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Schools RoundUp – Sedbergh grabbing headlines & Oundle bounce back

With many schools on exeat this weekend a slightly reduced fixture list was on offer, however the excitement of the previous two weeks of school rugby showed no signs of abating.

Our four featured fixtures in our weekly Daily Mail Trophy Competition threw up some very interesting results and, for the first time this season, produced two competition prize winners – they will receive Fifteen Rugby t-shirts very shortly.

Probably the most outstanding result of the four games was Oundle’s 41-5 beating of Rugby School. Things had looked bleak for Oundle after conceding 50 against Bedford in the opening week, however a marginal improvement against Stamford clearly had a huge impact ahead of this game against rugby. We said in our preview piece that the result against Bedford would take some getting over but in beating Rugby so comprehensively they would appear to have done so.

Almost equally impressive was Sedbergh’s 33-8 demolition of RGS Newcastle. It condemned RGS to a third defeat of the season and will have set the North Eastern side back a fair few notches. Sedbergh by contrast look set for an unstoppable season, they opened their account by notching up a half century against Wilmslow High, to follow that with such a sound beating of a side like RGS shows real promise for the season ahead.

The other two fixtures featured in our competition were altogether closer; in particular the West Midlands clash between Warwick and King’s Worcester. Warwick won it 20-17, making up for their narrow slip up against Bromsgrove last week having shown so much promise in their draw against Millfield. If they can build on this then they could be looking at an even better season than their Schools Cup semi final efforts of last year.

Eton v Tonbridge was no less exciting, Tonbridge won it 27-18 in a game that was expected to be a real battle, particularly after both enjoyed big wins the previous week.

Eton have an early chance to bounce back though; they travel to Radley on Thursday for what should be a great clash between two of the most prestigious schools in the country.

Radley will also be looking to bounce back though after they lost 17-15 to St Paul’s, it was a fairly surprising result given that St Paul’s had lost the previous weekend whilst Radley had outplayed Sherborne, winning 32-7 – away from home. It was a result that goes to show the unpredictability of the school circuit, where such is the competition that on any given day any side can produce a top performance.

Speaking of Sherborne, they bounced back from that defeat wonderfully well to bear Bishop Wordsworth 24-5, firmly getting their season back on track.

In the eyes of many keen observers of schoolboy rugby KCS Wimbledon v Dulwich College was one of the most hotly anticipated fixtures of the week. Back to back Schools Cup champions Dulwich are clearly an excellent barometer for any side to pit their wits against, and KCS are a side that have had plenty of positive murmurs surrounding them – this was their chance to confirm those mutterings.

Confirm them they did with an excellent 29-26 victory in what, by the sound of our report by KCS Director of Rugby Neil Roberts, was a tough and gritty contest.

Equally tough a gritty was RGS High Wycombe’s 14-13 victory against Harrow, by RGS’s own admission their first half performance was below par but an excellent second half performance sparked a recovery for them to take the game and to build on their promising start to the season next week against John Fisher.

John Fisher themselves had a narrow victory, beating local rivals Trinity School 24-21, while in another derby, this time in the South West, Colston’s just edged out Blundell’s 13-11.

Also in the South West came possibly the result of the weekend as Clifton College beat Bryanston 28-8, a result that surprised many – including it seems some Cliftonians. If they can continue to perform like that then they will find that at the end of the season this will have been one of their best. Bryanston meanwhile will want to forget it as soon as possible.

In the North of England there were three fixtures, other than our featured fixture, that we were particularly interested in this weekend. First, could King’s Macclesfield make it three in a row against RGS Lancaster? The answer was that they could, winning 19-13.

The second was Grammar School at Leeds v Yarm. We copped a fair bit of flak on twitter from the GSAL faithful after we predicted a Yarm victory, so it was with great interest that we waited for the result to come in.

As the score came through it was clear that the flak was fair; Leeds trounced Yarm 59-5, a quite brilliant result. Having already played and beaten the likes of Ampleforth and with fixtures against RGS Newcastle to come, this could be a very successful season for the West Yorkshire side.

The third big game in the North from our point of view was QEGS Wakefied v Woodhouse Grove; could QEGS stir up some of the spirit of their past glories to beat the excellent Woodhouse Grove or would last season’s Rosslyn Park finalists continue their fine form? The answer was clear, Woodhouse Grove won 48-7, making it quite clear to all just how good they look this year.

Also of note was Uppingham’s 19-0 win against St Edward’s Oxford, three victories on the trot makes a remarkable difference to their start last year, while keeping Teddy’s to zero shows that they are not just lucky results either, Uppingham are a decent side this year.

There were also two fixtures on Friday; a Scotland v England clash between Loretto and Durham and a South East derby between Hampton and Eltham.

Durham won in Scotland, a superb 43-12 victory that caps a good start to the season for them, meanwhile Hampton beat Eltham 38-7 in a thrilling game at Esher RFC that at times was actually far close than the scoreline suggests.

Fifteen Rugby Daily Mail Trophy Competition Results:

Eton 18-27 Tonbridge

Oundle 41-5 Rugby

Sedbergh 33-8 RGS Newcastle

Warwick 20-17 King’s Worcester

Selected other School Rugby Results:

Bedford Modern 19-12 Aylesbury Grammar School

Brighton College 64-18 Reeds’ (Daily Mail Trophy)

Bryanston 8-28 Clifton College (Daily Mail Trophy)

Campion 25-8 Dartford Grammar School

Caterham 15-20 Worth

Colston’s 13-11 Blundell’s (Daily Mail Trophy)

Epsom College 10-8 Cranleigh (Daily Mail Trophy)

Grammar School at Leeds 59-5 Yarm (Daily Mail Trophy)

John Fisher 24-21 Trinity School (Daily Mail Trophy)

KCS Wimbledon 29-26 Dulwich College (Daily Mail Trophy)

King’s Canterbury 0-61 St John’s Leatherhead

Oakham 20-0 Bromsgrove (Daily Mail Trophy)

QEGS Wakefield 7-48 Woodhouse Grove (Daily Mail Trophy)

RGS High Wycombe 14-13 Harrow (Daily Mail Trophy)

RGS Lancaster 13-19 King’s Macclesfield (Daily Mail Trophy)

Royal Hospital School 34-0 Coopers Coburn

Sherborne 24-5 Bishops Wordsworth

Stamford 45-5 Norwich School

St Edward’s Oxford 0-19 Uppingham (Daily Mail Trophy)

Stowe 17-23 Sir Thomas Rich’s (Daily Mail Trophy)

St Paul’s 17-15 Radley (Daily Mail Trophy)

Wirral Grammar School 6-10 Kirkham Grammar School (Daily Mail Trophy)

Whitgift 43-20 Skinners

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