Connect with us

School Rugby

St Joseph’s Festival Preview – Group B

The second of our four St Joseph’s Festival previews focuses on Group B, a competitive group that includes 2011 winners Dulwich College.

If Group A looked ripe for a few surprises, Group B looks a little more clear cut, though we should stress only a little, in these short games anything can happen.

St Joseph’s Festival 2013 Group B

Belfast Royal Academy

Dulwich College

Portsmouth Grammar School

Solihull School

Belfast Royal Academy

Belfast Royal Academy found themselves in the plate last year but fared well in it to finish second in their pool behind the eventual plate winners RGS High Wycombe.

Unfortunately this year the plate looks like their likely destination again, with Solihull and Dulwich looking like they might be a challenge too far. However with the short format there is nothing to stop them getting a result and after beating Portsmouth Grammar School last year they will be confident of victory again.

Verdict – Plate

Dulwich College

Dulwich have been very coy about their chances across the board this season and in fairness a little of their aura from the 2011/12 and 2012/13 has naturally been lost, however the one constant refrain from Sam Howard has been that nobody would want to play his side and that they are confident of beating anyone.

In that he is absolutely right, this Dulwich side are still a formidable team and are very capable of taking this St Joseph’s Festival title back. They have been trying to play more expansively this season but their powerful forwards game is always available should they require it and in this format, and with the weather predicted, it could be unplayable.

Beating Bedford 43-7 last weekend was just about the biggest possible statement of intent that they could make.

Verdict – Trophy

Portsmouth Grammar School

Portsmouth Grammar School have won four and lost two of their six fixtures this season and are a side that are capable of upsetting anyone.

They will sit behind Dulwich and Solihull in the pecking order of this group but are very capable of stealing a win against either. If any evidence were needed of the potential, they beat Magdalen College in their last fixture, a side who went on to beat a top quality St Edward’s Oxford side yesterday.

If you thought that the St Joseph’s Festival was tough though, take a look at their next three fixtures after half term – Millfield, Brighton and Bryanston. That is a serious fixture list.

Verdict – Plate


Solihull have been in fantastic form this season and with eleven fixtures under their belt they will go into this tournament as by far the most battle hardened of any school.

They have won nine of those eleven fixtures too, with defeats coming against top quality opposition in Llandovery College and Bromsgrove – this is a very, very good Solihull side.

When we watched them against Stowe they turned in one of the performances of the season to overcome a huge half time deficit to win 25-22, shutting Stowe out completely in the second half.

That they managed to do so was down to a brilliant ability to change style and tactics mid-game, a quality which will be vital this weekend.

Verdict – Trophy

For our other previews, please follow these links:

Group A

Group C

Group D

Tournament Overview

Click to comment

More in School Rugby

Skip to toolbar