When Wirral Grammar School and Langley meet for the U18 Schools Vase Final at Twickenham on Wednesday, 2pm kick off, it is going to be a fascinating match up.
In Wirral Grammar School you have the team that, arguably more than anyone in any of the Schools Cup competitions this year, just know home to get across the line for the win.
Time and time again in this Vase run they have been in a real dogfight and each time they have emerged victorious. Just look at some of the scorelines, 25-24 against Birkenhead in Round 3, 22-19 against Giggleswick in the last 16, 19-17 in Tuesday’s semi final against Ripon Grammar.
Perhaps their crowning glory though, thus far, was their 20-12 victory over Reed’s in the quarter finals. It was not as close as some of the others, but it was against a side that many were predicting would be in the final, right from the very start of the tournament.
Wirral were fantastic that day, and they will have to be again on Wednesday at Twickenham because in Langley they face a side that has been utterly dominating the Vase competition to this point.
In six games the Norwich based side have not scored any fewer than 40 points. Twice they have scored over eighty. In Tuesday’s semi final, normally tense, nervous, low-scoring affairs, they beat a very good Dauntsey’s side 41-5. It was sensational rugby executed with a shred of doubt or nerves.
They have been the class of the field, playing a brand of rugby that has excited and succeeded in equal measure.
The task then for Wirral is to halt that try-scoring capability, to draw Langley into a tight contest, the sort that Wirral have shown over and over again that they emerge victorious from. In that scenario, might Langley tighten, might there be a sniff?
For Langley though it will be about doing more of the same, keep the tempo up, keep looking for that tryline and ignore the Twickenham factor.
Whatever happens, it is going to be a fascinating tactical battle, for one side glory, but for both sides history and a day to be proud of. For both this is a first appearances in a Twickenham final, a superb achievement of its own.
U18 Schools Vase Final – Wednesday 14th March, 2pm, Twickenham Stadium
Wirral Grammar School v Langley
Route to the Final
Wirral GS (North A)
19-17 v Ripon Grammar – Semi Finals
20-12 v Reed’s – Quarter Finals
22-19 v Giggleswick – Last 16
34-20 v Lymm HS – Round 4
25-24 v Birkenhead – Round 3
38-17 v St Anselm’s – Round 2
41-10 v Rydal Penrhos – Round 1
Langley (Midlands B)
41-5 v Dauntsey’s – Semi Finals
45-5 v Hayes – Quarter Finals
40-0 v Trent College – Last 16
88-8 v Bishop’s Stortford College – Round 4
54-17 v RGS Colchester – Round 3
89-26 v Wymondham College – Round 2
w/o v Thomas Hills – Round 1
Wirral Grammar – 2018 Best Performance
Langley – 2018 Best Performance