After seven previous attempts, QEGS Wakefield finally got their hands on a NatWest Schools Cup all on their own as they defeated their nemesis of the last few years, Warwick, 15-6 in the U15 NatWest Cup final at Twickenham.
These two teams had contested this final in the two previous years as well, showing just how much they are dominating the U15 scene. Warwick had won the last two, and were chasing an historic third title in a row, but both sides were making history by just participating.
It has been a long time coming for QEGS though, beaten in the last two years and having only once had a feel of the silverware, a share with RGS High Wycombe in the mid nineties. RGS, coincidentally are the only other side to have reached three finals besides these two.
If QEGS were nervous coming into this game though, it did not show. They came up against a Warwick side who were among the most brilliant attacking sides in the country, yet the unbeaten QEGS mmanaged to keep them from crossing the whitewash all game, thanks to a superb defence, led by their brilliant back row and in particular man of the match Edan Kelly at number 8.
Warwick actually took the lead, though a penalty from captain Tom Fawcett six minutes in, but four minutes later QEGS were ahead after Kelly barged over to put the Yorkshiremen 5-3 up.
The scores were to remain that way until half time, but do not let the low score lead to any thoughts of potentially boredom. This was a gripping encounter between two sides who have been playing rugby beyond their years, with intelligence, pace, and power all to the fore.
A late first half penalty miss for QEGS looked like it could prove costly early in the second half as Fawcett landed another for Warwick to nudge them back in front 6-5, but that was to be the end of the scoring for Warwick as QEGSâ€™ miserly defence kept them out.
Warwick had plenty of possession and no little attacking style, but QEGS simply refused to be put under pressure by the Warwick possession and territory, absorbing everything before it even came close to a threat.
Such defence often deserves reward, and so it proved midway though the half as the all action man for QEGS, openside Max Hanson, streaked under the posts to regain the lead. Showing his all round qualities he then converted his own try to go 12-6 ahead.
Again Warwick came back, would anyone have expected anything less, but QEGS held firm yet again, never really letting Warwick threaten beyond the 22.
With five minutes or so to go though QEGS secured possession and brilliantly, and calmly, saw the game out, first driving into opposition territory before Hanson banged over a penalty to put them 15-6 ahead and out of realistic reach, allowing those on the touchline an excitable and enjoyable last few remaining minutes.
Warwick will be disappointed to have lost but QEGS deserved their win and will be delighted to have finally broken their NatWest Schools Cup duck.
Undoubtedly they are one of the very greatest Schools Cup schools of all time, but without a trophy to your name, such praise perhaps sometimes seems hollow. Now they will feel confident and justified on receipt of such praise.
Whichever way you look at these two sides though, what they have both achieved over the last three years is nothing short of staggering.
U15 NatWest Cup Final: QEGS Wakefield 15-6 Warwick
You can see photos of the game on our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby
Man of the Match â€“ Edan Kelly, QEGS Wakefield
15 Colia LouisÂ 14 Jacob WeeksÂ 13 Tom Fawcett (c)Â 12 Will TannerÂ 11 Chris DavidÂ 10 Fred LoweÂ 9 Harry HaywardÂ 1 Kieran CurrenÂ 2 Will ScrivensÂ 3 Max RobertsÂ 4 Will JohnsonÂ 5 Toby AdlingtonÂ 6 Drew HillÂ 7 Tom MacDonaldÂ 8 Oliver Thorneywork .
Replacements:Â 16 Oliver Beque-SmithÂ 17 Roger JacksonÂ 18 Will KelleyÂ 19 Oliver WallisÂ 20 Jamie WoodÂ 21 Ed McGovernÂ 22 Henry Mortimer.
15 Harry ThompsonÂ 14 Eddisson MunozÂ 13 Joseph GatusÂ 12 Harry KellyÂ 11 Jacob MounseyÂ 10 Tom Stephenson (c)Â 9 Allessandro LongoÂ 1 Jasper McGuireÂ 2 Connor StevensonÂ 3 Daniel PaxmanÂ 4 Jack MannÂ 5 James CrabtreeÂ 6 Sachin GongaÂ 7 Max HansonÂ 8 Edan Kelly.
Replacements:Â 16 Theo FultonÂ 17 Rahaam PaikhaahÂ 18 Will TowlerÂ 20 Oliver WigglesworthÂ 21 Eilliot SandersonÂ 22 Neville SawadyeÂ 23 Jake Adams.
Leave a Response