Whitgift are strong contenders through to NatWest Schools Cup quarter-finals.
Whitgift’s 1st XV and U15As played their respective NatWest Schools Cup matches at home, in less than ideal weather conditions, on Wednesday 27 January, but with great results. The 1st VXs took on St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, in their Round 6 fixture, the same team who had knocked them out of last year’s competition.
Director of Rugby, Mr Chris Wilkins, commented, “It was a really tough game against a quality St Joseph’s team. We played into the elements the first half, and, despite going 0-8 down, we managed to retain the ball fairly well, before a penalty at half-time brought the score to 3-8. I felt the key period was the last quarter of the match, as, after sustained pressure from the forwards team captain, Sid Holland, broke through a couple of tackles from the 22 and drove powerfully over for an excellent try. In the end, we managed to finish the game off with a hard earned 11-8 win.”
Whitgift won the title twice, in 2010 and 2011, with now famous alumni on the team sheets: Elliot Daly (Wasps), Marland Yarde (Quins), and Lawrence Okoye (Olympic athlete and now NFL footballer). The side has had a strong season so far, winning the Esher Presidents Cup, in August, and winning 20 out of 24 matches this season so far, including victories over Warwick School, RGS High Wycombe and Dulwich College. ‘Whitgift look strong contenders for the Twickenham final this year’, according to Telegraph Sports.
Meanwhile, the U15As faced Brighton College in their Round 7 match, with a 28-10 victory. U15 Coach, Mr Adrian Norris, commented, “The U15s met a very well-organised and efficient Brighton College. Having lost the toss and playing into the conditions, the team experienced some strong encounters, but took an early lead – 8-3. However, right on the stroke of half-time, Brighton hit back and led 8-10 at the break. Whitgift stuck doggedly to their game plan and continued to dominate possession and territory. This physical dominance eventually paid off with a further three tries, conversion and penalty. There were some excellent displays by the whole team, but most notable from the Benz-Salomon brothers and Charlie Cassar on the right wing.”
The quarter-final draw sees the Whitgift 1st XVs take on Wilmslow High School, and the U15s will face Sedbergh School, on w/c 8 February. The semi-finals will take place at Allianz Park; Saturday 27th February for the U18s, and Sunday 6th March for the U15s.
Photo taken by James Ackerley, Whitgift School student.
To find out more about Whitgift School, visit their website.