King's reach National Cup Final

U14 rugby squad in National Final v2

Promotional Feature

The King's School's under-14 titans will travel to the spiritual home of rugby to play the final of the National School Sports' Magazine Cup.

As King's Head of Rugby, Giles Hetherington, said: "This is arguably the biggest achievement in King's 94 year history of rugby. We have won Bowls and Vases in major national competitions, but this is the furthest we've gone in the main event and it's down to fantastic coaching, great inner belief and tremendous team-work."

On Thursday, King's will go head-to-head with the Collegiate School Bristol in the national final played at The Close, Rugby School, where in 1823 William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and decided simply to run with it.

The final follows a nail-biting, truly tough encounter against Northampton School for Boys with the Macc' lads winning 6 -3. Playing into a driving, relentless wind, King's did well to only go in 3 - 0 down at half time. But then cometh the hour, cometh the man, with talisman and fly -half Hayden Oliver drilling two penalties. Hayden said modestly: "I was very nervous, but as soon as I put the ball in the kicking tee I relaxed, remembered how I had been coached, and went through the process.  One was fairly easy but the other was 15 yards out from the left touch line and needed a good strike."

The match was characterised by brilliant tackling from both sides, with centres Freddie Bartle and Rocky Maguire repeatedly putting everything on the line to make last gasp tackles.

The team had shown the same true grit but with decisive attacking flair in the quarter-final against Prince Henry's Grammar School in Otley, West Yorkshire, winning 20 – 15. A rampaging Freddie Bartle had set the game alight with a stunning run after a precise pass from Hayden Oliver, with second row Alfie Russell then completing a brilliant team try with skills honed to perfection on the training pitch.

Giles paid tribute to under-14 coach Paul Bartle, who has taught rugby for 31 years, the first 10 years at Rugby School, where he will return for the final. "This team have great skills, outstanding team-work and a never say die spirit that have all been developed by Mr Bartle. Win or lose, it is a great achievement, but make no mistake we are going to Rugby to play rugby and bring the cup back to Macclesfield." 

Earlier in the year, King’s was named as one of the Top 25 schools in the UK for sport, in the School Sport Magazine’s national league tables.

Kings School