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Trent College are one match from reaching Twickenham after booking their place in the last four of the U18 Natwest Vase with a 29-6 quarter finals victory over East Midlands rivals Worksop College on Wednesday (8 February).
The victory means Trent College will now travel to Allianz Park, the home of reigning English Premiership and European Cup champions Saracens, on Saturday 4 March where they will face The Perse School, Cambridgeshire in the Vase semi-finals.
After a nervy opening period against Worksop, Trent sprung into life after the break, adding 24 points to the five they had put on the scoreboard before half-time to stretch away from their visitors, who could only muster two penalties in return. Josh Stanley, Arjun Nath, Charlie Livesey and Brandon Joss all scored tries, in addition to a drop goal from fly-half George Finney and three Ben Dickinson conversions.
Steve McGinnis, Trent College Head of Rugby and U18s coach, insists the boys are inspired by trying to emulate the success of their 2014 counterparts, who lifted the Natwest Vase at Twickenham for the first time in the school’s history.
He said: "Having not played since December both teams took time to adapt to the competitive nature of the game. We needed a tough game and we knew it was going to be difficult. Worksop made us work extremely hard. We simply needed the win and we got that.
"We’re extremely proud of what these boys have done so far but it’s not the end yet. Now we will go away and reflect on the game and continue to work hard towards our semi-final on 4 March."
The Natwest Cup and Vase is the biggest schools rugby tournament in the world, with over 1,000 entries in the U18 and U15 competitions from across England, Wales and the Isle of Man. It has served as a springboard to launch the careers of some of England’s brightest stars such as Tom Wood, Manu Tuilagi and Marland Yarde. The 2016-17 U18 Natwest Vase Final is scheduled to be played at Twickenham on Wednesday 29 March.
The Perse School progressed into the semi-finals with a superb win over St George’s College, Weybridge. St George’s have reached the knockout stages of the U18s’ Vase for the past three years and were unbeaten this season while The Perse School have only lost once.
A 14-14 scoreline at St George’s meant The Perse School progressed through on the away team draw rule - whereby the away team is handed the win if the teams scored the same number of tries in a tied match - to secure their semi-final clash with Trent College.