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Schools Rugby Preview – Fixtures & Predictions

There are some classic fixtures this weekend, the sixth weekend of the 2013/14 school rugby season, and our Daily Mail Trophy Competition features four of the best.

As usual, we bring you our preview and predictions for a selection of this weeks fixtures, beginning with those four fixtures from our

Daily Mail Trophy Competition.

Clifton v Bromsgrove

This has the potential to be an excellent match, Clifton College are unbeaten this season and have beaten some top schools, including Bryanston, King’s Taunton and a 29-12 victory over St Edward’s Oxford last weekend.

Bryanston have been a little more topsy turvy this year, winning three and losing two of their five fixtures, however their three wins have been against superb opponents; Warwick (who have beaten Whitgift and drawn with Millfield), Oundle, and most impressive of all a 36-22 victory over Solihull last weekend, a side who had won six of their previous seven games.

Despite that Clifton have the edge going in to tomorrow, their consistency and the manner of their victories makes them the favourites, however Bromsgrove have shown that they are a more than capable side and have a strong chance of coming away with something.

Prediction – Clifton

Sedbergh v Durham

Another absolute belter, both of these sides are unbeaten and both have been playing some fine rugby and scoring plenty of points.

Durham put 51 points past Hymers last week while they put over 40 on Edinburgh Acadamey and fell one shy of 60 against Dame Allan’s the week before, a quite exceptional run of point scoring.

Sedbergh have been doing similar things though, they have gone past fifty against Wilmslow High and Merchiston Castle and beat the in form King’s Macclesfield 36-18 in midweek.

Choosing between the two is tough but there is a sense that Sedbergh may just have the edge at the moment, beating King’s Macclesfield in midweek showed how good they really are as King’s have been in fine form lately, despite having now lost twice in a row.

It will be interesting to see the outcome though; between these two and Woodhouse Grove an almighty trio of quality has emerged in the North this season.

Prediction – Sedbergh, just.

John Fisher v Whitgift

Whitgift started the season as one of the most talked about teams in the country, with many expecting them to have one of their most successful seasons.

They looked as though they would fulfil that promise with some big wins at the start of the season, however defeats to Wellington and Warwick either side of an admittedly excellent win in the NatWest Cup have just lowered their aura of invincibility a little.

John Fisher by contrast comes into this fixture unbeaten, with victory against RGS High Wycombe two weeks ago particularly standing out. However to judge this fixture purely on records is a little misleading, Fisher may be unbeaten but other than RGS they are yet to face anyone in the class of Welington or Warwick, or indeed Whitgift.

Deciding between the two is very tough though, it seems that they are very closely matched this year, add into that the fact that this is a local derby and acts as the precursor to a likely NatWest Cup tie between the two in a couple of weeks and this becomes one of the most eye catching fixtures of the season to date.

Prediction – Whitgift, by a whisker.

Sherborne v Cheltenham

Cheltenham have won their last three on the bounce to completely turn their season around after two defeats in their opening two weeks.

Sherborne share the same record, won three and lost two, but they are coming off the back of a heavy defeat to Millfield last week. Their previous game was a 59-0 win against Prior Park at the Rec in Bath though so they are certainly a capable side.

Our guess is that Cheltenham may just have the edge in this one this year, though it is likely to be pretty evenly matched, the two sides seem to be very closely aligned this year. Sherborne would probably say that home advantage ought to give them the edge though.

Prediction – Cheltenham College, just.

Outside of our four featured competition fixtures there are a number of other fascinating matches taking please, not least Dulwich College v Bedford. Bedford have really shown their class over the last three weeks with victories over Harrow, Stamford and Oakham, while Dulwich had a strong win against Brighton College last weekend.

Bedford certainly seem as though they are a side that is on the rise and will be determined to demonstrate that against the reigning schools cup champions.

Dulwich are probably the mild favourites but this will certainly be a close game and the fact that both are due to attend the St Joseph’s Festival next weekend adds an interesting extra bit of spice.

Another that ought to be a thunderous battle is Tonbridge v Cranleigh, both look very good this season and both have only lost once this season – each to Epsom coincidentally.

Also worth keeping an eye on is Wellington College v Eton College, Wellington were our September Team of the Month and backed that up against Harrow last weekend, while Eton’s big win against the inform KCS Wimbledon proved their credentials. Wellington will be favourites but Eton will have a lot to say in this one.

Predicitions – Dulwich (close), Tonbridge and Wellington

St Edward’s Oxford v Marlborough will be interesting, Marlborough got a narrow win last weekend to get their season back on track but they still look unusually vulnerable, a victory against an in form St Edward’s side would start to really send their confidence moving in the right direction.

Like Marlborough, Stowe will feel that they should have more victories at this stage. A win in the Warwick v Stowe fixture would really back up that close win they had against Oundle last weekend, however Warwick are in superb form losing just one fixture all season and beating the much fancied Whitgift last weekend.

Predictions – St Edward’s and Warwick

Selected Fixtures (predictions in bold):

Uppingham v Stamford

Blundell’s v Bryanston

Ampleforth v RGS Newcastle

Hymers v Barnard Castle

Denstone v Kirkham Grammar

King’s Tynemouth v Yarm

RGS Worcester v Malvern

Abingdon v Radley

Rugby v Haileybury

Loughborough Grammar v King’s Worcester

Brighton College v Trinity School

KCS Wimbledon v Campion

Hampton v Ravens Wood

Harrow v St Paul’s

King’s Canterbury v Reeds

Worth v Hurstpierpoint

Lymm High v Woodhouse Grove

Solihull v St Peter’s Gloucester

Grammar School at Leeds v Bradford Grammar

What do you think of our predictions?

We’d love to hear your predictions and also for you to get in touch with any results, photos, or reports from your fixtures this weekend – you can get in touch via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby) and Email (promotions@fifteenrugby.com).

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