A brilliant week of rugby in the U18 Schools Cup has seen eleven of the sixteen regional finalists confirmed.
The first few rounds of the Cup regionalized, with four regions, North, Midlands, London & South East, and South West, all divided into two, A and B, giving eight regions. Those regional rounds culminate in the regional final, the eight winners of which are the U18 Schools Cup quarter finalists.
Those eight are then put into a hat and drawn on a fully national scale, so the North A winners could play the South West B winners, for the quarter finals, semi finals, and of course the final at Twickenham Stadium in March.
U18 Schools Cup Last 32 Results/Fixtures:
Merchant Taylors’ 13-36 King’s Macclesfield
Stonyhurst College v Manchester GS – Wednesday 15th November
Regional Final: King’s Macclesfield v Stonyhurst College/Manchester Grammar
North A will have to wait for the Stonyhurst v Manchester Grammar School fixture to be completed next week, but King’s Macclesfield secured their regional final spot with an excellent 36-13 win at Merchant Taylors’.
RGS Newcastle 44-14 Barnard Castle
St Peter’s, York 27-27 QEGS Wakefield
Regional Final: RGS Newcastle v QEGS Wakefield
What a section this is, and what a regional final, two Schools Cup legends, RGS Newcastle and QEGS Wakefield. All four semi finalists had reached the national final before, so these were mouth watering games. RGS Newcastle were sensational for a 44-14 win over Barnard Castle, but there was drama in York. St Peter’s and QEGS Wakefield drew 27-27 thanks to a dramatic late drop goal from Oliver Wigglesworth. The teams were inseparable, even on try count, so it came down to the away side rule, sending QEGS through to face RGS. Expect the winner of that game to go far.
Oundle 3-12 Stamford
St Joseph’s College 7-18 Northampton School for Boys
Regional Final: Stamford v Northampton School for Boys
These were two very interesting games as each fixture had been played before, Stamford had beaten Oundle earlier in the year, and Northampton had beaten St Joseph’s, both in commanding style. Those results were repeated this week, but not in the same style, both Oundle and St Joseph’s put in spirited displays, but ultimately could not stop Stamford and Northampton School for Boys, who will likely put on a spectacular show in the regional final.
Solihull 38-17 KES Five Ways
Regional Final: Warwick v Solihull
The reigning Champions, Warwick, had already secured their spot in the regional final after a stunning win last week. That meant that this week was all about who would join them, Solihull or KES Five Ways. It proved to be Solihull, who have looked good throughout the competition, they beat KES 38-17 on Thursday, but a regional final against the champions is a tough reward.
London & South East A
Felsted v Whitgift – Wednesday 15th November
Hampton 59-14 Wimbledon College
Regional Final: Felsted/Whitgift v Hampton
Hampton were in flying form this week for a brilliant 59-14 win over Wimbledon College. Things will be much tougher in their next outing in this competition though. They will meet either last year’s semi finalists, Felsted, or the 2010 and 2011 winners and one of this year’s favourites, Whitgift, who will meet for what promises to be a blockbuster next week.
London & South East B
Churcher’s College 3-22 John Fisher
Judd 21-15 Eltham College
Regional Final: John Fisher v Judd
John Fisher booked their regional final spot with a quite excellent 22-3 win away at Churcher’s College, but the other game, Judd v Eltham College, was far from straightforward. Last year’s quarter finalists had to contend with a superbly organised Eltham College side, who pushed them all the way but Judd just about held out for a 21-15 win.
South West A
Portsmouth GS 10-15 Bishop Wordsworth’s
RGS High Wycombe v Dean Close – Thursday 16th November
Regional Final: Bishop Wordworth’s v RGS High Wycombe/Dean Close
Bishop Wordsworth’s may have been finalists last year, but they have had to put in the work this year and did so again in midweek as they just out maneuvered Portsmouth Grammar for a 15-10 win. They will face either Cup legends RGS High Wycombe or one of the form sides in the tournament, Dean Close, who meet each other on Thursday next week.
South West B
Canford v Colston’s – Tuesday 14th November
Ivybridge Community College v Exeter School – Wednesday 15th November
Regional Final: Canford/Colston’s v Ivybridge/Exeter
South West B is yet to kick off at the regional semi final stage, with both Canford v Colston’s and Ivybridge v Exeter scheduled for next week. It’s going to be quite a pair of fixtures when they arrive though, and the final should be pretty spectacular too.