U18 Semi Finals Week: U18 Schools Cup, Plate, Vase, & Bowl semi finals Preview

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Coach Logic

After a bit of a hiatus in the U18 competitions, added to by a weekend of delays thanks to the weather, this week is semi finals week in the U18 Schools Cup, Vase, and Bowl competitions, with the Plate semis finals having managed to be completed last week.


The Cup and Vase semi finals will all take place on Tuesday at Saracens’ Allianz Park, with the winners all heading to Twickenham Stadium on Wednesday 14th March for the Cup and Vase finals.


The Plate semi finals meanwhile took place at the host schools and selected nearby venues throughout last week, winners in those competition will be going to Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium on Tuesday 13th March for those finals.


The Bowl semi finals were played on Monday 5th March at Ravens Wood and King Henry VIII School, Coventry.


U18 Schools Cup Semi Finals:


Northampton School for Boys v QEGS Wakefield (Tuesday 6th March, 13.00, Allianz Park)


Two years ago Northampton School for Boys won the Vase, while in 2013 they reached the Cup final. On Saturday they aim for a return to Twickenham, and this time they will be itching to marry the success of 2016 with the higher level of competition of 2013. Standing in their way though are QEGS Wakefield, and while they have a great record, they have had to scrap to get here at times, not least in a 27-27 away draw at St Peter’s in Round 3.


QEGS were knocked out at the quarter final stage by Warwick by just two points last year. Warwick went on to win the title, and it is that Warwick/QEGS rivalry that has the potential to really capture the imagination again. The two met in three successive U15 finals in 2013, ’14, and ’15, with QEGS winning the last of those. They are now reaping the rewards, QEGS reaching the U18 final in 2016 and Warwick winning it last year. Now in separate semi finals, it seems almost written that they will finally meet in that U18 final.


Whitgift v Warwick (Tuesday 6th March, 11.00, Allianz Park)


Almost written, but far from certain. QEGS face a tough opponent in Northampton School for Boys, while Warwick face one of the toughest sides in the country in Whitgift. With a number over internationals in their ranks, plus some wonderful history including back to back titles in 2010 and 2011, Whitgift will be formidable, they have been flying this season not least in the quarter finals where they comprehensively beat last year’s finalists, Bishop Wordsworth’s.


So too have Warwick, their form this year has been excellent as their 45-7 average winning margin in this competition scores. Perhaps more important though is that recent experience in this tournament. Time and time again we have seen how important recent success can be in this competition, particularly with regard to staying sharp – there will have been weeks since either side played a game of fifteen-a-side so getting back to that sharpness is key. Across both games that could be the deciding factor.


Routes to the Semi Finals


Northampton School for Boys (Midlands A)

19-3 v Judd – Quarter Final

27-17 v Stamford – Last 16

18-7 v St Joseph’s College – Round 3

49-29 v Bloxham – Round 2

69-0 v Lawrence Sherriff – Round 1


QEGS Wakefield (North B)

29-0 v King’s Macclesfield – Quarter Final

12-7 v RGS Newcastle – Last 16

27-27 v St Peter’s, York – Round 3 (Through as away side)

w/o v Hartlepool 6th form College – Round 2

w/o v John Fisher – Round 1


Whitgift (London & South East A)

48-15 v Bishop Wordsworth’s – Quarter Finals

36-12 v Hampton – Last 16

11-3 v Felsted – Round 3

53-11 v KCS Wimbledon – Round 2

47-10 v Langley Park – Round 1


Warwick (Midlands B)

57-12 v Canford – Quarter Finals

30-18 v Solihull – Last 16

50-0 v Newcastle-Under-Lyme – Round 3

38-7 v Sandbach – Round 2

50-0 v King Edward VI, Camp Hill – Round 1


U18 Schools Plate Semi Finals:


St Ambrose College 5-21 Trinity (Wednesday 28th February)


St Ambrose College reached the final of the Vase in 2016, but in the Plate it is Trinity who make it to the final this year. They battled the conditions to secure a place at Sixways on Tuesday 13th March against Woodhouse Grove thanks to a tremendous 21-5 victory.


Woodhouse Grove 43-5 St Peter’s, Gloucester (Monday 26th February)


Woodhouse Grove’s 43-5 win over St Peter’s was highly impressive and was actually only their third game in the tournament after byes in the last 32 and last 16. It was part of a trend of good results though after a Round 1 win over Dame Allan’s and a 22-7 win at Uppingham in the quarter final.


Routes to the Semi Finals


St Ambrose College (North A)

24-17 v KES Birmingham – Quarter Final

36-14 v RGS Lancaster – Last 16

Bye – Round 2

29-13 v Altrincham GS – Round 1


Trinity (London & South East B)

41-16 v New Hall – Quarter Final

38-31 v Peter Symonds’ – Last 16

33-8 v Sir Joseph Williamson’s – Round 2

32-12 v Duke of York’s RMS – Round 1


Woodhouse Grove (North B)

22-7 v Uppingham – Quarter Final

Bye – Last 16

Bye – Round 2

50-0 v Dame Allan’s – Round 1


St Peter’s Gloucester (South West A)

37-12 v Richard Huish – Quarter Final

35-14 v KES Southampton – Last 16

22-12 v Pangbourne College – Round 2

Bye – Round 1


U18 Schools Vase Semi Finals:


Dauntsey’s v Langley (Tuesday 6th March, 16.30, Allianz Park)


Langley are probably the outstanding team so far in the Vase, twice they have passed eighty points, and at no point have they scored less than forty points. Their passage has been genuinely remarkable. Dauntsey’s has been impressive too, if not quite to the same scale. They progressed untroubled to the quarter finals relatively untroubled. There they came up against King’s Worcester and had to win a real dogfight 8-5. That experience for digging out a tough one could prove useful though, should this one be tight in the closing stages.


Ripon GS v Wirral GS (Tuesday 6th March, 15.00, Allianz Park)


These two have had to work really hard for their places in the semi finals. The key game for Ripon was their 15-14 win over Worksop College in the last 16, while for Wirral there have been a few, a 25-24 win in Round 3, and a 22-19 victory over Giggleswick in the last 16 among them. It suggests that we could be in for a tough and competitive game on Saturday morning between these two.


Routes to the Semi Finals


Dauntsey’s (South West A)

8-5 v Kings’s Worcester – Quarter Finals

27-7 v Taunton – Last 16

37-0 v Backwell – Round 4

50-0 v Monkton Combe – Round 3

50-0 v Norton Hill – Round 2

56-0 v St Laurence – Round 1


Langley (Midlands B)

45-5 v Hayes – Quarter Finals

40-0 v Trent College – Last 16

88-8 v Bishop’s Stortford College – Round 4

54-17 v RGS Colchester – Round 3

89-26 v Wymondham College – Round 2

w/o v Thomas Hills – Round 1


Ripon GS (North B)

25-17 v Sir William Borlase’s – Quarter Finals

15-14 v Worksop College – Last 16

24-10 v Yarm – Round 4

30-22 v QEGS Hexham – Round 3

36-0 v Harrogate GS – Round 2

41-12 v Ashville College – Round 1


Wirral GS (North A)

20-12 v Reed’s – Quarter Finals

22-19 v Giggleswick – Last 16

34-20 v Lymm HS – Round 4

25-24 v Birkenhead – Round 3

38-17 v St Anselm’s – Round 2

41-10 v Rydal Penrhos – Round 1


U18 Schools Bowl Semi Finals:


King Henry VIII, Coventry 15-21 Samuel Whitbread (Monday 5th March, 1.30pm)


Thursday’s semi final was moved to Monday due to the weather, and it saw the two winners of the Midlands go head to head in Thursday’s semi final for a place at Sixways. It proved to be well worth the wait, with Samuel Whitbread scoring a last minute try to claim their place at the home of Worcester Warriors. With just a minute remaining, King Henry VIII led 15-14 only for Morgan Dayes to cross for the away side, sparking huge scene of celebration as they sealed a brilliant 21-15 win.


Ravens Wood 3-19 St George’s College, Weybridge (Monday 5th March)


This game had also been weather hit, originally scheduled for Wednesday 28th, it had also been moved to Monday 5th March. St George’s showed the class that they have all season really as they sealed a relatively comfortable 19-3 victory against a Ravens Wood side that really has been performing exceptionally well this season. They will now, of course, head on to Sixways where they will take on those last minute heroes, Samuel Whitbread on Tuesday 14th March.


Routes to the Semi Finals


King Henry VIII, Coventry (Midlands A)

31-15 v John Hampden – Quarter Final

12-10 v Shrewsbury – Last 16

25-19 v Hereford Cathedral – Round 3

28-10 v Prince Henry’s – Round 2

36-0 v Tewkesbury – Round 1


Samuel Whitbread (Midlands B)

67-0 v Ashville College – Quarter Final

22-13 v Loughborough GS – Last 16

43-10 v Easton & Otley – Round 3

50-0 v Saffron Walden – Round 2

Bye – Round 1


Ravens Wood (London & South East A)

34-10 v Prince Henry’s GS – Quarter Final

53-20 v Beth’s GS – Last 16

33-7 v Robert Clack – Round 3

65-10 v Graveney – Round 2

50-0 v Riddlesdown – Round 1


St George’s College, Weybridge (London & South East B)

31-15 v Mount Kelly – Quarter Final

35-14 v Verulam – Last 16

39-0 v Reigate GS – Round 3

26-10 v Brighton & Hove – Round 2

61-7 v ACS Cobham International – Round 1

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