Determined Trinity move into last 16 with win over Berkhamsted


Trinity marched into the NatWest Schools Cup last 16 following with victory over Berkhamsted this afternoon.

The Croydon side will face the triple champions Dulwich College in the last 16 tie ahead of the quarter final re-draw as the competition goes national.

It was a dominant first half display that saw Trinity beat Berkahamsted 27-12, three tries doing the job in just their second game of the competition after three previous byes and a victory over St George’s Weybridge.

The victory comes just days after five of the Trinity squad were included in the ISRFC Lambs, a welcome boost to a squad already bang in form.

It was Berkhamsted who started the brighter though, dominating the early possession and scoring a well worked try in the left hand corner, stunning the vocal home support.

Unfortunately for them it did not seem to stun the home players, unless you count stunning them in to a positive reaction. Within minutes Trinity were on the scoresheet themselves with a stunning try from England winger Gabriel Ibitoye.

It was obvious why Ibitoye is so highly rated, his pace, explosive power and footwork were all in evidence as he received the ball from a set move off a scrum, surging from just in side the Berkhamsted half to cross the whitewash, with Charles Fatoma converted to give the home side a 7-5 lead.

Fatoma himself was soon to be on the scoresheet after some great handling saw him released to break clean through underneath the sticks. With Fatoma converting his own score Trinity moved out to 14-5 up, but with just fifteen minutes gone there was a sense that anything could still happen.

Indeed Berkhamsted started to move into another period of attack but a breakaway from Trinity and a hack through from captain and newly selected Lambs South East XV man Bryan Hotston saw Trinity bundle their way over in the left hand corner. With Fatoma brilliantly converting from out wide to turn what had felt a close game into a 21-5 game in Trinity’s favour.

That was to become 24-5 through a Fatoma penalty with just minutes left in the half. Berkhamsted almost came back to narrow the gap but a last gasp try saving tackle saw Trinity close out the half at 24-5.

With four tries in the first half one might have expected even more in the second half as bodies became tired and the game opened up. However the game closed up, with both teams tightening their defences up enormously. Trinity were still making some huge gainline breaks with their big runners like Mofe Wilkey and Dominic Augustus but Berkhamsted were eventually getting them down and causing chaos at the breakdown, captain Matt Pugh was giving a masterclass of openside flanker play, making countless tackles, and disrupting every ruck, whether he could turn the ball over or not.

Wilkey saw yellow for Trinity as a lazy arm caught a Berkhamsted kick returner a little high but the game remained even, with the bulk of the play stuck between the two ten metre lines.

The first impact on the scoreboard came midway through the half, a drop goal through Fatoma for Trinity to extend their lead to 27-5.

The physicality of the game was taking its toll though, with Berkhamsted suffering several injuries, but the plucky away side were still competing despite the disruption.

Deservedly it was they who were to have the last say in the game, intercepting a Trinity pass to score underneath the posts with the final play of the game, leaving the scores at 27-12, a fittingly competitive scoreline for what was an excellent and competitive game of rugby.

The next round looks set to set up another level again though, tests do not come much tougher in the NatWest Cup than a tie against Dulwich College, who have never lost a game in the competition. Trinity might just fancy their chances though.

Full Time: Trinity School 27-12 Berkhamsted

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