If results so far are anything to go by then Wellington College are still going to be right up there challenging for trophies at Rosslyn Park, despite having moved from the Festival to the Open competition.
They won the Mount St Maryâ€™s 7s on Sunday in style, their second in a row following their Windsor 7s victory, it was a field loaded with talent from some of the top northern schools in the country.
Not only that, it puts Wellington at the distinct advantage going into Rosslyn Park of having played sides from outside of their traditional sphere of fixtures â€“ something that many other schools from the south oddly choose not to do.
Perhaps the most significant psychological blow of all that Wellington struck though was in knocking out last yearâ€™s Rosslyn Park Open champions, Sedbergh, at the quarter final stage, after a shock group stage defeat to RGS Newcastle for Sedbergh saw the two heavyweights meet earlier than expected.
The surprise package of the tournament was Barnard Castle, though perhaps they should not be, after all they are one of the most prestigious rugby schools in the country. They twice beat Welsh giants Llandovery College, once in the pool stages and the a superb 40-19 victory in the semi final.
Alas that run was to come to a halt in the final though as Wellington College built on their 26-0 semi final win over St Peterâ€™s York, who had sprung a surprise in the quarters by beating RGS Newcastle, to beat Barnard Castle 28-5 and seal the title.
The other Pool toppers were Bradford Grammar School, who just pipped hosts Mount St Maryâ€™s to top spot in Group 1, however both were to go out at the first knockout stage, losing to Llandovery College and Barnard Castle respectively.
Worksop College made light work of the Plate knockout stages to win their first trophy of the season. They first knocked out Sedberghâ€™s 2nd VII before stunning Stonyhurst 42-7 in the semi final and then almost exactly repeating that feat in the final, beating Ampleforth College 42-14 to seal the trophy with an extraordinary eighty-four points in two games.
With the big tournaments still to come for the likely runners and riders at Rosslyn Park; Llandovery tomorrow, Bryanston at the weekend, and Surrey and Hymers a week on Wendesday, this was another important step for Wellington College both for themselves and as a sign of strength to the other challengers.
Barnard Castle will be pleased too though, this was an excellent showing from them, with that semi final victory over Llandovery a particularly impressive result â€“ Llandovery are traditionally one of the top schools on the 7s circuit.
For Wellington things just seem to keep on getting better though â€“ no sooner had they got back to base in Berkshire than new that their England U18s prop/hooker Seb Adeniran-Olule had been called into the England U20s squad following his try scoring exploits in the Mount St Maryâ€™s final, a superb achievement in any case but even more so to be in the front row a year out of step.
Final: Wellington College 28-5 Barnard Castle
Wellington College 26-0 St Peterâ€™s, York
Llandovery College 19-40 Barnard Castle
Wellington College 17-14 Sedbergh
RGS Newcastle 7-10 St Peterâ€™s, York
Llandovery College 17-12 Bradford Grammar School
Barnard Castle 24-19 Mount St Maryâ€™s
Final: Ampleforth College 14-42 Worksop College
Ampleforth College 33-21 Nottingham High School
Worksop College 42-7 Stonyhurst
Ampleforth v BYE
Nottingham High School 26-21 Kingâ€™s School, Worcester
Worksop College 24-10 Sedbergh 2nd VII
Stonyhurst 19-19 QEGS Wakefield
Mount St Maryâ€™s 7s Group Standings
Bradford Grammar School
Mount St Maryâ€™s
St Peterâ€™s School, York
Kingâ€™s School, Worcester
Nottingham High School
Sedbergh 2nd VII