Match Report
Dulwich College U15A vs  Whitgift School
On: Tuesday, 18 Jan 2022
Venue: Away

Whitgift vs Dulwich College National Cup Last 16

Coming off the back of a spectacular away win against Brighton in the 4th round, Dulwich looked to take revenge against Whitgift and secure a place in the National quarter finals. It was adamantly clear to both sides that this would be an extremely close match decided by the barest of margins. However, it seemed as if this wasn’t the case as within five minutes of play Whitgift were easily able to break the Dulwich line and score in the corner, much to the dismay of the impressive number of Dulwich supporters. The conversion was swiftly converted by Whitgift to send the score to 7-0. However, Dulwich seemed awoken by this early setback and through some relentless carries and some suberb mauling Dulwich found themselves on the Whitgift line. This saw the Dulwich no.8 Monty Pedrini pick and go to score Dulwich’s first of the match alongside a neat conversion from Tristan Saunders. With the scores tied Dulwich began to concede too many cheap penalties in and around their half resulting in a Whitgift penalty in front of the posts. This was easily scored to take Whitgift three points ahead. However, Dulwich didn’t let this faze them as some brilliant strength and footwork from Tristan Saunders saw Dulwich into the Whitgift 22. A quick pick from the ruck the very next phase saw Monty Pedrini smash a defender into next week and score his second of the match. Unfortunately, the conversion was missed, but a brilliant kick from Ali Mulley nearly saw Hamish Milhench score on the stroke of half-time. Half-time Whitgift 10 Dulwich 12. Whitgift came out the blocks firing in the second half and despite some great defensive tackles on the Dulwich line, repeated unforced penalties saw a yellow card awarded to Tristan Saunders and a Whitgift try to take the score to 15-12 to the home side. But again Dulwich came back with a sensational maul to send them to the Whitgift line, where Henry Gooderham picked his way over the line. However, with first choice kicker Tristan Saunders in the bin Dulwich missed their chance to convert and extend their lead. A pattern of foul play from the Whitgift 8 meant the home side were down to 14 men for the following 6 minutes. Dulwich made full use of this advantage and using his pace, Sam Osimuwa broke away down the left flank and produced a brilliant offload to Henry Gooderham who shipped the ball out to Hamish Milhench to score in the corner. A conversion now from Tristan would take Dulwich more than a try clear with only 8 minutes left on the clock. Unfortunately, Tristan couldn’t convert. But a clear early charge down from Whitgift led to a retake where Tristan calmly converted from the very edge of the pitch to send Dulwich nine points clear. However, Whitgift weren’t giving up yet. A poor high tackle from an unamed Dulwich prop saw him face six minutes in the bin. Whitgift found themselves on the Dulwich line deep into the ending of the game where they eventually managed to pick and go to score their third of the match. The following conversion attempt was successful but in vain as the referee had already signalled that that was the last play and blew the full-time whistle to declare Dulwich winners. Full-time Whitgift 22 Dulwich 24.

Reflecting back Dulwich will view this as one of their greatest and most hard-fought victories given the circumstances. But as ever there was always room for improvement as too many cheap penalties were conceded, especially within their own half. Dulwich will look forward to preparing for their exciting quarter final that lies ahead. A special thanks to Mr Burdekin and Mr McFarlane for coaching Dulwich to a fantastic victory.