What a brilliant midweek of school rugby this has been, with Wednesday a particularly special day in our view.
There were huge fixtures on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and there is another today as Sedbergh host Whitgift in a real clash of the titans.
There was also NatWest Cup action this week but we will look into that in a separate article, suffice to say that it provided some thrilling entertainment and set up some mouth watering fourth round matches.
Wedneday was particularly special because of the benefit match between Kirkham Grammar School and Tonbridge School for the Graeme College Scholarship Foundation (please follow this link for more information about the Foundation and the fixture). It was a brilliant concept and if ever there were a game where the phrase â€œitâ€™s the taking part that countsâ€ were true then it was this one.
However there was still a game to be played and Tonbridge took the spoils with a 29-13 victory. It was a result that seemed to reflect the difference between the two sides this season reasonably accurately, though Kirkham will now be keen to get back on track against Audenshaw tomorrow having now lost two on the trot.
Another brilliant fixture on Wednesday was Cranleigh v Stowe which, as we explain in our report, was played at the Honourable Artillery Companyâ€™s ground in the City of London. It was a fantastic occasion, primarily because the location meant that many parents could nip out of work to come and watch the game, whilst the surrounding high-rise buildings created a stadium like effect around the pitch.
Cranleigh took the game after a tremendous second half performance, typified by their outside centre Alfie Dudman-Jones. He completely grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and his three devastating breaks were key to all three Cranleigh scores.
On Tuesday there was another brilliant fixture that was designed to allow as many spectators to watch as possibly. Wellington College hosted Bryanston in an evening kick off at London Irishâ€™s HQ in Sunbury.
The evening kick off allowed plenty of supporters to watch the match, where Wellington continued their fine form to beat Bryanston 18-3. It was a strange match though, Wellington led 18-0 at half time but a determined Bryanston stepped up their game in the second half to prevent any further Wellington score. Unfortunately for Bryanston though, Wellingtonâ€™s defence was such that despite plenty of second half possession they struggled to get out of their own half. You can see our report on the game here.
Tuesday also saw Felsted continue their good first half of the term with a 24-20 victory over Royal Hospital School, while Colstonâ€™s bounced back from a heavy defeat to Sir Thomas Richâ€™s last time out with a very strong 23-3 victory over St Peterâ€™s Gloucester.
On Thursday we were spoilt for choice, with Cheltenham v Radley, Eton v Epsom, Magdalen College v St Edwardâ€™s and Rugby v Oakham all on the card.
We plumped for Rugby v Oakham as our live game and what a decision it was, both teams played some tremendous stuff to go into the final ten minutes on level terms. Both them scored dramatic late tries (though one might have needed a look from the TMO as our video shows) but it came down to a brilliant conversion from Oakhamâ€™s Henry Conen,giving his side a 22-20 victory. For the full match report, please follow this link.
In the other games Epsom continued their unbeaten season with a tremendous 24-7 victory over Eton, whilst St Edwardâ€™s surprisingly lost to Magdalen College in a tight game that ended 24-22. The Cheltenham v Radley result has yet to come through.
To round off the midweek action Sedbergh are playing Whitgift as this article is being published. Sedbergh have been in fine form this season and look like one of the top sides in the country, Whitgift meanwhile are highly respected but have faltered a little against other top sides so far â€“ this could be a pivotal game for both, Sedbergh looking to prove their quality against one of the big southern sides, Whitgift looking to make a statement about their own quality.
Photos from Wellington v Bryanston, Cranleigh v Stowe, and Rugby v Oakham are available on our Facebook Page.