley  4. Oliver Richardson  5. Oliver Thorneywork  6. Jack Firth  7. Will Fawcett  8. Nick Rigby (captain);  9.Sam Forster  10. Ben Harding  11. Will Tanner  12. Theo Spencer  13. Paolo Peschisolido  14. Dylan Bhadhan  15. Nick David.

Replacements:  16. Sam Hill  17. Zach Shirley  18. James McSharry  19. Harvey Innocent  20. Colia Louis  21. Joe Graham  22. Charles Arnault.

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