Fisher and Whitgift one game away from cup clash

RUGBY ROUND-UP: Local focus is on schools games this week, with Whitgift and John Fisher in Daily Mail Cup action on Wednesday.

Fisher taking on Whitgift: there could be another high-pressure derby if both schools win their Daily Mail Cup matches this week

Both schools have proven themselves as capable of producing among the best under-18 XVs in the country, Fisher getting to the national semi-final in 2009 and Whitgift winning the Twickenham final in 2010 and 2011.

So what is the scant reward that awaits the two school sides if they win this week? Nothing less than a local derby clash between themselves later this month. Not for the first time, a game that would grace the post-Christmas national knock-out stages of the competition could be a feature of the fourth round of the regional stages.

Given that when the schools met in their regular annual clash just before last month’s half-term, Whitgift, featuring the England age-group No8 Henry Cheeseman, managed to win – but only just, 11-10, this promises to be an outstanding fixture.

But first things first: Whitgift, after winning 38-14 at Caterham in the previous round, this time they travel to Ravens Wood in Bromley, 63-7 victors over Riddlesdown in the previous round. The former champions look to be in decent nick, though: on Saturday, they won 50-17 at the normally competitive RGS High Wycombe.

John Fisher‘s Daily Mail task looks to be tougher, with a visit to Wimbledon College on Wednesday. Fisher won 35-6 at Glyn in the previous round, while Wimbledon have reached the fourth round following wins over Wallington County and City of London Freeman’s.

Fisher seem to be going through one of their stronger seasons having made it through to the final of the St Joseph’s College tournament at Ipswich last month, where they lost 8-0 to Millfield College.

After beating Reigate Grammar in the second round, Trinity School look to have a straightforward task this week in the Daily Mail against Langley Park, though the 1st XV’s 54-12 drubbing at home against Brighton College at the weekend won’t have helped their preparations.

Possibly the biggest schools rugby game of the week, though, will be on Saturday. The regular season matches see Whitgift travel up the A205 to pay a visit to Dulwich College, who succeeded the South Croydon school as national cup-holders in April this year.

In last Wednesday’s Sutton derby between Wilson’s and Wallington County in the Daily Mail Vase – for teams eliminated in the first two rounds of the cup – it was a comfortable 38-7 victory for Wally Boys, quarter-finallists in the same competition last season, with their centre, Ben Davies, in outstanding form.

It was a quiet-ish weekend for local rugby, following less-than-successful early round exits in the various knock-out competitions persuading the majority of clubs to put the internationals on the telly in the club bar and rake in the takings.

Streatham-Croydon‘s recent strong form was confirmed with a 36-12 win at Shooters Hill in the second round of the RFU Junior Vase.

In the Intermediate Cup, Warlingham travelled to Thanet for the second time in a week, and despite a much-changed line-up still brought back the right result, but this time only just scraping through 19-16.

Warlingham were 11-0 down after just half an hour, but gradually battled back through five-pointers by Ben Wimble, Luke Davies and a scrum push-over try, with Ollie Doe scoring two conversions. It was Warlingham’s their sixth consecutive victory. They have a league game this Saturday at their home ground, Hamsey Green against Aylesford Bulls.

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