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Northampton Saints Academy prospects Emmet McDonnell and Charlie Livesey were both on the scoresheet as Trent College romped into round three of the U18s Natwest Schools Vase with a 38-10 victory over Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College.
Trent College had booked their place in the second round of the national Vase competition courtesy of a 29-0 win over De Lisle College, Loughborough, last month, and the 2014 Natwest Vase winners will now host King Edward VI School, Stratford in round three on Wednesday 2 November (date TBC).
The Long Eaton school started the better against a physical Welbeck side, McDonnell notching Trent’s first try of the afternoon following good work on the blindside from Ben Goddard and Harvey Doleman. In almost a carbon copy of the first score, this time captain Andy Brown the provider, McDonnell extended the Trent lead before Livesey crossed the line to make it three first half tries for the hosts.
Year 11 student Ben Dickinson had brought his kicking boots to keep the score ticking over, and although Welbeck rallied after the break, the return of Leicester Tigers Academy man, Jack Dickinson (Year 13), who missed last season through injury provided a boost to Trent as well as making a bit of history as he lined up alongside his brothers and fellow Tigers prospects Ben and George (Year 12) for the first time in their school colours.
The Natwest Cup and Vase is the biggest schools rugby tournament in the world, with over 1,000 entries in both the U18 and U15 competitions from across England, Wales and the Isle of Man.
Steve McGinnis, Trent College Head of Rugby and U18s coach, said: "Welbeck provided a tough challenge and made it very difficult for us. I’m glad we were able to step up the physical aspect of our game and I was impressed by our defence across the board. We have a good group of senior players and have been steadily improving each week.
"It was also great to see Jack Dickinson returning to the field. He has worked hard and been very patient with his injury and it was a nice touch from the rest of the players and the home crowd to recognise this when he came on."
This year’s Natwest Schools competition has seen a new format introduced with schools choosing to enter either the Cup or Vase. Teams knocked out in the first round of each go into Plate (Cup) or Bowl (Vase) competitions. The finals for both the Cup and Vase trophies will take place at Twickenham next spring. The regional phase of the Vase will be completed before Christmas, with the national knockout rounds taking place throughout the Lent Term.
Trent College saw their Natwest competition ambitions ended for the season with National Plate defeat at Nottingham High School.
The NatWest Schools Cup 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.