Tommies charge on!

Tommies charge on!
December 11, 2023
3 mins read

Sir Thomas Rich’s School look set to finish as the lead team from the state sector for the second year running in the 2023 SOCS Daily Mail Schools Trophy.

And another big achievement for the Gloucester academy is to post a second successive top-10 finish in the frantic world of schools rugby, in which teams constantly change personnel due to age groups moving on.

Only champions Harrow, who are in sight of reclaiming the title, can match ‘The Tommies’ for consistency by remaining in the top 10 compared to last year’s final standings.

While Harrow were beating north London rivals Mill Hill, 29-21, the Gloucester team were continuing another memorable season by toppling Blundell’s, 47-0.

Sir Thomas Rich’s finish their campaign on Saturday at home to Solihull, eager to improve on their tally of eight wins from nine games.

Only a mid-season defeat by Banbury-based Bloxham has spoiled an impressive run of scalps including King’s School, Worcester, Monmouth and Gloucestershire rivals Cheltenham College.

Their latest win came last week when they defeated Blundell’s thanks to a second-half spree led by fly-half Sam Perris, who scored two tries.

Tommies head coach Tom Williams was thrilled at the latest display. He said: ‘The backs had the easy part as the forwards were relentless, with lock Jay Evans being destructive with the ball in hand and flanker Sam Handley also making yards.’

Solihull lost their unbeaten record of eight wins when edged out last week by Warwick, 31-36.

After finishing 70th last season, Solihull could still secure a top-10 finish if they beat Sir Thomas Rich’s on Saturday.

One familiar name back in the top 10 are Wellington, the former champions, who slipped to 26th last year.

At one stage, Wellington were on course for another title challenge but were undone when leaders Harrow won 38-31 in one of the Trophy’s best matches.

Their results have been very consistent nonetheless with wins to their name over arch-rivals Sedbergh, 33-7, and Clifton College, 15-10.

One new name in the top 10 is Hurstpierpoint College, who have posted nine wins from 10 games to put them third going into their final match on Saturday, at Epsom College.

England Under 18 squad member flanker Ronan Daniell has been a key player in a team whose only defeat has been by second-placed Brighton College.

Brighton finished their campaign last Saturday with a 29-3 win over RGS Guildford. Among the try scorers was consistent full back Fergus Lamb, who raced from his own half.

Mill Hill gave leaders Harrow a late hurry-up after going 27-5 down. Wing Sebastian Tolosa-Sarner scored two tries but it was too little too late.

The Trophy, which has attracted more than 140 teams this year, is played over the autumn term on a merit-table basis.

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