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School Results – Outstanding Weekend of Rugby

When the school fixture lists were announced it was always obvious that the weekend just gone was going to be a good one, that it would be as good as it has been was impossible to predict though.

A collection of such competitive, and high quality, fixtures was always likely to be worth keeping an eye on but that so many of these brilliant match ups ended up so close made it utterly mesmerising.

Take our four featured games in our Daily Mail Trophy Competition. If you totalled up all the winning margins of those four games it still only comes to a twelve point margin.

Competition

As ever we will look at those four results from our competition first. Whitgift v RGS High Wycombe was probably the most highly billed of the four, with great things expected of both sides this year but with neither quite hitting the heights expected of them yet.

RGS have been looking threatening though, with their run to the St Joseph’s final a good confidence booster, and it was they who came away with victory, winning 17-11 in Whitgift to really kick start the second half of the season for them.

For Whitgift this result is a bit of a disaster, of their games against ‘top’ opposition they have won just once, against John Fisher. While they have looked good at times they will be desperate to start redressing that balance.

One side that has had no problems swatting away even the best opposition is Wellington and their fixture against Hampton was also highly anticipated. They have no lost since an 8-10 opening day defeat to RGS High Wycombe so it would have taken a brave person to back Hampton.

Backing Hampton would have been the correct call though, the 2013 Daily Mail Cup semi finalists stunned the home support as they repeated RGS’ feat, winning 10-8 on Wellington’s famous Bigside pitch to really announce themselves as a force this season.

Wellington must be wondering what it is about the first weekend after holiday’s and 8-10 defeats.

Another big derby game on our competition list was Oundle v Uppingham. Oundle have been in decent form lately but without the results to show for it, while Uppingham started with a bang before they hit a blip just before half term. However it was the Rutland side who were favourites, particularly after a huge midweek win.

However it was to be Oundle who took the spoils, winning 17-13 as they were spurred on by the intense atmosphere that these games often produce. With their former captain, and current Head Coach’s son, Sam Olver, getting a run out for the Northampton Saints 1st XV in the LV Cup, it was a pretty spectacular weekend for Oundle. They will be hoping to be able to use this as a springboard for a more consistent second half of the season, while Uppingham will be desperate to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

Warwick v Bedford was another of our four featured games that was expected to go right down to the wire, both have turned in some absolutely outstanding performances this season and were thought to be likely to produce an exciting game on Saturday.

What nobody could have predicted though was a 22 all draw, with Bedford coming back from 17-0 down in an absolute thriller.

Warwick are making something of a habit of appearing in thrilling draws, they drew 17 all with Millfield on the opening day of the season.

Inseparable

Speaking of thrilling draws, they were something of a theme this weekend as two further games between high level opponents ended in draws.

Stowe and Bromsgrove found themselves unable to secure victory, ending the day with a 10-10 draw. It had been expected to be tight but nobody would have guessed that it would be quite that tight.

Further south in Epsom, Epsom College were expected to be able to grind out a victory against Brighton College. Brighton have struggled to hit the heights of their 2012/13 season, while Epsom have been magnificent all year.

However Brighton stepped up well, challenging Epsom all the way but the home side are a tough nut to crack and the game ended in a thrilling 20-20 draw.

Ellesmere College and Solihull were practically inseparable, however Solihull just managed to sneak to a 20-19 victory, keeping the momentum of their fantastic season going.

Big names, big performances

Two of the biggest names in schoolboy rugby in recent years have been Dulwich College and Millfield, and both lived up to their reputations with fine wins over excellent opposition.

Dulwich College beat a talented and dangerous John Fisher side 17-10, using the psychological advantage that their victory over the same opposition at the St Joseph’s Festival allowed to great effect. As at St Jo’s it was full back Ali Neden who created the most spectacular moment, scoring a sizzler to give Dulwich the first half lead.

Millfield were disappointed not to have gone further at St Jo’s but responded well to beat Sedbergh when touring in half term before defeating Portsmouth Grammar School with a developmental side in midweek.

The reason for using a developmental side was to ensure that everyone was fit and ready for their fixture against Llandovery College on Saturday, one of the toughest sides around. How brilliantly they repaid that decision though, winning 18-10 to give them the perfect springboard for their fixture against Filton in midweek.

Solid defending

If you do not concede then obviously you certainly are not going to lose the game, something that Marlborough College understood perfectly well as they continued their magnificent return to form with a 7-0 away win over Radley College.

Stamford were also grateful for their excellent defending as they secured an 18-0 away win over their near rivals Oakham. Oakham had had Leicester Tigers’ George Chuter in for a coaching session but unfortunately it was just not enough for them to be able to breach this excellent Stamford defence.

A defensive shut out at Blundell’s helped Rugby World’s Team of the Month, Clifton College, to a 15-0 victory, continuing their impressive form.

Moving further north, Sedbergh showed that they are spectacular both with and without the board as they kept RGS Lancaster off the scoreboard and breached the whitewash plenty of times themselves to win 36-0, cementing their already formidable reputation this season.

They are not the only side in the north who are worrying sides with their form though, Woodhouse Grove are almost unplayable this season and showed so again as they defeated Yarm, last years School Vase champions, 53-5 further solidifying their place at the top of the Daily Mail Trophy table.

Allianz Park derby

The Wimbledon derby was moved to Allianz Park at the weekend to accommodate a fireworks display at KCS Wimbledon.

After beating St Paul’s in midweek KCS were firm favourites for this one and in front of a healthy crowd at Saracens’ ground they beat their local rivals Wimbledon College 30-7, the perfect preparation for their NatWest Cup tie against Hampton, who beat the College by a similar score in the last round.

Selected Results, Weekend of the 9th November:

Whitgift 11-17 RGS High Wycombe (Competition Fixture)

Wellington College 8-10 Hampton (Competition Fixture)

Warwick 22-22 Bedford (Competition Fixture)

Oundle 17-13 Uppingham (Competition Fixture)

Blundell’s 0-15 Clifton College

Epsom College 20-20 Brighton College

Stowe 10-10 Bromsgrove

Dulwich College 17-10 John Fisher

Ellesmere College 19-20 Solihull

KCS Wimbledon 30-7 Wimbledon College

Llandovery College 10-18 Millfield

Oakham 0-18 Stamford

Sedbergh 36-0 RGS Lancaster

Yarm 5-53 Woodhouse Grove

Radley 0-7 Marlborough

Barnard Castle 11-0 St Peter’s York

Bradford Grammar School 21-12 Pocklington

Sherborne 12-22 Bryanston

Colston’s 7-36 Monmouth

Desntone 17-29 RGS Newcastle

Durham 34-18 Merchsiton Castle

Kirkham Grammar 18-13 Manchester Grammar

Ampleforth College 36-8 Hymers College

Trent College 0-38 Rugby

Abingdon 3-22 Eton College

Cheltenham College v St Edward’s Oxford, Cancelled

Harrow 8-23 Tonbridge

Felsted 3-52 St Joseph’s College

Haileybury 7-24 St John’s Leatherhead

Hereford Cathedral College 12-7 King’s Worcester

Worth 43-7 Sutton Valence

Reed’s 8-0 Pangbourne

Nottingham High 7-25 King’s Macclesfield

Merchant Taylor’s 5-43 St Paul’s

KES Bath 5-24 Malvern College

KES Birmingham 3-32 Old Swinford Hospital

King’s Canterbury 5-38 Eastbourne College

Downside 6-7 King’s Bruton

Crossley Heath 3-25 Grammar School at Leeds

Cranleigh 5-13 RGS Guildford

Lord Wandsworth 13-17 Caterham

Bishop’s Stortford High School 0-12 Campion

Bishop’s Stortford College 12-11 Bedford Modern

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