Exciting fixtures as Big Sides go Head to Head


Following a hectic midweek set of fixtures we return to the normal business of a full Saturday calendar.  In particular there are two games between some recent giants of the Daily Mail Cup, Wellington College v Whitgift and RGS Newcastle v Barnard Castle.

Wellington, the 2008 champions, have had a mixed season so far. An outstanding win on the opening weekend was followed by one of the most thrilling games of the season, a gutsy and hard fought 13-13 with Dulwich College.

The match was a true showcase of the quality of both sides, with the game going right down to the wire after Dulwich had looked in control early on. Unfortunately though they were unable to build on that performance as they fell to a 5-10 defeat against Marlborough last week.

Whitgift by contrast have been in outstanding form so far this season with big wins against a strong Stowe side and Skinners School. They must not be fooled by Wellington’s defeat to Marlborough though, Marlborough are one of the surprise packages of the season, winning all three of their games against top opposition.

One area of concern for Wellington is the loss of scrum half and captain, Simon Sexton, to injury. However with one top leader stepping out, a school of such quality always has a top class replacement, and Scotland Under 18 International Buchan Richardson that very man for Wellington. He leads the side form Number 8.

It ought to be a top class contest, with Wellington looking to return to the pinnacle of the school game with their 2010 U15 Cup finalists, while Whitgift are looking to emulate their 2010 and 2011 cup winners.

RGS and Barnard Castle are two giants of schoolboy rugby, with 5 Daily Mail Cup finals between them, though none were converted into victories. Most recently from RGS in 2010 when they lost to Whitgift.

Neither side has had a great start to the season, with both suffering tough losses to Durham School. Barnard Castle beat Yarm last time out though, and are starting to come into a bit of from. With such a rich history of rugby talent, Barnard Castle are never short of inspiration.

Despite not registering a win so far, RGS have been showing signs of improvement, particularly in defeat at Sedbergh, where they were only down 14-9 against one of the strongest school sides in the country.

Another performance like that and they could well cause Barnard Castle some serious problems and get their own season right back on track.

Elsewhere there are some other huge games this weekend, in particular Millfield versus Bryanston.

Millfield are coming off the back of a tough 25-8 defeat away at Hartpury but have to be feeling confident after more than matching the academy college throughout.

One of the few school sides in the country who face an absolutely top strength Hartpury side, Millfield demonstrated just how classy they are by remaining competitive. With wins already against Warwick and RGS High Wycombe (a stunning 46-0 victory), Millfield are already looking formidable.

Bryanston meanwhile showed their class last week with a huge win over Colston’s, who are 7 time Daily Mail champions remember, and will be riding high on confidence having previously been a touch unsure of themselves after a defeat to Marlborough.

Other games to look out for are Bedford’s big clash with Harrow, and Oundle versus Bromsgrove.

Bedford had their confidence dented with a defeat to Tonbridge in midweek, but a win against in form Harrow will get them back on track, while Oundle, who lost their opening game against Bedford, registered their first win in midweek and will be looking to build against a Bromsgrove side who are looking in ominous form this year.

Everything looks set for a cracking weekend of rugby, with a whole range of exciting match ups to go alongside the select few mentioned here.

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