Wellington College U15 end Warwick's double hopes

  • Wellington College win U15 Cup in NatWest Schools Cup
  • The side beat Warwick 25-12

Wellington College ended their unbeaten domestic year by securing the NatWest U15 Schools Cup with a 25-12 victory over Warwick School at Twickenham.

The victory ended Warwick school's hopes of sealing the double in the U15 and U18 competitions. 

A brace from Wellington captain Fin Baxter, was accompanied by a try from replacement wing George Morison and 10 points from the boot of fullback Max Thomas.

Wellington dominated early possession in the match, and were rewarded for their superb ball retention after just five minutes.

An attacking lineout on Warwick's five metre line saw captain Baxter, break off the back of a maul to run under the sticks unopposed. Thomas added the extras.

Warwick scrum-half Jack Aston then missed a penalty for an opportunity to reduce the deficit to four points. But moments later, team captain Jack Forsythe broke off the back of a halfway line scrum, perplexing the Wellington pack he jinxed past two defenders to cross the whitewash. Aston converted to level the match.

As the first-half drew to a close, both sides enjoyed phases of attacking play, with neither defence cracking. A marauding run from Warwick wing Ben Beresford was matched only by a 20 metre catch-and-drive from the Welly pack. With neither side giving a inch and time on the clock up, referee David Clarkson brought an end to the first 40.

Brilliant Baxter

Wellington started the second stanza much as they did the first, and Thomas needed no invitation to run onto a set-piece move from a sturdy attacking scrum. The fullback cantered over from 20 metres to put Wellington five points ahead - the kick was unsuccessful.

Wellington continued to attack relentlessly towards the Warwick line from kick-off, and it paid off minutes later, when Baxter surged over from five metres to earn his second of the day.

Undeterred, Warwick composed themselves and plugged away inside the Wellington 22 for a number of phases, until a moment of individual brilliance struck. Fullback Ethan Evan-Cook soared into the air to claim a cross field kick from his fly-half, Finlay Smith, and scampered over the line. Aston was unable to add the extras however.

With 10 minutes remaining, there was a decisive moment in the match. From a Wellington scrum, number eight Ted Johnson peeled off the short side and fed his backline. Quick hands then saw replacement, Morison put into space, and the wing won the foot race to the line. The kick was missed.

With a 10 point cushion, Wellington slowly took a hold of the game, shutting Warwick's attack down with suffocating defence. A Thomas penalty with five minutes remaining then extended Wellington's lead to 13 points, and secured their first Cup win at under 15 level since 2008.

Teams

Wellington: 15. Max Thomas, 14. Paul Dewey, 13. Harry Cain, 12. Charlie Bradbury, 11. Alex Teague, 10. Michael O’Donoghue, 9. Finn Livingstone-Learmonth, 1. Marcus Rhodes, 2. Lucas Brooke, 3. Fin Baxter ©, 4. Arvind Sangha, 5. Max Watson, 6. Nick Teague, 7. Cassius Forshaw, 8. Ted Johnson.

Replacements: 16. Alessandro Heaney, 17. Ben Murrin, 18. James Kinnear, 19. Guy Bryer, 20. Tommy Offer, 21. Monty Bradbry, 22. George Morison.

Warwick: 15. Ethan Evan-Cook, 14. Max Hayward, 13. Harry Spencer, 12. Tom Boorman, 11. Ben Beresford, 10. Finlay Smith, 9. Jack Aston, 1. Tom Durant, 2. Matt Rigby, 3. Tom Hales, 4. Will Pugh, 5. Dan May, 6. Kai Nwangwa, 7. Jack Forsythe ©, 8. Will Banfield.

Replacements: 16. Will Dudley, 17. James Parker, 18. Giles King, 19. Cameron Dunn, 20. Will Mobberley, 21. Tom Patrick, 22. Kunwoo Ha.

Wellington College: Tries: Baxter 2, Thomas, Morison - Con: Thomas 1 - Pen: Thomas 1.  

Warwick School: Tries: Forsythe, Evan-Cook - Con: Aston 1.

 

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