Wellington College made certain of a third successive Daily Mail Schools Trophy but it was a painful title-winning match for outstanding lock Charlie Jupp. Jupp broke his ankle in the 30-13 win over St Paul's after a magnificent contribution over the past two years. His efforts were reflected through winning the player's player-of-the-season award which was presented after the win which clinched the 2016 title.
'Charlie has been one of our most consistent players over the past two seasons,' coach Kevin Brennan said. 'He's played just about every minute as well, so to get injured in his last 15-a-side game was very hard. He throughly deserved the award.' Wellington's consistency has once more proved the crucial factor in recording a third title in this merit table-based competition organised by schoolsrugby.co.uk for an entry of over 100 schools.
When the Berkshire school lost to Whitgift, 14-15, at the start of October it gave an eager chasing pack encouragement that the champions were slipping. However, Wellington have built steadily in form by putting together an unbeaten run of eight wins including toppling title contenders Harrow. Wellington were also helped by the cancellation of last week's mid-week showdown against Sedbergh, one of the Trophy's most consistent teams, because of a frozen pitch at Broad Street near Coventry.
The packed schedule meant that match could not be re-arranged thus the eagerly-awaited showdown did not come to fruition. Wellington made certain by beating St Paul's, avenging a defeat last season. Besides the work of Jupp, wing Dylan Moss provided the finishing edge in scoring three tries to take his tally to 14 for the season. Two other players singled out by coach Brennan were captain Josh Basham, the No 8, and centre Ben Loader. Sedbergh demonstrated their strength in finishing their Trophy campaign in a midweek win over Millfield, 28-6.
Defeat by Kirkham two weeks' ago dented the hopes of the Cumbrians before the meeting against Wellington was cancelled. 'It's good to finish on a high after the disappointment of Kirkham,' director of rugby Simon Mullholland. Among the try scorers was scrum-half Cameron Redpath, son of Scotland international Bryan, who is a contender for England honours this season.
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