NatWest Cup: Champions Bromsgrove lay down a serious marker ahead of quarter finals

Bromsgrove put in a stunning eight try performance to progress into the quarter finals of the U18 NatWest Cup, securing a 48-8 victory over Bedford Modern.


The result means that last year’s Champions will travel to RGS High Wycombe for their quarter final, a game that is most likely to be played on Wednesday next week.


It was a truly outstanding performance from the reigning champions, whose uncompromisingly powerful forward play around the fringes and off James Taylor at fly half was simply too much for Bedford Modern to live with as powerful ball carrier after powerful ball carrier came at them at pace.


Chief among those outstanding ball carriers was loosehead Henry Walker, quite possibly the outstanding U18 loosehead in the country right now. His carrying was incredibly destructive, while his offloading game was a key part of the pace that his side were able to put on the game.


That speed of ball left Bedford Modern in disarray, allowing Bromsgrove to move wide to their outstanding backline, skippered by Alexander Nisbet, who is in contention for a Scotland U18 cap this spring.


Credit should be given to Bedford Modern though. At half time they were 31-3 down, within ten minutes of the start of the second half that gap had increased to 48-3. Bromsgrove were hunting to reach the fifty point mark, they were putting pressure on Bedford Modern for much of the half, yet the only score from that point on was a try for the hosts to reduce the gap to 48-8. The final twenty minutes of the half went entirely scoreless, an outstanding feat in the face of what was a truly rampant Bromsgrove outfit.


That first fifty minutes is what this game will be remembered for though, and for RGS High Wycombe it will be a fifty minutes that will be seared into their minds ahead of next week’s quarter final.


Bromsgrove played like the champions that they are, but much more than that, they played like a side who a very much in the hunt to be champions again this year, indeed in a number of aspects they look a better side than last year.


Their forward pack is a unit that few can rival, the pace at which they arrive around the corner to take the ball from scrum half George Wootten, who was one of the stars of today’s show, is irrepressible.


It made the difference for at least five of today’s tries. Only a handful were scored directly by the forwards, but the majority came through that powerful pack created the opportunities for the likes of Wootten and Blake Edwards, who each scored a magnificent try, to capitalise out wide with their supreme pace and eye for a gap.


Any side that can have a game pretty well wrapped up by half time at this stage of the tournament is going to have every chance of heading right to the final, and that is certainly the case with Bromsgrove.


Indeed that they completely sealed things with those three fast tries after the break showed their ruthless ability and desire to get the job done, it was outstanding.


Bedford Modern should remember that last twenty minute stand with pride though, they looked a side ripe for collapse at that point, yet dug deep and forced their will on the game.


Bromsgrove will be the ones coming away from this with the smiles though, and rightly so, on this form it will take some effort for any side to stop them.


Full Time: Bedford Modern 8-48 Bromsgrove


You can see photos of the game, plus links to more in our Gallery: Bedford Modern v Bromsgrove

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