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Fifteen Rugby: The Weekend Review – Issue 4 – NatWest Cup Roundup

The NatWest Cup fifth round is almost completed, with twelve of the last 16 teams in the U18 Cup decided.

 

The last 16 is the last of the ‘regional’ round, where the competition is split into four regions; North, Midlands, London & South East, and South West, each with an A and B section.

 

Their eight section winners progress to the quarter-finals, at which point the competition becomes a national one – meaning some long away trips in search of glory.

 

In this week’s Weekend Review, we lay out who is in the last 16 and who is still striving to get there in each section, at both U18 and U15 level.

 

U18 Cup:

 

North A

 

St Peter’s York v RGS Lancaster or QEGS Wakefield

 

North A has been a tough one all along, St Peter’s progressed with a 28-20 classic v RGS Newcastle, while storm Desmond has delayed the crucial RGS Lancaster v QEGS Wakefield tie.

 

North B

 

Calday Grange Grammar or Wilmslow High School v Woodhouse Grove

 

Storm Desmond again playing havoc in North B as last year’s semi finalists, Wilmslow, await their game with Calday. Woodhouse Grove are looking good, and beat Mount St Mary’s 32-5 to progress.

 

Midlands A

 

Bedford Modern v Bromsgrove

 

Bedford Modern booked their last 16 place early on with a 17-8 win over Bishop’s Stortford. Champions Bromsgrove look formidable, we witnessed their 45-17 win over Abingdon to reach the last 16, where they were quite brilliant. (You can see that report here: Abingdon 17-45 Bromsgrove)

 

Midlands B

 

Warwick v Oundle

 

One of the biggest last 16 ties, both had strong last 32 victories, Warwick beat King’s Worcester 36-3, Oundle were 50-0 winners against Langley. Both have huge recent Cup pedigree. One to watch.

 

London & South East A

 

Whitgift v St Joseph’s College

 

Whitgift beat KCS Wimbledon in front of the live cameras 27-12, and look as good as they have in the Cup since they won it in 2010 and 2011. St Joseph’s look good too, they beat Skinners’ 31-12.

 

London & South East B

 

Simon Langton v Hampton

 

Simon Langton could be this year’s surprise packages, they certainly surprised John Fisher, beating them 31-15 last time out. Hampton are a superb side though, and beat a good Trinity team 24-7 last time out. (You can see that report here: Hampton 24-7 Trinity)

 

South West A

 

Bishop Wordsworth or RGS High Wycombe v Stowe or Portsmouth Grammar

 

The only section without a single last 16 side confirmed yet. Both last 32 games look like being excellent game though, Cup pedigree suggests an RGS v Stowe last 16 tie, but never count your chickens, especially in the NatWest Cup.

 

South West B

 

Truro School v St Peter’s Gloucester

 

Truro enjoyed one of the biggest last 32 victories, beating Exeter College 33-0, they are a tough opponent in this competition, and a tough away trip indeed. Former champions St Peter’s are looking good, they beat Dauntsey’s 22-12.

 

The U15 Cup is lagging slightly further behind the U18 Cup, with just ten of the last sixteen teams confirmed. There are some huge sides already through though, and some almighty clashes ahead.

 

U15 Cup

 

North A

 

St Ambrose College v Sedbergh

 

One point was enough for St Ambrose as they beat St Peter’s 11-10, Sedbergh meanwhile beat Grammar School at Leeds 22-8. Sedbergh have never won this Cup, could this be the year?

 

North B

 

Woodhouse Grove v QEGS Wakefield

 

Woodhouse Grove, like their U18s, look good, and beat RGS Newcastle 25-5. QEGS were 22-15 winners against Lymm. They have reached three finals in a row, winning the last one, could a fourth be on the horizon?

 

Midlands A

 

Northampton School for Boys v Warwick

 

The 2013 and 2014 U18 losing finalists meet at U15 level after Northampton beat Bedford and Warwick beat Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Warwick have reached the last three finals, winning two, would you bet against them?

 

Midlands B

 

Bromsgrove or Dean Close v Uppingham

 

Uppingham progressed with a 39-12 victory over Spalding, but must now wait to find out if Dean Close or Bromsgrove will be their opponents next time out.

 

London & South East A

 

Brentwood or Dulwich College v Hampton or Wimbledon College

 

There are no confirmed last 16 sides in this section, but there are two great last 32 fixtures. Should Dulwich and Hampton progress, we would be treated to a tie that has been a classic at U18 level in recent years.

 

London & South East B

 

Whitgift v St Paul’s or Brighton College

 

Whtigift breezed into the last 16 with a strong 36-5 win over Skinners’. St Paul’s and Brighton College are yet to play, but whoever wins, the last 16 tie is going to be a huge clash between two good schools.

 

South West A

 

Millfield v St Peter’s Gloucester

 

Millfield always add plenty of prestige when they are involved, and they are looking good, they beat Truro 25-7 last time out. St Peter’s were narrower victors, beating Aylesbury Grammar 10-7.

 

South West B

 

Bishop Wordsworth’s or Ivybridge v Wellington College

 

Wellington College won with a dramatic late penalty against Colston’s, 19-16, and will face a stiff test again next time, whoever wins, Bishop Wordsworth’s or Ivybridge.

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