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Schools Preview – Big fixtures keep on coming

Friday has arrived and that means it is time to look at this weekend’s fixtures, and to throw in a few predictions – something that has proved to be a bit of a challenge so far this season, for both our readers and us.

Last week was an absolute cracker with the likes of Barnard Castle, Bryanston, Wellington and Millfield showing their class, whilst Durham and RGS Newcastle served up an absolute thriller, a game just edged 24-24 by Durham.

That great rugby has carried on into midweek this week, where on Tuesday we saw Felsted play with remarkable composure in miserable conditions to beat Haileybury.

Wednesday saw us take a trip to Millfield where their 32-6 defeat of Coleg Sir Gar made a big bid to be considered the performance of the season to date. One game like that in a week is pretty special, to have two running on the same day is almost unheard of but that is what happened as Sedbergh put fifty points on Wilmslow High.

If you thought those two were big results though, yesterday took things to a whole new level as Wellington absolutely stormed past Marlborough (who are no slouches, believe us) 41-0. If the pattern of this week is anything to go by then it is well worth keeping an eye on our twitter feed from 7.30 this evening as we go down to Esher RFC to watch Hampton play Eltham College – surely another astonishing game is just too much to ask for.

Back to this weekend though and we will go straight into the four featured Daily Mail Trophy fixtures in our weekly competition – if you have not already done so you should check it out, we give you four Daily Mail Trophy fixtures for the coming Saturday and if you correctly predict all four you win a t-shirt.

However, to the previews:

Eton College v Tonbridge

Tonbridge lost by a point to Epsom on the opening day before running up a big total against Eastbourne last week, Eton meanwhile were also in good form last week, beating The Oratory 36-0.

Those results point towards a relatively even game between the two this weekend, both sides certainly look decent and both have a couple of outstanding forwards. It is tempting to think that Tonbridge might nick this one but as the teams seem so evenly matched going into this home advantage may just favour Eton.

Prediction – Eton

Oundle v Rugby

Another tricky one to predict; Oundle had a shocking start to the season, conceding fifty points against a Bedford side who have gone on to lose their next two matches. However a revival of sorts came last weekend with a narrow defeat to Stamford, while it may have been a defeat still it was a definite improvement given the quality that Stamford showed the previous week to beat Stowe.

Rugby, by contrast, won their opening fixture with an excellent display against Cheltenham. However a defeat to St Edward’s Oxford last week may have dented confidence a little, making it hard to accurately assess just where this Rugby side sits.

The stigma of that opening day defeat by Bedford will take a fair few good results to shake off though for Oundle and as such Rugby go into this as favourites.

Prediction – Rugby

Sedbergh v RGS Newcastle

This is a tricky one to gauge as RGS Newcastle are yet to get a win this season but have actually appeared to be playing fairly well, Sedbergh meanwhile have only played one game but they appeared to be outstanding in it, beating Wilmslow High 52-6.

That ought to make Sedbergh cast iron favourites, however RGS’s defeats have been against top quality opposition, George Watson’s and Durham, and the Durham defeat was by just a single point, proving that RGS can mix it with the best.

Such was the level of Sedbergh’s performance in midweek though that they cannot go into this as anything other than favourites in our view.

Prediction – Sedbergh

Warwick v King’s Worcester

Despite the fact that Warwick have not won a game this season, the impression is that they are in rather good nick. A draw against Millfield (who we have all now seen are very, very good) and a two point defeat to Bromsgrove are hardly the results of a bad team.

King’s Worcester have enjoyed a big win in their first game of the season followed by a fairly heavy defeat to a good Solihull side last week.

Our feeling is that despite having a worse record Warwick may just have the edge here, particularly at home.

Prediction – Warwick

Selected Daily Mail Trophy Predictions:

Brighton College v Reeds – Back on track with a victory against Hurstpierpoint, we expect a Brighton win.

Bryanston v Clifton College – Fresh from humbling Marlborough in their first game it would be a surprise to see anything except a Bryanston victory.

Colston’s v Blundell’s – A close call but Blundell’s have the form edge after that victory last weekend.

Epsom v Cranleigh – Cranleigh are a tough nut to crack but Epsom beating Tonbridge and thrashing Harrow just cannot be ignored.

John Fisher v Trinity School – This may be a local derby but we expect John Fisher to wrap this one up relatively comfortably.

KCS Wimbledon v Dulwich College – KCS look seriously good this year but Dulwich do not exactly look bad either. Having played such a high intensity game v Wellington last week we expect them to be right in the groove for this one.

Oakham v Bromsgrove – Mixed starts for both in the first two weeks but we think Bromsgrove may just take this one, it will be close though.

QEGS Wakefield v Woodhouse Grove – We like what we have been hearing about Woodhouse Grove this year and expect them to come away with another victory this weekend, regardless of QEGS’ pedigree.

RGS High Wycombe v Harrow – Our views on RGS’ quality this season are well known and coupled with Harrow’s big defeat last week it seems hard to see anything other than an RGS win.

RGS Lancaster v King’s Macclesfield – Two from two, we expect that to become three from three, a top team.

St Edward’s Oxford v Uppingham – Both have had good starts to the season, either could win but we feel that there is a bit of momentum building in the Uppingham campaign.

St Paul’s v Radley – Beating Sherborne by 25 points would make Radley favourites against most schools this weekend, against a St Paul’s side recovering from a defeat last week that prediction does not change.

Stowe v Sir Thomas Rich’s – Despite two defeats in a row Stowe are still a top side, they should win.

Yarm v Grammar School at Leeds – Last week v Barnard Castle was tough for Yarm but we expect them to bounce back tomorrow.

Other Predictions:

Bedford Modern v Aylesbury Grammar School

Caterham v Worth

Downside v Clayesmore

King’s Canterbury v St John’s Leatherhead

Malvern College v Bloxham

Royal Hospital School v Cooper’s Coburn

Sherborne v Bishop Wordsworth

Stamford v Norwich School

Whitgift v Skinner’s

Wirral Grammar School v Kirkham Grammar School

As ever, please email/tweet/facebook us with any match reports, photos, videos & comments about the weekend fixtures, and don’t forget to let us know your live scores as they come in!

 

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Good luck this weekend!

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