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School Rugby Weekend Preview & Predictions

The second weekend of the school rugby season is now fast approaching and looks every bit as exciting as the first.

There are even more fixtures this week as some of the late starters open their account for the season on Saturday, while for those on the second week of the season it is now the time to either cement or to reverse the impression that they made on the opening weekend.

Prediction Competition

As ever we have selected five fixtures to feature in our Daily Mail Trophy prediction competition (click here to enter), all five look to be very exciting games.

Bedford v Uppingham

 

Bedford lost their opening game of the season by two points away at Oundle, while Uppingham clocked a decent victory at home over The Perse, having beaten Loughborough Grammar School a week previously.

It ought to be a very close fixture, Bedford have been a top class side over the past couple of seasons, while Uppingham have been taking short steps back towards the proud best and having begun the year with two wins, they seem to be getting there.

It ought to be a close one but home advantage may just give Bedford the edge.

Prediction – Bedford win.

 

King’s Worcester v Solihull

 

Both of these sides have begun well, King’s Worcester gave KES Five Ways a real lesson last week before just nudging out Trent College at the weekend, while Solihull gave 2012 NatWest Cup finalists Old Swinford Hospital a heavy beating last week before beating Brynteg away yesterday.

Solihull were certainly the better of the two last year, however it looks like things will be a little closer this time around. With this being a local derby it is sure to be a hotly contested affair, early season form would suggest that Solihull are probably just favourites but not by miles.

Prediction – Solihull win.

 

Millfield v RGS High Wycombe

 

Two of the best teams in the country last season and likely to be two of the best again this. Millfield won on opening day, beating Warwick to avenge their draw last year, while RGS lost a close game at home against the excellent Wellington College.

There should not be too much read into that defeat though, after all Wellington are definitely a top side so to hold them close suggests RGS are still a top outfit too.

Like many games this weekend, the suggestion is that this one will be close. However our feeling is that Millfield have really got the bit between their teeth and may just have a bit too much on Saturday for RGS, particularly at home. It should be one of the very best games of the weekend though – not one to miss.

Prediction – Millfield win.

 

Radley College v Sherborne

 

This game is Radley College’s centenary match and there are in excess of a thousand spectators expected, making this one of the game not just of the weekend but of the season.

Radley have deeply impressed us over the past couple of years but Sherborne too have been good, blasting schools aside in 2012/13 before a slightly fallow year last year. After a strong victory against Blundell’s last week, suspicion is that they may be in 12/13 form rather than 13/14.

That win could benefit them on Saturday too as they have confidence behind them, while Radley come in cold, with this being their first game of the season. However, surely, given the number of supporters and the prestigious occasion, the script must be in Radley College’s favour on Saturday. The players must not let the pressure overwhelm them though.

Prediction – Radley College win.

 

Wellington College v Dulwich College

 

A fixture to catch the eye of anyone with even a passing interest in schoolboy rugby. Their draw on the opening weekend of the 2012/13 season was one of the highlights of the last few years of schoolboy rugby, a game between two teams who were playing at the absolute pinnacle of the school game at the time. Think Leicester Tigers v London Wasps back in the mid 2000s.

Since then Wellington have consistently shown themselves to be among the top three sides in the country on a consistent basis, while Dulwich have added the 2013 and 2014 Schools Cup trophies to add to their 2012 triumph.

Last week Wellington again showed their class with an away win at RGS High Wycombe, while Dulwich struggled away against Campion. That would suggest that Wellington must be favourites for this one but commentators should be weary of writing Dulwich off. Many did last season but the South East London school had the last laugh, winning the NatWest Cup for the third time in a row.

Prediction – Wellington College win.

 

Five Previews:

Bedford Modern v Haileybury

 

A very interesting game this one. Both teams surprised onlookers by securing well earned victories last weekend. Bedford Modern beating Harrow 20-3 and Haileybury scoring a last minute penalty to beat St Paul’s 24-22.

Those victories make this game a really important one for both sides, secure a second victory and the momentum is really with them, lose and that opening day high may end up lost.

Predictions are not easy for this one but our suspicion is that Haileybury may just have it, however with home advantage and a more secure victory to their name last weekend, many onlookers will back Bedford Modern.

Prediction – Haileybury win.

 

St Paul’s v Marlborough College

 

Both fell to away defeats last week, St Paul’s to Haileybury as explained above and Marlborough to Monmouth.

St Paul’s will probably be the more disappointed of the two, however both will be desperate to get their seasons on the right track with victory on Saturday.

Marlborough have probably been the more consistent across the last couple of years, though St Paul’s have been far form slouches, so are probably just favourites. It will be very tight though.

Prediction – Marlborough College win.

 

Stowe v Oakham

 

Stowe won at the Tynedale Festival and possibly should have become the first side to break Stamford’s three year unbeaten home run last weekend before a late try saw victory snatched from their fingers.

Oakham may not be the side that won Schools Cups back at the turn of the century but they are still a mighty good rugby school, victory against Loughborough Grammar was good last weekend and after their game with Craighouse this afternoon we will know even more about them.

In many ways though Stowe probably need victory more, being at home, and having such a gut wrenching defeat last week they will be under pressure from themselves to get a win on the board and to justify the pre season hype that many, including us, gave them.

Prediction – Stowe win.

 

Warwick v Bromsgrove

 

A local derby and a classic schoolboy rugby fixture. Warwick lost away at Millfield last week while Bromsgrove won away at Denstone College. Those results do not tell us too much as they were probably roughly what was expected, however we do know that these are two very decent sides.

Warwick’s Schools Cup runs at both U18 and U15 level over the last few years tells us that they have a truly excellent squad and system, while Bromsgrove have consistently been a good team for a number of years.

Warwick are probably the schools with more momentum at the moment though, despite defeat last week. It ought to be a brilliant game though, one that could swing either way.

Prediction – Warwick win.

 

Wimbledon College v KCS Wimbledon

 

The Wimbledon derby. This ought to be a feisty affair but it ought to have some decent quality about it too. College won their opening game of the season last weekend against RGS Guildford, while KCS entered the opening weekend having already played and beaten Caterham in midweek. They fell to a rather surprising one point defeat to Skinners’ at the weekend though, a real knock to their momentum.

That makes Saturday’s fixture even more intriguing – just how good is this KCS side compared to last year? If they are anything like as good then they should win but if they have slipped the Wimbledon College might well just take this derby fixture.

Prediction – KCS Wimbledon win.

 

Once again, it should be a fascinating weekend of schoolboy rugby!

Schools Rugby Fixtures, 13th September 2014 (Predictions in bold):

Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition Fixtures:

Bedford v Uppingham (DMT)

King’s Worcester v Solihull (DMT)

Millfield v RGS High Wycombe (DMT)

Radley College v Sherborne (DMT)

Wellington College v Dulwich College (DMT)

Previewed Fixtures:

Bedford Modern v Haileybury

St Paul’s v Marlborough College

Stowe v Oakham (DMT)

Warwick v Bromsgrove (DMT)

Wimbledon College v KCS Wimbledon (DMT)

Other Fixtures:

Abingdon v Berkhamsted

Ashville College v Pocklington (DMT)

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School v RGS Worcester

Bishop’s Stortford High School v St Joseph’s College

Bishop Wordsworth v Whitgift

Blundell’s v Bristol Grammar School (DMT)

Brighton College v Hurstpierpoint (DMT)

Caterham v Sutton Valence

Cheltenham College v Monmouth (DMT)

Christ’s Hosptial v Reigate Grammar School

Cranbrook v Sevenoaks

Dame Allan’s v Newcastle School for Boys

Dean Close v Colston’s

Denstone College v Adams Grammar School (DMT)

Eastbourne College v Tonbridge (DMT)

Ellesmere College v Old Swinford Hospital (DMT)

Epsom College v Harrow (DMT)

Grammar School at Leeds v Ampleforth College (DMT)

Hampton v RGS Guildford (DMT)

Hymers College v Bradford Grammar School (DMT)

John Fisher v Campion (DMT)

King’s Canterbury v Worth

King’s College Taunton v Clifton College (DMT)

Kingswood v KES Bath

Leicester Grammar School v Northampton School for Boys

Lord Wandsworth College v Portsmouth Grammar School

Lymm High School v St Joseph’s College, Stoke

Magdalen College v Bloxham

Manchester Grammar School v King’s Macclesfield (DMT)

Merchiston Castle v Bryanston

Mount St Mary’s v Stonyhurst

New Hall v The Perse

Oratory v Eton College (DMT)

Pangbourne College v Aylesbury Grammar School

Prior Park v Malvern College

QEH v Sir Thomas Rich’s

Ratcliffe College v Princethorpe College

Reed’s v St George’s Weybridge (DMT)

RGS Lancaster v QEGS Wakefield (DMT)

Sandbach v Kirkham Grammar School (DMT)

Sedbergh v George Watson’s

Shiplake College v Reading Blue Coat

Stamford v Oundle (DMT)

St Benedict’s v Watford Grammar School

St Edward’s College v St Ambrose College

St Edwards Oxford v Rugby

St John’s Leatherhead v Seaford (DMT)

St Peter’s York v Woodhouse Grove (DMT)

Stockport Grammar School v Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Trinity v Glyn (DMT)

Do you agree with our predictions? Let us know yours via @FifteenRugbyXV or comment at the bottom of the page.

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