Tuesday’s U18 Schools Bowl Final certainly gives us plenty to be excited about as Samuel Whitbread meet St George’s College Weybridge at Sixways, kicking off at 2pm.
It is only the second ever Bowl final, and this one really proves why this Bowl was created. St George’s were knocked out in the opening round of the Vase to their great rivals and one of the strongest teams in the competition, Reed’s.
It was a really tight game, ending 18-13 to Reed’s, who then went on to reach the quarter-finals. The Bowl gave St George’s a chance to have a knockout run, which is exactly what it is there for, to give sides who had a horrible first round draw to show something of themselves.
Show something of themselves they most certainly have. They kicked off their Bowl run with a stunning 61-7 win over ACS Cobham International and have not look back since. They have not really been overly troubled through the campaign and their semi final win over a very much in form Ravens Wood side was particularly impressive.
It was not overly high scoring, 19-3, but anyone keeping a semi final opponent down to just three is doing something very right indeed.
Samuel Whitbread have been just has impressive too. Like St George’s they enjoyed an early dominant win, beating Saffron Walden, who are in the final of the U15 version of the Bowl, by a crunching 50-0 margin.
They saved their best for the quarter finals though, dominating Ashville College for a seriously impressive 67-0 victory. They have been tested though, most notably in their semi final against a strong King Henry VIII Coventry side. They came through it well though, securing a 21-15 victory to send them into this final.
It will be a first ever National final for Samuel Whitbread, but given their performances so far, that ought not to faze them. For St George’s College it is a second national final, they previously reached the 2011 U18 Vase, where they were captained by England’s Anthony Watson, who makes his first start as a full back against France on Saturday.
The question they will be asking is can they go one better than that 2011 side and come home with the silverware? In Samuel Whitbread they will come up against an opponent that will be doing everything in their power to stop them.
U18 Schools Bowl Final – Tuesday 13th March, 2pm, Sixways Stadium
Samuel Whitbread v St George’s College, Weybridge
Route to the Final
Samuel Whitbread (Midlands B)
21-15 v King Henry VIII, Coventry – Semi Final
67-0 v Ashville College – Quarter Final
22-13 v Loughborough GS – Last 16
43-10 v Easton & Otley – Round 3
50-0 v Saffron Walden – Round 2
Bye – Round 1
Lost 8-20 v The Leys – Vase Round 1
St George’s College, Weybridge (London & South East B)
19-3 v Ravens Wood – Semi Final
31-15 v Mount Kelly – Quarter Final
35-14 v Verulam – Last 16
39-0 v Reigate GS – Round 3
26-10 v Brighton & Hove – Round 2
61-7 v ACS Cobham International – Round 1
Lost 13-18 v Reed’s – Vase Round 1
Samuel Whitbread – 2018 Best Performance
St George’s – 2011 U18 Vase Runners Up.