Continental Tyres Schools Cup: Semi Finals Week for U18s and U15s across Cup, Plate, Vase, & Bowl | Preview

This week is semi-finals week in the U18 and U15 Continental Tyres Schools Cup, Plate, Vase, and Bowl.


Aylesbury RFC will play host to eight of the sixteen semi-finals, hosting the U18 Cup and Vase semi-finals on Saturday 2nd March and the U15 Cup and Vase semis on Sunday 3rd March, meanwhile the Plate and Bowl semi-finals in both age groups will be hosted by the home schools throughout the week.


The finals venues have also been confirmed, with Saracens’ StoneX Stadium hosting the finals of the U15 Cup, Plate, Vase, and Bowl on Tuesday 12th March, and the same venue hosting the finals of the U18 Plate and Bowl the following day, while Twickenham Stadium will host the U18 Cup and Vase finals on Thursday 14th March, along with the Girls U18 Colleges Final.


Continental Tyres Schools Cup, Plate, Vase, and Bowl Semi Finals:


U18 Cup (Saturday 2nd March, Aylesbury RFC)


Bromsgrove v Kirkham Grammar – 2pm

Blundell’s v Harrow – 3.45pm


Three of the four semi-finalists are unbeaten across the fifteen-a-side season: Bromsgrove, Harrow, and Kirkham Grammar. Harrow finished up last term with a second Daily Mail Trophy title on the bounce and finished top of the pile in the NextGenXV League, Kirkham Grammar School finished second in that table, and lifted the St Joseph’s Festival Trophy for the first time ever. These are as strong a set of semi-finalists as there have been in recent memory.


Bromsgrove and Kirkham Grammar go head-to-head, an unbeaten record will fall, and both have history in this competition. Bromsgrove won the title back-to-back in 2015 and 2016, while Kirkham reached the 2022 final and are desperate to get their hands on the trophy – they are chasing the coveted prize of holding onto the St Joseph’s Festival, Sedbergh 10s, and Continental Tyres Schools Cup trophies at the same time.


Bromsgrove’s route through Midlands B saw them take on and beat some of the most talked about sides this term in some thrilling games, winning tight encounters against Sir Thomas Rich’s, Northampton School for Boys, and Stamford before a quarter final against Radley College where they put in a sublime performance to win 33-10. Kirkham Grammar School meanwhile had a first-round bye before a trio of outstanding displays against three of the best in the north of England, QEGS Wakefield, King’s Macclesfield, and Woodhouse Grove. This is set to be one of the great semi-finals.


On the other side of the draw both Blundell’s and Harrow are chasing a first ever finals appearance. Blundell’s went close last year before losing to Trinity at this same stage, but they want to seize this second chance. Harrow, meanwhile, much like Kirkham, are looking to hold onto an unprecedented haul of trophies, the Daily Mail Trophy, NextGenXV league, Rosslyn Park National School 7s (both U18 and U16), and the Continental Tyres Schools Cup. There is history making potential at every turn in these semi-finals.


Blundell’s have had one of the more unusual routes to this semi-final, winning against King’s Taunton and Taunton School in the opening two rounds, before losing to Monmouth in an epic in Round 3. That looked like the end of the road for Blundell’s but they were handed a lifeline as Monmouth were disqualified for a half game rule breach, thus allowing Blundell’s to progress. On receiving that lifeline, Blundell’s took it, facing an outstanding RGS High Wycombe side in the quarter finals, who have reached the St Joseph’s Festival and Seaford Southern 10s finals, and winning the tightest of games 16-10. Harrow, meanwhile, have been astonishing. Newman College gave them a bit of a test in the opener, before Harrow then opened the taps against RGS Guildford in Round 2, an outstanding Hurstpierpoint College side in Round 3, and Ipswich in the quarter finals. The performance, in driving rain, against Ipswich was particularly noteworthy, a 47-5 victory over a side that is without doubt one of the top 5 in the country this year.


Bromsgrove (Midlands B)

QF: Won 33-10 v Radley College (H)

R3: Won 18-12 v Stamford (H)

R2: Won 8-3 v Northampton School for Boys (A)

R1: Won 37-22 v Sir Thomas Rich’s (H)


Kirkham Grammar (North B)

QF: Won 35-12 v Woodhouse Grove (H)

R3: Won 38-10 v King’s Macclesfield (A)

R2: Won 35-5 v QEGS Wakefield (A)

R1: Bye


Blundell’s (South West A)

QF: Won 16-10 v RGS High Wycombe (H)

R3: Lost 35-26 v Monmouth (H) – Monmouth disqualified (half game rule breach)

R2: Won 25-10 v Taunton (H)

R1: Won 35-19 v King’s College, Taunton (A)


Harrow (London & South East B)

QF: Won 47-5 v Ipswich (H)

R3: Won 46-5 v Hurstpierpoint College (H)

R2: Won 47-22 v RGS Guildford (H)

R1: Won 25-10 v Newman College (H)


U18 Plate


Uppingham v Solihull – 2.15pm, 29th Feb, Uppingham

Newman College v Campion – KO TBC, 2nd Mar, Newman College


The Plate semi-finals take place on Thursday and Saturday as Uppingham, Solihull, Newman College, and Campion aim for a place at StoneX on Wednesday 13th March.


Uppingham host Solihull on Thursday, and that should spell an exciting game because both have had campaigns littered by thrillers. Uppingham’s first round Cup defeat to Stowe was a cracker, 22-17, that moved them into the Plate, where a thrilling victory over Warwick, 33-22, set up an epic quarter final with Grammar School at Leeds that they won 34-31. Solihull have been playing the same game though, not least in an 18-15 victory over Sir Thomas Rich’s and a classic 29-28 victory over reigning Cup champions Oakham, though their 40-14 quarter final victory over Cheadle Hulme was a big statement. It should be a cracker.


On the other side of the draw Newman College have been superb. Losing to Harrow in their opener is a fate none have avoided so far this season, but once in the Plate they demonstrated their quality with St Benedict’s, KCS Wimbledon, and King’s College Taunton all dispatched. Now they host Campion, one of the greats of the competition, who won the Cup in 2001. They lost out to Ipswich in the Cup opener, and once in the Plate they have seen off legends in John Fisher and Whitgift ahead of their 28-10 quarter final victory over Caterham. These London & South East sections have been extraordinarily good this year.


Uppingham (Midlands A)

QF: Won 34-31 v Grammar School at Leeds (H)

R2: Bye

R1: Won 33-22 v Warwick (A)

Cup R1: Lost 22-17 v Stowe (A)


Solihull (Midlands B)

QF: Won 40-14 v Cheadle Hulme (H)

R2: Won 29-28 v Oakham (H)

R1: Won 18-15 v Sir Thomas Rich’s (A)

Cup R1: Lost 37-17 v Northampton School for Boys (A)


Newman College (London & South East B)

QF: Won 38-15 v King’s College, Taunton (A)

R2: Won (unknown) v KCS Wimbledon (H)

R1: Walkover v St Benedict’s (H)

Cup R1: Lost 25-10 v Harrow (A)


Campion (London & South East A)

QF: Won 28-10 v Caterham (H)

R2: Won 19-13 v Whitgift (H)

R1: Won 10-0 v John Fisher (H)

Cup R1: Lost 33-19 v Ipswich (H)


U18 Vase (Saturday 2nd March, Aylesbury RFC)


Durham v Felsted – 10.30am

Ivybridge Community College v Mill Hill – 12.15pm


The Vase semi-finals look particularly strong this year and will light up the morning session at Aylesbury RFC this coming Saturday. It has been an intense competition for all involved, six rounds of action to this point and six big rounds at that.


For Durham, the 2001 Cup finalists, it started off in flying form with three big victories on the bounce, but they were tested strongly against Dame Allan’s and Trent College en route to their quarter final, where they were superb at home to King’s Grantham. For Felsted, looking to make a first Vase final since their 2013 appearance, the story was similar, three strong victories on the bounce to kick off, but since then it has been nail-biting stuff. A single point at Gresham’s, three points at home to St Albans, two points in the quarter final over St Ambrose College. What that is demonstrating is a clinical edge to their play, and if they can show that on Saturday we could have a classic on our hands.


In the other semi final are Ivybridge Community College, no strangers to this stage at U15 level but less familiar at U18. They have but in some excellent performances through this competition, but also found a way through some incredibly tight ones, not least against Exeter School and Plymouth College in Rounds 2 and 3, and again in the quarter finals at Lord Wandsworth College. Mill Hill meanwhile have taken tight to another level, progressing after a draw at Watford Grammar in Round 4. They are a seriously strong group, with increasing links to Saracens and having come through tight games through the last four rounds they will have a real sense of belief heading into this game.


Durham (North B)

QF: Won 21-8 v King’s Grantham (H)

R5: Won 25-22 v Trent College (A)

R4: Won 19-12 v Dame Allan’s (H)

R3: Won 47-12 v Harrogate GS (H)

R2: Won 50-0 v Ripon GS (H)

R1: Walkover v Ashville Harrogate (A)


Felsted (Midlands B)

QF: Won 22-20 v St Ambrose College (H)

R5: Won 23-20 v St Albans (H)

R4: Won 26-25 v Gresham’s (A)

R3: Won 36-12 v The Leys (H)

R2: Won 65-10 v Bishop’s Stortford HS (H)

R1: Walkover v Spalding GS (H)


Ivybridge (South West A)

QF: Won 19-14 v Lord Wandsworth College (A)

R5: Won 31-10 v Dauntsey’s (H)

R4: Won 35-7 v Wellington School (H)

R3: Won 15-7 v Plymouth College (A)

R2: Won 10-7 v Exeter School (H)

R1: Won 35-0 v West Buckland (A)


Mill Hill (London & South East A)

QF: Won 19-14 v Ravens Wood (A)

R5: Won 27-22 v Coopers’ Coborn (H)

R4: Drew 20-20 v Watford GS (A)

R3: Won 15-10 v UCS (A)

R2: Won 61-7 v Cardinal Vaughan (H)

R1: Won 33-14 v London Oratory (A)


U18 Bowl (Wednesday 28th Feb, Home Schools)


Richard Huish v Portsmouth GS – 2pm

Richard Hale v Loughborough GS – 2.15pm


Both Bowl semi finals take place on Wednesday afternoon. Richard Huish host Portsmouth Grammar at 2pm and both sides have had to face some really strong sides on their way here, not least in the quarter finals. Richard Huish were excellent against 2022 Vase finalists Sutton Valence in their quarter final for a 25-12 victory, while Portsmouth Grammar School were exceptional, beating London Oratory 54-19 to progress.


In the other semi final the rise and rise of Hertford’s Richard Hale School continues. They have been climbing the schools rugby ranks for a few years now and would dearly love some silverware to add to that progress. Their route here has been superb, few have come close to troubling them, but Loughborough Grammar will be a different kettle of fish. The North A side have been exceptional in this competition, they have not scored fewer than fifty points in any game in this competition, including their 55-12 victory over KES Five Ways in the quarter finals. Will that continue? Or will this superb Richard Hale side get their finals spot.


Richard Huish (South West A)

QF: Won 25-12 v Sutton Valence (H)

R4: Won 30-21 v The Crypt (H)
R3: Unkown v Clayesmore (H)

R2: Won 27-21 v Truro (A)

R1: Won 30-0 v West Buckland (A)

Vase R1: Lost 41-19 v Exeter School (A)


Portsmouth GS (South West B)

QF: Won 54-19 v London Oratory (H)

R4: Won 36-19 v City of London Freemen’s (H)
R3: Won 52-14 v Lord Williams (H)

R2: Won 60-10 v Brockenhurst College (A)

R1: Won 50-5 v Ryde (A)

Vase R1: Lost 34-25 v Lord Wandsworth College (H)


Richard Hale (Midlands B)

QF: Won 32-17 v Nottingham HS (H)

R4: Won 29-10 v King’s Ely (A)
R3: Won 55-5 v Sir John Lawes (H)

R2: Won 41-5 v Bishop’s Stortford College (A)

R1: Won 50-0 v Verulam (H)

Vase R1: Lost 25-13 v Samuel Whitbread (A)


Loughborough GS (North A)

QF: Won 55-12 v KES Five Ways (H)

R4: Won 50-7 v Calday Grange GS (H)
R3: Won 50-7 v Sandbach (H)

R2: Won 54-7 v Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby (H)

R1: Won 61-0 v St Joseph’s, Stoke (A)

Vase R1: Lost 34-31 v Wrekin College (A)


U15 Cup (Sunday 3rd March, Aylesbury RFC)


Northampton School for Boys v Stowe – 10.30am

Millfield v Radley College – 3.45pm


The U15 Cup semi finals take place on Sunday at Aylesbury RFC and they include some real legends among them and some of the very best sides in the country.


Chief among those, reigning champions Northampton School for Boys, who rise up the schoolboy ranks in the last decade has been exceptional. No side has gone back to back at U15 level since Warwick a decade ago, NSB are determined to change that after an exceptional campaign that saw Oundle, Stamford, Ipswich, and Cup legends QEGS Wakefield defeated. Up against them though are another recent legend, the shared 2020 champions (the finals were cancelled due to Covid), Stowe. Stowe have been outstanding, with a big victory over Rugby to begin before victories over Warwick and reigning Plate champions King’s Worcester, and then the crowning performance of their campaign in the quarter finals, a 50-0 victory over St Ambrose College. This is a semi final of rugby potential.


It is one of the more surprising facts of the U15 Cup that Millfield have only won it once, in 2009. They would love another and given their campaign so far they will be feeling confident, four strong victories on the bounce followed by an outstanding 33-19 victory over three-time champions Whitgift in the quarter finals. This is an excellent Millfield outfit. So too is this Radley College side though, they have had to come through some incredibly tight battles to get to this point beating six time champions, most recently in 2022, Wellignton College by 9 points, Cheltenham College by 8, Hampton by 4 in the quarter finals. They have showed real grit to get to this point and will be relishing Sunday’s semi final.


Northampton School for Boys (Midlands B)

QF: Won 17-10 v QEGS Wakefield (A)

R4: Won 15-12 v Ipswich (H)

R3: Walkover v Stamford (H)

R2: Bye

R1: Won 46-14 v Oundle (H)


Stowe (Midlands A)

QF: Won 50-0 v St Ambrose College (H)

R4: Won 25-16 v King’s Worcester (A)

R3: Won 26-19 v Warwick (A)

R2: Bye

R1: Won 55-5 v Rugby (H)


Millfield (South West B)

QF: Won 33-19 v Whitgift (H)

R4: Won 67-0 v Newquay Tretharras (H)

R3: Won 43-5 v Canford (H)

R2: Won 60-6 v Bryanston (H)

R1: Won 41-14 v Oasis Academy (A)


Radley College (South West A)

QF: Won 17-13 v Hampton (A)

R4: Won 15-7 v Cheltenham College (H)

R3: Won 14-5 v Wellington College (H)

R2: Walkover at Abingdon

R1: Bye


U15 Plate


Hymers College v Oundle – 2pm, 28th Feb, Hymers College

Dean Close v Cranleigh – 2.30pm, 29th Feb, Dean Close


It is a top quality Plate line up too, beginning on Wednesday at 2pm as Hymers College welcome Oundle to Hull. Hymers have beaten some huge names to get to this point, Woodhouse Grove, Bradford Grammar, RGS Newcastle, and then, in the quarter finals, Rugby School, who won the national title as U14s last year. Oundle have been brilliant too though, scoring a bucket load of points at every stage, although this will be their first game away from home of the campaign, might that have an impact? It looks set to be a cracker.


The second semi-final, Dean Close vs Cranleigh, takes place on Thursday at 2.30pm. Dean Close had to take on some big names on their way through South West A, winning tight games against Bristol Grammar and Marlborough College before an excellent quarter final performance against Oasis Academy. Cranleigh meanwhile came through a tough London & South East B section, beating Brighton College, St John’s Leatherhead, and St Richard Reynolds. Indeed, the sign of the quality of this Cranleigh side is that they were only knocked out of the Cup by a point. They will have big ambitions on Sunday.


Hymers College (North A)

QF: Won 19-17 v Rugby (H)

R3: Won 42-28 v RGS Newcastle (A)

R2: Won 49-0 v Bradford GS (A)

R1: Won 26-24 v Woodhouse Grove (H)

Cup R1: Lost 43-10 v St Peter’s, York (H)


Oundle (Midlands B)

QF: Won 36-0 v Merchant Taylors’, Crosby (H)

R3: Won 45-24 v St Joseph’s College (H)

R2: Won 48-19 v Uppingham (H)

R1: Bye

Cup R1: Lost 46-14 v Northampton School for Boys (A)


Dean Close (South West A)

QF: Won 33-14 v Oasis Academy (A)

R3: Won 10-8 v Marlborough College (A)

R2: Won 25-10 v Bristol GS (A)

R1: Bye

Cup R1: Lost 18-10 v Collegiate (A)


Cranleigh (London & South East B)

QF: Won 17-7 v St Richard Reynolds (A)

R3: Won 24-15 at St John’s Leatherhead (A)

R2: Won 17-10 v Brighton College (A)

R1: Bye

Cup R1: Lost 22-21 v RGS Guildford (A)


U15 Vase (Sunday 3rd March, Aylesbury RFC)


Beechen Cliff v St Albans – 12.15pm

Durham v The Leys – 2pm


The Vase semi finals looks strong. Beechen Cliff and St Albans are up first and they are two very strong sides. Beechen Cliff have absolutely stormed to this point, they only conceded their first points of the competition in Round 5, where they scored 60 of their own, they have been unstoppable. St Albans will be a step up though, and they are a battle-hardened side. They may not have waltzed through the rounds in the same way, but they have come through some really tough battles against top opposition. It is going to be a huge semi final.


Likewise in the later game as Durham and The Leys meet. Durham are looking to progress to the Vase final at both U18 and U15 level, and their U15s have been exceptional, showing both their scoring a clinical side in some big wins and their ability to win the tight ones, against Dame Allan’s and Hitchin Boys’ for example, as well. They are a rounded outfit. So too though are The Leys, who won this U15 competition in 2009 and would love to do so again this year. They have had some huge victories on the way, also a brilliant 30-20 victory over their local rivals, The Perse, in Round 4, and even squeaked through from a draw over Solihull. Like Durham, they have shown an ability to be clinical, but also to simply find a way when required. Another massive semi final.


Beechen Cliff (South West B)

QF: Won 17-5 v KES Southampton (A)

R5: Won 60-20 v Exeter School (H)

R4: Won 50-0 v QEH (A)

R3: Won 34-0 v Oasis Academy (H)

R2: Won 55-0 v Dauntsey’s (H)

R1: Walkover v Bristol Cathedral (A)


St Albans (London & South East A)

QF: Won 20-6 v The Judd (A)

R5: Won 28-17 v Dartford GS (H)

R4: Won 18-12 v Campion (H)

R3: Won 14-0 v Mill Hill (H)

R2: Won 51-0 v St Columba’s (H)

R1: Won 60-3 v Parmiter’s (A)


Durham (North A)

QF: Won 25-14 v Hitchin Boys’ (H)

R5: Walkover v Scarborough College (H)

R4: Won 47-0 v Scarisbrick Hall (A)

R3: Won 22-20 v Dame Allan’s (H)

R2: Won 52-0 v King’s Priory (A)

R1: Won 52-15 v Yarm (A)


The Leys (Midlands A)

QF: Won 29-15 v Calday Grange GS (H)

R5: Drew 13-13 v Solihull (A)

R4: Won 30-20 v The Perse (H)

R3: Won 49-5 v Wymondham College (A)

R2: Won 49-5 v Langley (A)

R1: Won 38-14 v King’s Ely (A)


U15 Bowl


Emanuel v Gordon’s – 2.30pm, 29th Feb, Emanuel

Reading Blue Coat v Princethorpe College – 2.30pm, 27th Feb, Holme Park


The U15 Bowl semi finals were only confirmed at the end of last week after Gordon’s victory over Eastbourne College in the quarters, an epic 41-36 effort. Theirs is the second semi final though, the first will actually likely be decided by the time you read this piece as Reading Blue Coat host Princethorpe College, two sides that have but in some big performances but also won some very tight game, indeed in Princethorpe’s case progressing after a draw at KES Lichfield. Gordon’s are then in action on Thursday when they travel to Emanuel. Emanuel have been outstanding en route to this point, and have come through some big tests in the last two rounds. Gordon’s meanwhile have been points scoring machines, passing forty in every game and all comfortable until that epic quarter final last week.


Emanuel (London & South East A)

QF: Won 21-10 v Plymouth College (H)

R4: Won 15-14 v QES Barnet (A)

R3: Won 22-0 v Chislehurst & Sidcup (H)

R2: Won 47-7 v Orleans Park (H)

R1: Won 45-14 v Gunnersbury (A)

Vase R1: Lost 52-17 v Grey Court (A)


Gordon’s (South West A)

QF: Won 41-36 v Eastbourne College (N)

R4: Won 51-5 v Trafalgar School (H)

R3: Won 45-0 v Wycliffe College (A)

R2: Won Walkover v Court Moor (A)

R1: Won 53-3 v Salesian (H)

Vase R1: Lost 63-5 v Cranmore (A)


Reading Blue Coat (Midlands B)

QF: Won 41-14 v Yarm (A)

R4: Won 35-5 v Sir William Borlase’s (H)

R3: Won 14-10 v Hereford Cathedral (A)

R2: Won 17-7 v Royal Latin (A)

R1: Won 37-0 v Lord Williams’ (A)

Vase R1: Lost 17-7 v Shiplake College (A)


Princethorpe College (Midlands A)

QF: Won 38-15 v Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby (H)

R4: Won 31-12 v Gresham’s (H)

R3: Drew 7-7 v KES Lichfield (A)

R2: Won 65-7 v Wellingborough (H)

R1: Won 62-12 v KES Stratford (A)

Vase R1: Lost 31-22 v Solihull (A)


Continental Tyres Schools Cup Finals


Tuesday 12th March


U15 Cup, Plate, Vase, and Bowl Finals – all at StoneX Stadium


Wednesday 13th March


U18 Plate and Bowl Finals – both at StoneX Stadium


Thursday 14th March


U18 Cup and Vase Finals, plus Girls U18 Colleges Final – all at Twickenham Stadium

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