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Midweek Preview – Big Fixtures & the return of the NatWest Cup

The arrival of the second half of term means the return of midweek rugby, and what a return it is. There are some big match ups this midweek.

NatWest Cup

There is plenty of NatWest Cup action on all week but the highlight for us is Leicester Grammar School v Oundle this afternoon in Midlands B. The winner will set up a 4th round tie against Oakham so Oundle will be doubly desperate for the win so that they can take on their local rivals before a potential clash with last seasons finalists, Northampton School for Boys, in the 5th.

Wednesday sees RGS High Wycombe v Windsor Boys in the 4th round of South West B, RGS will be heavy favourites but following the half term break they will need to be on their guard. If they do win it looks likely that this section of the draw could see RGS playing Marlborough in the 6th round for what would be one of the biggest games of the tournament.

Tomorrow also sees Warwick v Princethorpe in a Midlands A 4th round tie. Last years semi finalists will be looking to go one step further this year but if they win here they are likely to face a tough 5th round tie against local rivals Solihull – as tough a test as any in their half of the draw.

Predictions – Oundle, RGS High Wycombe & Warwick

Tuesday

Our featured Tuesday game is Uppingham v Wisbech Grammar School. Uppingham are firm favourites, though with a number of 1st XV players out they will need to make sure that they are at the top of their game.

The Rutland based school started the season brilliantly but successive defeats to Rugby and Stamford before half term just rocked the boat so they will be desperate to get back on track against their match against their big rivals Oundle on Saturday.

Sevenoaks v Charterhouse also takes place today. Sevenoaks have not had the best of seasons but they finished for half term on the back of a good win against Mill Hill and will be confident ahead of this match.

Predictions – Uppingham & Sevenoaks

Wednesday

KCS Wimbledon v St Paul’s is our featured game on Wednesday and it promises to be an absolute thriller. KCS were one of the star sides of the opening period of the season however a shock loss against Eton burst the bubble a little, with wins against the likes of Dulwich under their belts though it really is only a little.

 St Paul’s have gone about their business very quietly and successfully, however defeats to St Benedict’s and then Harrow just checked their progress. They did well to reach the final of the Veterrimi IV at the weekend though, just losing out to Durham in the final, and will be a very tough opposition.

Wednesday also features Old Swinford Hospital v St Peter’s Gloucester. St Peter’s have a fine rugby history but have not been at their strongest this season, while Old Swinford Hospital have also struggled. OSH do have some star players though and the ability to turn a game and should just nick this one.

Christ’s Hospital v Worth is expected to be a close game, Joe Launchbury’s former school started the season well but have since dropped off a little, while Worth have been enjoying a pretty decent season, though defeats to Hurstpierpoint and Seaford will have hurt. Worth will probably just be favourites.

Kirkham Grammar School v Bromsgrove ought to be a cracking encounter. Kirkham got off to a flyer before successive defeats to RGS Lancaster, Denstone, and Tonbridge threatened to derail their season. However over 90 points against Audenshaw saw them finish for half term high on confidence and ready for this match.

Bromsgrove have had a wonderful opening half term, they too lost to Denstone, on the opening weekend, but since then have been in magnificent form, only losing once more and beating the likes of Clifton, Solihull, and Warwick to suggest that they are among the very best.

Millfield v Portsmouth Grammar School rounds off the midweek action on Wednesday. The St Joseph’s Festival Plate winners travel to Millfield high on confidence after that victory but will still start off with the hosts as frim favourites.

Millfield will rest a few star faces though so they will have to be vigilant to make sure that their performance stays high. After responding well to their St Joseph’s disappointment with that stunning victory over Sedbergh in Abu Dhabi they will be determined to keep that momentum rolling ahead of fixtures against Llandovery College and Filton College in the next week.

Predictions – KCS Wimbledon (just), Old Swinford Hosptial, Worth, Bromsgrove & Millfield.

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