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Home > News > Pressure mounts for Daily Mail Schools
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Your News Pressure mounts for Daily Mail Schools

With a more tangible prospect of an outing at Twickenham on Wednesday, April 1 starting to turn the screw on the survivors of the four Daily Mail Schools RU knockout competitions, what added value can be put on previous experience of negotiating the closing stages of the four sections?

The chance to play on Daily Mail Schools day at the most famous arena in World Rugby is the stuff of dreams and as such, teams and coaches now still standing in the post-Christmas rounds will be starting to feel the heat.

For some, previous experience of going all the way will be a very useful tool to help guide anxious players and staff through the tension of the run-in through the semi-finals. Others, of course, will be happy to be free of the previously-experienced pressure and content to be on a voyage if discovery and unfettered by the novelty of it all.

Some of the Northern survivors know what it is like to run out at Twickenham and emerge triumphant. Lymm High School were Under 18 Vase winners in 2006 and have people in their corner who know how to handle the pressure.

They will also have players who won the Under 15 Cup in 2007 and contain a nucleus of players who have the T-shirt and know what awaits them - if they can continue their progress beyond Myerscough College in Round Five.

QEGS Wakefield were strong favourites to win the Under 15 Cup in 2006, but were turned over by Bedford School. That will be a potent inspiration for the lads who now have a Round Six place and a visit to the winners of the Lymm/Myerscough College tie.

Barnard Castle have tasted disappointment in large quantities in recent years in the Under 18 Cup - beaten in the final in 2003/4/7 - but a new breed of youngsters is on the way through and as predicted earlier, they are proving a force to be reckoned with.

They also have home advantage in Round Seven against Manchester Grammar, which should stand them in good stead.

Ermysted's from Skipton, who also have ground advantage against Ponteland in Round Six of the Under 15 Vase, were Under 18 Vase winners in 2007 and that experience will have excited fresh ambition ahead of the home game against Ponteland.

A good win of Bradford Grammar in Round Five underlines the calibre of the side, but Ponteland are also in new territory and sure to be fired up for the game.

While there are a handful of schools with recent Twickenham form, there are several others who have set consistently high standards for decades and they stand proudly alongside schools where rugby has been strengthening each year, with the Daily Mail competitions helping to give added momentum to that development.

It's a fine mix and ensures that some exhilarating Rugby is on the cards as the competitions unfold.

Under 15 Cup

Round Six: Hymers Coll v St Ambrose, Leeds GS 39 RGS Newcastle 0, Barnard Castle 39 St Peter's, York 0, Arnold 5 Manchester GS 35.

Round Seven (by January 21): Hymers/St Ambrose v Leeds GS, Barnard Castle v Manchester GS.

Under 15 Vase

Round Five: South Hunsley 10 De Aston 17, Kirkham 17 Calday Grange 10, Ermysted's 20 Bradford GS 5, Gosforth HS 25 Ponteland 29, King's, Tynemouth v Ripon (January 14), Rishworth v King's, Macclesfield (January 14), RGS Lancaster 10 Cockermouth 5, Sandbach 15 St Anselm's Coll 14.

Round Six (January 21): De Aston v Kirkham, Ermysted's v Ponteland, King's, Tynemouth/Ripon GS v Rishworth/King's, Macclesfield, Lancaster RGS v Sandbach.

Under 18 Cup

Round Four: Lymm HS 15 Hutton GS 0, Myerscough Coll 25 Merchant Taylors 20, Crossley Heath 8 MacMillan Ac 8 (Macmillan Academy progress on 'away side' rule, Woodhouse Grove 3 QEGS, Wakefield 6, RGS Newcastle 22 King's, Tynemouth 20, Austin Friars 3 Barnard Castle 40, St Peter's, York 13 Prince Henry's, Otley 6, Calday Grange 26 St Ambrose 3.

Round Five: Lymm HS v Myerscough Coll (January 14), MacMillan Coll 3 QEGS, Wakefield 41, RGS Newcastle 13 Barnard Castle 10, St Peter's, York 10 Calday Grange 3.

Round Six (January 21): Lymm HS/Myerscough Coll v QEGS, Wakefield, RGS Newcastle v St Peter's, York.

Under 18 Vase

Round Four: Stockport 17 Giggleswick 17 (Giggleswick through), Stonyhurst v Runshaw Coll, Bolton 43 Roundhay School 3, Dame Allen's w/o Queen Elizabeth's 6th FC, Darlington, Gosforth HS 50 Richmond 7, Trinity 7 Ullswater CC 19, St John Fisher 19 Leeds GS 5, Bishop Heber HS 21 Rydal Penrhos 14.

Round Five (January 14): Giggleswick v Stonyhurst/Runshaw, Bolton v Dame Allan's, Gosforth HS v Ullswater CC, St John Fisher v Bishop Heber.

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