- Sir Thomas Rich's beat St Paul's 6-3
- Rich's become NatWest Schools Cup U15 Plate winners
After the fireworks of 11 tries in the first final between Beths GS and Pocklington, the U15 Plate was a battle between two well-matched teams.
Sir Thomas Rich’s emerged the narrowest of winners thanks to two first-half penalty goals from hooker Luke Carr.
It was the Gloucester academy’s first national title after two previous defeats in U15 national finals. They produced their best rugby in the first half and then defended desperately in the late stages as St Paul’s finished on top.
The first half did not provide a try. Both teams relied on goal-kicking as Sir Thomas Rich’s led 6-3 t the interval thanks those penalty goals from Carr to one by St Paul’s fly half Ben Griffiths.
Griffiths had a chance to level just before half-time but his kick fell short under the posts and Sir Thomas Rich’s turned round narrowly ahead.
The best chance of a try had fallen to St Paul’s whose centre Luke Scott looked set to score having broken clear off a well-timed pass from midfield partner Freddie Eltringham.
Sir Thomas Rich’s were saved by a brilliant tackle by full-back Cameron Smerdon at the corner.
The second half continued in the same pattern as the match became increasingly nervous. St Paul’s held the balance of play for good periods but never created another try scoring chance like the one at the end of the first half.
They had a late chance to level at 6-6 from a penalty but they choose to run the opportunity because competition rules dictated that if the match finished level with no side having scored a try, the winners would be the team who scored first and that was Sir Thomas Rich’s.
St Paul’s: Charlie Hill; Nikitta Forrester, Luke Scott, Freddie Eltringham, William Evans; Ben Griffiths, Archie Turley; Harry Morley, Hamish Elder, Luke Biamonti, Teddy Monroe Davies, Aidan Atkinson, Brandon Chau, Henry Hastie, George Lyons.
Substitutes: Shahria Amirahmadi, Alex Davies, Daniel Whiley, Connor Sinnott, Henry Pincott, Freddie Harrison, James Evans.
Penalty goal: Griffiths.
Sir Thomas Rich’s GS: Cameron Smerdon; James Maiden, Michael Baron, Robert Christie, Remo Buccianti; Saxon Campbell, Thomas Gordon; Deniz Gun, Luke Carr, Hassan Amer, Conrad Holmes, Louis Fox, Jared Nuttall, Ethan Yip, Jamie Bagnall.
Substitutes: Scott Munden, Owen Morris, Jack Stanley, Mitchel Chukwuemeka,Ted Jameson, Ben Major, Ben Woodward.
Penalty goals: Carr (2). Referee: Jack le Feurve,