Samuel Whitbread U15s will join their U18s on Thursday 21st March at Twickenham Stadium as they beat Arden Academy 28-12 in the semi final at Allianz Park.
Yesterday their U18s beat Worksop College to reach the U18 Vase final, where they will face Dauntsey’s, and today they secured the outstanding achievement of having a side in the final for each age-group as their U15s picked up the mantle.
They took an early lead through a Nathan Lichtfield penalty, but were under pressure soon after when Arden Academy showed their superb counter attacking and offloading ability as William Sands surged clear of the defence from deep in his own half before popping up for Harry Jones to score, giving Arden a 5-3 lead.
From there though Samuel Whitbread largely took control. Their line speed in defence a real causing Arden real problems as they simply could not get the ball through the hands fast enough.
When Arden did, they were a real threat out wide, with superb pace and ingenuity. However more often than not the Samuel Whitbread defence was just too pressurising. So it proved in the 19th minute as they put real pressure on Arden in their own 22 before turning the ball over and surging across the line through number 8 Oakley Patmore for an 8-5 lead.
With just a few minutes left in the half 8-5 was to become 13-5 as Samuel Whitbread embarked on a spell either side of half time that would come to define the game.
Off a midfield scrum they broke left to score in the left hand corner to take the score to 13-5 at the break, and then within minutes of the restart they were at it again through loosehead Ben Yates.
Minutes later another followed, and suddenly 8-5 with five minutes left to half time had become 23-5 ten minutes after half time. As we so often see in these key knockout games, such spells are often the difference between success and failure.
Credit to Arden Academy though, they were not going to give in, and that counter attacking threat was not going anywhere. Twice they threatened, and then with a little under ten minutes to go they surged over through tighthead Tom Moseley.
Rumblings of a comeback were circulating, but this superb Samuel Whitbread outfit were not about to let that happen, sealing the game with a fifth try of the morning as they ran in on the right hand touchline.
It left the final score at 28-12, and sent them to Twickenham on the 21st March for the U15 Vase. Two teams in the finals is truly an outstanding achievement, a sign of quality of play, coaching and spirit throughout the school, and in both games Samuel Whitbread have certainly shown plenty of spirit.
So too did Arden Academy though, the quality at their disposal was clear, and against all but the best defences they would cause huge problems. Unfortunately for them, at Allianz Park they came up against one of the very best.
Full Time: Samuel Whitbread 28-12 Arden Academy
15 Jack Miller, 14 Oliver Pike, 13 Jake Allen, 12 Nathan Litchfield, 11 Jackson Armstrong, 10 Harrison Wade, 9 Callum Keen, 1 Ben Yates, 2 Sam Garwood, 3 James Randall, 4 Luke Howells, 5 Dylan Fraser, 6 Sam Ferrari, 7 Kai Baines (c), 8 Oakley Patmore.
Replacements: 16 Albert Plunkett, 17 Ryler Longmuir, 18 Sam Haxell, 19 Toby Moore, 20 Ben Radnor, 22 Luke Crofton, 23 Sam Valpy.
15 William Sands, 14 Rhys Tippings, 13 Harvey Lyne, 12 Harry Jones, 11 Callum Webber, 10 Jacob Bate, 9 Christy McCarron, 1 jack Kearns, 2 Alex Sutherland, 3 Tom Moseley, 4 Rudi Newman, 5 Daniel Turner, 6 Ewan Edwards, 7 Matty Boles, 8 Charlie Billinge.
Repalcements: 16 Dylan Jones, 17 Henry Belcher, 18 Matt Alsop, 19 Ruben Waters, 20 Toby Franks, 21 James Taylor, 22 Aidan Wilson.