Schools Weekend Review – Big Names Flex their Muscles

This weekend was a weekend of serious muscle flexing from some of the best school sides in the country.

Our weekly Daily Mail Trophy competition featured many of those, and it is there that we begin our review of the weekend.

Dulwich College proved their credentials for the rest of the year with an outstanding 34-26 victory over Hampton.

Not only is that result a huge marker in terms of Dulwich’s quality but it is also a massive statement ahead of the midweek NatWest Cup fixtures. Hampton joined a core group of favourites for the tournament the previous week after a strong win over KCS Wimbledon, but following this victory and last weeks Cup win over Eltham, Dulwich College, the back to back champions, are certainly displaying their credentials.

Woodhouse Grove surprisingly exited the NatWest Cup a couple of weeks ago, however with an otherwise unbeaten record their quality is widely known.

They certainly proved it on Saturday against Durham, winning 41-17. Durham have been one of the strongest sides around this year and were expected to put Woodhouse Grove under real pressure, however Woodhouse Grove really flexed their muscles to secure one of the most impressive results of any side this season.

Possibly the biggest statement of all came from Millfield though. They beat Whitgift 47-20, a quite outstanding result. Whitgift had struggled in the early part of the season against the best sides but their quality is widely known, and after recent victories over John Fisher and Dulwich, it was starting to show.

In fairness it did show in part on Saturday, Millfield built up an early lead but Whitgift did start to peg that back, only for Millfield to accelerate away again, giving the South West side victory in the first meeting between these two sides in 46 years.

It is yet another brilliant Millfield result, in a season that has seen them look stronger with each passing week. With the likes of Grey’s High School (South Africa), Monmouth, and Sedbergh still to come before Christmas there could yet be a few more headline results too.

St Paul’s bounced back brilliantly from their defeat to Tonbridge last week to beat Eton 14-3. Given that Eton had seen off Marlborough in midweek St Paul’s will take great pride in this result as they prepare for what is surely their toughest game of the season against Wellington next week.

What will probably give them the most pleasure though is the return to their defensive solidity shown in the early part of the season.

It rounds off a spectacular four games featured in our competition this week, one of the best of the season. Let’s hope next week is just as good!

Outside of our four featured games there was also plenty to talk about; Marlborough College beat Bishop Wordsworth’s 19-10 to reach the NatWest Cup 5th round, where they will meet Portsmouth Grammar School on Wednesday. That game should be an outstanding fixture, particularly given that PGS beat Bryanston  29-12 this weekend, an outstanding result.

RGS High Wycombe, Sedbergh, and Tonbridge kept up their great reputatiosn with victories over Aylesbury Grammar, Warwick, and Skinners’ respectively. Sedbergh’s 28-10 victory over Warwick was particularly impressive considering Warwick’s strong reputation against the top sides this year.

John Fisher beat Brighton Collge 20-15, while St Benedicts gave Hampton something to think about ahead of their NatWest Cup encounter. They beat Campion 30-3, a week after Campion had beaten Hampton.

St Joseph’s College had a big win over Royal Hospital School, proving that they have all the credentials to go far in the cup, the hope for them must just be that they have faced stern enough opposition often enough in advance.

Stamford did well to come away with an away win over Rugby, while Bradford Grammar School edged out QEGS Wakefield 24-17 in a classic schoolboy encounter.

Selected School Results, 23/11/2013:

Dulwich 34-26 Hampton (Competition Fixture)

Woodhouse Grove 41-17 Durham (Competition Fixture)

St Paul’s 14-3 Eton (Competition Fixture)

Millfield 47-20 Whitgift (Competition Fixture)

RGS High Wycombe 46-0 Aylesbury GS

Bablake 14-17 King’s Worcester

St Albans 24-15 Bedford Modern

Denstone 37-15 Bloxham

Bradford GS 24-17 QEGS Wakefield

Brighton 15-20 John Fisher

Clifton College 15-0 Bristol GS

Bromsgrove 26-20 Colston’s

Portsmouth GS 29-12 Bryanston

St Benedict’s 30-3 Campion

Crossley Heath 7-35 RGS Newcastle

Yarm 34-24 Dame Allan’s

Emanuel 17-22 Worth

Hymers 12-26 Grammar School at Leeds

KCS Wimbledon 32-27 St John’s Leatherhead

King’s College Taunton 17-28 Kingswood

Kirkham Grammar School 48-5 Mount St Mary’s

Nottingham High School 17-19 Solihull

Wimbledon College 16-0 Reed’s

RGS Lancaster 10-15 St Ambrose College

Royal Hospital School 8-64 St Joseph’s College

Warwick 10-28 Sedbergh

Tonbridge 42-3 Skinners’

Hurstpierpoint 0-15 St George’s Weybridge

King’s Macclesfield 29-3 Wilmslow High

Rugby 15-19 Stamford

Marlbrough 19-10 Bishop Wordsworth’s

RGS Guildford 17-23 Abingdon

St Edward’s Oxford 22-15 Oratory

Churcher’s 6-34 Harrow

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