Brilliant opening to the Schools Rugby Season

It has been a fascinating opening weekend of the schools rugby season, with some thrillingly dramatic finishes and some outstanding performances.

Almost all of the big names were involved in competitive fixtures, though last year’s Daily Mail Trophy champions Woodhouse Grove were still on pre season.

Prediction Competition

Incredibly, despite hundreds of entries, at first glance there were no winners of our prediction competition, with nobody correctly predicting all five of the winners of the five featured games.

What a five games they were though!

The early morning kick off was Whitgift v Sedbergh, a monumental opening weekend fixture. Sedbergh came in as favourites and performed like it early on, hitting the half time break 19-10 ahead.

Whitgift put in a display of pure heart and guts in the second half though to haul themselves back into the game, eventually running out as winners by 24-22, a sensational result and a brilliant comeback to really kick off the Croydon based side’s season.

Captain Alex Patton said after the game: “It’s the best team performance I’ve played in. Not once did I look round and see any boys with heads down. Couldn’t be prouder of the boys”

“Brandon Bellamin, looked sharp and confident, he ran the show today”

Just a little over to the West, two more of last year’s top sides were in action, RGS High Wycombe and Wellington College. This too was an incredibly tight game, with Wellington College just coming out on top by 22-19, making up for losing on their own patch in the reverse fixture last year.

If those two games seem close, up in Stamford things were unbelievably tight. Stowe travelled to Stamford high on confidence after winning at Tynedale and with a good side they would have felt capable of ending Stamford’s three year unbeaten run at home.

They nearly pulled it off; the away side led going into the final play of the game, however home records like that are not shaken easily. With such records comes a belief that you can succeed and a desire to just to win but to protect the record, to protect the legacy of your team, to do those who have gone before proud.

Stamford showed all of that to score a late, late, try to snatch a 19-18 victory from the jaws of defeat, a sensational way to start the season.

A game that was equally thrilling and close on the opening day last year was Warwick’s home draw with Millfield. It acted as a springboard to the NatWest Cup final for them last year but Millfield were deeply frustrated by it and would have been determined to put it right on their own Jubilee pitch yesterday.

Put it right they did, with a 31-12 victory and by all accounts a performance that matched the scoreline. Having swept all before them in 7s last year, they will be feeling good about doing the same in the 15 man format this year after that.

The final game of our five featured games was Barnard Castle v Durham. Two sides from the North with a great rugby heritage, though Durham had rather dominated in recent years, continually reached the latter stages of the NatWest Cup, while Barnard Castle have struggled a touch by their own lofty standards.

Barnard Castle put that right yesterday though, winning 23-0 over their North East rivals and sending a big statement out to the rugby world – Barnard Castle a ready for this 2014/15 season.

Other Key Fixtures:

Epsom College continued just where they left off last season, with yet another win. They picked up a 34-23 victory over the excellent Tonbridge School, at Tonbridge, with eleven new caps in their starting XV, a stunning result and a real statement of intent for last year’s Daily Mail Trophy podium sitters.

One side that has had a lot of pre season expectation and praise in Grammar School at Leeds. They more than justified that expectation with a stunning 59-7 victory over St Peter’s York, an extraordinary start to the year.

Another impressive start came from Solihull, they beat Old Swinford Hosptial 42-0, setting themselves up nicely for their game against Kings Worcester next week. They were involved in a far tighter game but also picked up a victory, beating Trent College 9-7.

Things were even closer over in Oxfordshire where Abingdon and St Edward’s played out an absolute thriller, which Abingdon just edged 32-21.

It was equally as close over a Skinners’, where the hosts beat KCS Wimbledon 28-27, while Oundle too picked up a narrow victory, beating Bedford 15-13.

Bedford’s local rivals Bedford Modern pulled off one of the results of the weekend, beating Harrow 20-3, quite possibly the result of the weekend.

Haileybury were also in impressive form, they beat St Paul’s 24-22 to really create a good opening day impression.

Triple NatWest Cup champions Dulwich College had a tough start to the season against Campion, things were a bit shaky for them but they just managed to secure the victory, winning 13-6. They know things will have to improve for their game against Wellington College next week, but as everyone knows – a win is a win.

Brighton College started the season well, their 28-23 victory away at Cranleigh is an impressive result for any side so they will be filled with confidence for the rest of the season.

All in all then, a wonderful start to the season across the board!

What do you think was the most impressive result/performance of the weekend? Let us know via the comment box below or via @FifteenRugbyXV

Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition Results:

Barnard Castle 23-0 Durham

Millfield 31-12 Warwick

RGS High Wycombe 19-22 Wellington College

Stamford 19-18 Stowe

Whitgift 24-22 Sedbergh

Schools Rugby Results, 06/09/14

Adams Grammar School 0-38 Lymm High School

Austin Friars 29-12 Giggleswick

Berkhamsted 43-0 St Albans

Bishop’s Stortford High School 20-17 Ravens Wood

Bradford Gramamr School 31-12 Ampleforth College

Bristol Grammar School 29-7 KES Bath

Campion 6-13 Dulwich College (DMT)

Canford 53-7 Portsmouth Grammar School (DMT)

Caterham 3-46 King’s Canterbury

Cheltenham College 11-10 Rugby

Clifton College 39-7 Pate’s Grammar School (DMT)

Colston’s 23-24 Prior Park

Cranleigh 23-28 Brighton College (DMT)

Denstone College 17-27 Bromsgrove (DMT)

Eastbourne College 24-25 Cranbrook

Ellesmere College 5-24 Kirkham Grammar School (DMT)

Exeter 32-10 Taunton School

Felsted 47-26 Eltham College

George Watsons 0-10 RGS Newcastle

Glyn 0-43 Reed’s (DMT)

Haileybury 24-22 St Paul’s

Hampton 62-7 Judd

Harrow 3-20 Bedford Modern

Hymers College 27-14 Yarm (DMT)

John Fisher 41-5 Hurstpierpoint (DMT)

King’s Bruton 8-12 Dean Close

King’s Worcester 9-7 Trent College (DMT)

Loughborough Grammar School 7-40 Oakham (DMT)

Malvern College 21-12 Magdalen College (DMT)

Monmouth 25-10 Marlborough College (DMT)

New Hall 12-78 St Joseph’s College

Old Swinford Hospital 0-42 Solihull (DMT)

Oundle 15-13 Bedford (DMT)

Princethorpe 20-12 King Henry VII Coventry

QEGS Wakefield 0-12 King’s Macclesfield (DMT)

RGS Lancaster 24-10 Crossley Heath (DMT)

RGS Worcester 17-3 KES Birmingham (DMT)

Sevenoaks 23-14 Christ’s Hospital

Sherborne 33-5 Blundell’s (DMT)

Skinners’ 28-27 KCS Wimbledon (DMT)

St Ambrose College 5-29 Manchester Grammar School (DMT)

St Edward’s Oxford 31-32 Abingdon

St John’s Leatherhead 12-13 Pangbourne College

Grammar School at Leeds 59-7 St Peter’s, York (DMT)

King’s Grantham 34-17 Nottingham High School

Tiffin 31-13 Wallington Country Grammar

Tonbridge 23-34 Epsom College (DMT)

Uppingham 24-13 The Perse

Wimbledon College 25-20 RGS Guildford (DMT)

Wolverhampton Grammar School 10-10 Ratcliffe College

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