Tom MacCuish of Year 13 is once again a member of the Sale Sharks Rugby Academy.
He has recently been involved in three academy league games against other premiership opposition playing Gloucester , Leicester Tigers at Welford Road and Northampton Saints. Tom is operating at an exceptionally high level.
You can follow his progress and that of the Sale Sharks Academy via their website.
Both were selected for the North Of England Under 18 Squad and will compete in the Divisional Festival during February . Strong performances over this period may well result in England opportunities!
Last Thursday Sandbach School and Wirral played at a chilly and windy Lymm Rugby Club for the Under 18s Cheshire Cup. Sandbach’s preparations were aided by a video message from England and British and Irish Lions legend Jonny Wilkinson.
Wirral, who had a strong wind at their backs, had fly-half Brookes’ big left boot to thank for getting them out of early trouble as Sandbach dominated the early exchanges with Wolff and Hegarty causing problems in the midfield. However Sandbach failed to convert pressure and Wirral grew into the game and when they got ahead they never looked like losing the initiative. Brookes’ kicking both off the tea and out of hand was exemplary slotting a 3-pointer on 15 minutes to take the lead for the Wirral men.
Sandbach School’s catch and drive was causing significant pressure making large headway, but Wirral punished a poorly executed lineout to go almost 60 metres before a handling error stopped what looked like a certain score.
It mattered little as 2 minutes later Wirral sent Wicks over in the corner from a well-executed move off a scrum, Brookes again added the extras (10-0).
The last 15 minutes of the half saw an exchange of penalties for both sides in the midfield as Sandbach captain Jackson and Wirral captain Tom Parry finding turnovers at crucial times. But it would be another Brookes kick deep into Sandbach territory that would cause havoc as the bounce of the ball landed in Wicks’ hands to see him collect his second try, which was duly converted by Brookes just before half time.
Half time: Wirral Grammar School 17 Sandbach School 0
The second half saw Sandbach yet again come out of the blocks quickly and after a great kick to the corner from Sandbach second row Bordill, Sandbach managed to execute a catch and drive with Dowell being underneath the bodies to bring the score to 17-5.
It looked as if the pressure was finally telling and Sandbach were starting to win the territorial battle, however the resilient defence of Wirral seemed impregnable and it didn’t matter which channel Sandbach attacked down they were shut out.
The south Cheshire outfit nearly put Macha in the corner and then failed to execute a lineout near the Wirral men’s line which knocked the stuffing out of Sandbach.
In the dying embers of the game the men from the west of the county worked their way up the field to execute their own catch and drive to end the game as a contest with Dixon diving over for the try.
After the game Sandbach School coach Joel Unsworth said “I am very proud of everyone in the squad. We just didn’t execute at crucial times and Wirral are a good side that will punish you for any mistake you make.”
“We had nine Year 11’s in the squad, four of which started, so the future looks bright for Sandbach School rugby. I am sure that under the guidance of incoming coach Peter Allen they will move on to the next level. For those who are leaving I would like to thank them for 7 years of hard graft and commitment to schoolboy rugby.”
Final Score: Wirral Grammar School 22 Sandbach School 5
Photos by Alex Robinson (Year 10).
The ‘Gallery’ system on the website is not working properly – you have to click on each photo individually to see them fully – apologies, we will try to get this sorted as soon as possible.