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Home > News > Daily Mail RBS Schools Cup news from the North
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Your News Daily Mail RBS Schools Cup news from the North

WILMSLOW School bowed out of the Daily Mail RBS Under 18 Schools Cup yesterday in the most painful of circumstances after a dour but compelling Quarter-final tie at home to Warwick School.

If scores in the competition are level at the final whistle and the make-up of the scoring is identical, the away side rule applies. Since the sides were locked at 10-10 at the whistle, with a converted try and a penalty each, Warwick will go into Mondays Semi-final draw.

When the visitors went ahead after 5 minutes with a try by fly-half Henry Stride, converted by full-back Josh Hickman, after a handling error by Wilmslow had created a kick-and-chase, it seemed that with a stiff breeze at their backs, Warwick might build a decent lead.

But Wilmslow put up an impenetrable, tenacious defence for the remainder of the half to prevent their opponents from extending their advantage.

With the elements in their favour, Wilmslow drew level with a smart piece of work from scrum-half Wilf Noden, whose slick reverse pass allowed prop Rob Taylor to complete a Chris Ashton-style finish for a try that Noden goaled.

When Noden then slotted a 40-yard penalty to put his side in the driving seat, it looked as though a clear head and a dose of pragmatism might see Wilmslow home, but these attributes were crucially lacking despite the teams previous experience of pressure situations at local and national level.

Warwick, however, showed great resolve to impose themselves on the game territorially and with time running out, Wilmslow committed the crucial infringement that allowed Hickman to level the scores with a penalty.

Wilmslow then found Warwick both resilient and disciplined during the final onslaught, a gritty rearguard keeping the home side at arms length and earning a semi-final place in the process.

It was a big missed opportunity, said Wilmslow Coach Alastair Leggett. We failed to turn up and produced our poorest display in the Cup. Id rather wed have lost by 10 points and been able to say that we gave it our best and were beaten by a better team than losing the way we did.

We were delighted to be only 7-0 adrift at half-time playing as poorly as we had. We were pretty happy at that point.

Wilmslow Forwards Coach Chris Jones: When you get to this level of rugby its all about small margins and today the small margins made a huge difference. Our first piece of possession we knock on and they kick on and score. At the end, we had opportunities to get the ball out of play, but we didnt take them and Warwick came back at us.

Its disappointing for the coaches, but its even moreso for the lads, because the effort they have put in has been unbelievable. I dont know of any other school that works as hard as they do on their rugby. Its a real disappointment for them.

But playing at this level of rugby is not like playing local sides and winning by a big score. We are playing at the top end of schoolboy rugby and at that level its the small margins that matter.

Disappointment for Cheshire was extended when Kings School, Macclesfield also went out at the yesterdays Quarter-final stage, a 3-0 defeat at Northampton School for Boys being compounded by a series injury to Tom Fairclough, who suffered a double leg fracture.

Fly-half Conor Bullivant landed the first-half penalty that sealed the visitors fate.

Elsewhere, Tadcaster School went down 24-5 at Royal Latin School in the Under 15 Vase, but Yarm School reached the Under 18 Vase Semis with a 27-11 win at Loughborough Grammar, when Newcastle Falcons wingman Zach Kibirige collected another brace of tries to add to two more from Jonny Teague and Akshay Peddada and two conversions and a penalty from Will Guthrie.

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