QEGS Take Natwest Schools Title

Warwick School 6 - 15 QEGS Wakefield

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2015 08:19pm
Wakefield East, Wakefield
By Paul Bolton
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QEGS Wakefield ended Warwick’s domination of the NatWest Schools Under15 Cup by winning a tense final thanks to a strong forward effort led by No 8 Edan Kelly and flanker Max Hanson.

For the Yorkshire school it gave them a first outright title in this national competition and stopped Warwick from completing a treble of Under 15 titles after beating QEGS for two successive years.

QEGS proved stronger against a Warwick team who had little opportunity to show their attacking strengths in this second final of the NatWest Schools Cup day at Twickenham.

Kelly scored his team’s first-half try while Hanson struck after the interval scoring a try and adding a conversion and penalty.

This final did not provide the spills and thrills of the previous Vase match between Sherborne and Oakham.

QEGS had the upper-hand throughout a tense first half in which they turned round 5-3 ahead. Kelly scored the only try when his strong run enabled him to still reach the line despite a Warwick tackle.

Kelly’s try put QEGS 5-3 ahead after Warwick had taken an early lead through a penalty goal by centre Tom Fawcett.

QEGS should have made more of their chances towards the end of the half but a forward pass ruined a promising move between Kelly and prop Daniel Paxman.

Warwick did not have the territorial advantage and also did not help their chances by trying to force their way out of their own 22.

The second half followed the pattern of the first 40 minutes but it was Warwick who enjoyed the better start and mounted a fierce attack after QEGS had conceded a scrum on their own 22.

And the pressure began to tell as QEGS eventually conceded a penalty to give Fawcett his second attempt.

Fawcett kicked the penalty to put Warwick 6-5 up but the lead lasted only seven minutes as QEGS came straight back.

QEGS gained two successive penalties to put Warwick under pressure but Hanson failed to land the opportunity from a difficult angle.

However, QEGS quickly gained another chance and this time kicked for the corner to set up a close-in line-out. They won possession again and worked a move in midfield which saw Hanson take Tom Stephenson’s short pass to race through for a try by the posts.

Hanson converted his own try and eight minutes later the flanker added a further penalty to put his team 15-6 up and in sight of a precious outright title at the eighth time of asking. Their only joy had been a shared under-15s title in 1998 with RGS High Wycombe.


What they said:


Gary Pickersgill (QEGS coach):

“It’s nice to have won it outright. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of lads they are awesome. They have worked hard all year and they deserve it.

“We were talking on the way down. We said: we played Warwick in the two previous finals but what we musn’t do with this set of boys is to impose that sort of feelings we had about it on them.

“It’s their first time here. They played Warwick in the National Sevens and beat them so we had a bit of psychological advantage there.

“But it’s a new final. It’s not us against Warwick Part Three, it’s a new final. These guys have worked hard all year, they put into practice what we preached to them in training sessions.”


Trevor Barker (QEGS Director of Sport):

“We have had the whole community backing us. There has been 1,000 people here backing us which has been fantastic.

“There are a lot of thank yous. But first of all commiserations to Warwick, we know how it feels.

“I think they said we deserved it today. A big thank you to all the community, thank you to all the coaches, there have been a massive group behind this.”


Tom Pierce (Warwick coach):

“We don’t know what it’s like to lose at Twickenham, it’s the first time. I have to say massive congratulations to QEGS, they deserved it on the day.

“We didn’t really get our normal game going and so disappointing with our performance but part of that is the fact that QEGS fronted up on the day.

“It’s become so big over the last few years and the expectation is there at the school. I think the boys felt a lot of pressure on them today. Whether that transferred into a poor performance I’m not sure.

“They need to hold their heads high. They have been absolutely amazing all year. They are such a hard-working group, the nicest group of lads you can coach.

“Although they are hurting right now I’m sure they will move on very quickly and realise that getting to Twickenham is a fantastic effort in itself.”



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