The bulk of the U18 and U15 Schools Plate and Bowl semi finals took place this week.
The two tournaments, only in their third season, were created following the official splitting of the Cup and the Vase, meaning sides could choose to enter either the Cup or the Vase.
Those knocked out in the first round of the Cup head to the Plate, those knocked out in the first round of the Vase, to the Bowl. Leaving a tiering structure along these lines: 1 Cup, 2 Plate, 3 Vase, 4 Bowl.
At both U18 and U15 level the finals of the Plate and Bowl take place at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium on Tuesday 19th March, and if any of the sides want to know what success in these tournaments can lead to, they need only look at Woodhouse Grove, who won the U18 Plate last year and are now playing at Allianz Park on Saturday in the U18 Schools Cup semi final, hoping for a chance to play at Twickenham in the final.
U18 Schools Plate Semi Finals:
Unfortunately the lineup for the U18 Plate final at Sixways is not yet known as Old Swinford, who won the inaugural U18 Bowl in 2017, and Bloxham had to postpone their game, which was scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
On Thursday the other semi final did go ahead though, Sherborne v Christ’s Hospital. Both had been sensational up until this point but it was Sherborne who booked their place in the final at Sixways with a superb 24-5 victory. They now must wait patiently to find out their final opponent.
Old Swinford Hospital v Bloxham – POSTPONED
Sherborne 24-5 Christ’s Hospital
U15 Schools Plate Semi Finals:
The U15 Plate semis were tense affairs, on Monday afternoon Hymers College hosted Bedford in a game that was completely in the balance, the two were almost inseparable in a game that seemed about as close as it gets, the hosts just edging it, 22-19.
It seemed about as close as it could get until Wednesday when Trinity travelled to King’s College Taunton and we were treated to an even closer game of rugby as these to played out an exciting, engaging, nervy affair. King’s gave it everything but it was Trinity that just edged it by a single point, 15-14, to send them into the final against Hymers College a week on Tuesday.
Hymers College 22-19 Bedford
King’s College, Taunton 14-15 Trinity
U18 Schools Bowl Semi Finals:
The U18 Bowl semi finals provided arguably the best entertainment of all the semi finals. The first actually took place way back in January but it was a thriller. Ampleforth College travelled to King’s Worcester and led 24-7 at the break, and 31-19 with 8 minutes to play. However King’s Worcester dug about as deep as any team can and pulled off the sort of miracle that even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would say is unlikely as they scored two converted tries to send them to Sixways on the 19th March.
Joining them there will be Glyn, who pulled off a comeback of their own against Mount Kelly. It might not quite have had the drama of King’s Worcester, but it was still pretty spectacular as they trailed 7-5 heading into the last five minutes of the game. Still they believed though and they got their rewards for that belief with a late try for a 10-7 victory and a place in the U18 Schools Bowl final.
Glyn 10-7 Mount Kelly
King’s Worcester 33-31 Ampleforth College
U15 Schools Bowl Semi Finals:
Hutton Grammar continued their brilliant U15 Bowl form in Wednesday’s semi final against Ilkley Grammar. Travelling away from home they put on one of the best displays of all the semi finals to secure a superb 17-0 victory to send them to Sixways.
Meanwhile in the other semi final it was a fairly local affair as City of London Freemen’s made the short trip into Kent to take on The Judd. A good contest emerged, but it was the Judd, whose U18s have impressed in the Cup in recent years, that came out on top, 22-14.
Ilkley Grammar 0-17 Hutton Grammar
Judd 22-14 City of London Freemen’s