- Dulwich College beat Blundell’s 34-29 in U18 Champions Trophy Final
- They become the first school to win both the Schools Cup and Champions Trophy
Dulwich College became the first side to win both the Schools Cup and the Champions Trophy after overcoming Blundell’s 34-29 in a thrilling final at Allianz Park.
An enthralling contest saw the team from south east London lead for much of the game but a brilliant individual performance from Blundell’s’ centre Barry Karea kept his side in the game until the very end.
Jardine pulls the strings
A frantic opening few minutes saw Dulwich College make the breakthrough when fly-half Sunni Jardine flung a miss pass after three minutes to create space for winger Louis Ferrari to sprint over in the corner.
Jardine, who scored 11 points in an impressive display, was on hand to add the early extras, making it 7-0.
Blundell’s fought back moments later when an interception brought them into Dulwich’s 22’ with a resulting penalty slotted by Karea to bring the score to 7-3.
It was Jardine at the centre of everything a couple of minutes later, breaking the line from a scrum before offloading to Femi Sofolarin who sprinted over to make it 14-3 following the conversion.
With Dulwich dominating, Karea produced his first moment of magic to keep Blundell’s in the game.
Breaking from his own half, Karea beat two defenders and then set up scrum half Sam Maunder to score.
And from the subsequent kick off Karea did it all over again, breaking through to set up Maunder once again for yet another try. Two conversions from Karea made it 17-14.
With half time approaching Dulwich changed their approach, opting to use their forwards from a lineout and it proved effective with hooker Louis Wright dotting down from a driving maul. Dulwich were ahead 21-17 at the half time whistle.
Karea a star in the making
Dulwich started the second half exactly as they finished the first. Captain Oscar Gleave jinked his way through the middle with the ball then flung wide for Ferrari to score his second try in the corner. Jardine added the extras from the sideline to make it 28-17.
Dulwich continued to press and when a pass fell to ground, Gleave’s audacious attempt at a drop goal from 30 metres out flew through the middle of the posts to make it 31-17.
At that point it looked like Dulwich may run away with it but Blundell’s didn’t give up.
Openside flanker Luke Simpson broke free from a maul, beating three players on his way to touching down. Karea, who scored 14 points in an exceptional performance, missed the tricky conversion but the score gave his side a chance.
With 12 minutes left on the clock and Blundell’s nine points down, Karea showed his remarkable strength to overpower four of Dulwich’s players, scoring out wide.
He converted his own kick to bring Dulwich’s lead to just three points. The final 10 minutes proved tense for both teams but Dulwich held firm and a penalty from Jardine made it 34-29 to all but end Blundell’s hopes.
Hundreds of Dulwich students celebrated at the final whistle, with their school adding the Champions Trophy to the three consecutive Schools Cup trophies that they won between 2012-14.
|1 Joshua Oliphant-Thompson||1 Tyreece Asamoah|
|2 Oliver Clough||2 Louis Wright|
|3 Henry Dare||3 Thomas Brearley|
|4 Mack Butterfield||4 Enzo Croy|
|5 Oliver Kilbride||5 Noah Cooper|
|6 Jack Klinkenberg||6 Jack Ramsay|
|7 Luke Simpson||7 Oludara Odunlamni|
|8 George Bush||8 Haydn Oakley|
|9 Sam Maunder(Capt)||9 Mikel Davies|
|10 Thomas Crowe||10 Sunni Jardine|
|11 Oscar Kolowski||11 Louis Ferrari|
|12 Barry Karea||12 Matthew O'Flaherty|
|13 Samuel Kennaugh||13 Oscar Gleave|
|14 Jake LeGassick||14 Femi Sofolarin|
|15 Gregory Kitson||15 Max Bliss|
|16 Harvey Wilder||16 Charlie Depel|
|17 George Stubbs||17 George Duggan|
|18 Samuel Dodd||18 Ziyad Elkhawad|
|19 Max Baker||19 Tom Wade|
|20 Will Kennaugh||20 Luke Castenskiold|
|21 William Heroys||21 Lucas Wilson|
|22 Alex Cahill|