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Schools Rugby Weekend Preview & Predictions – Saturday 11th October

Another huge weekend of schools rugby beckons, with some exciting local derbies, some top end head to head encounters, and even a Sunday game.

Plenty of teams will be doubling up after midweek exertions, so tiredness and rotation could throw in an interesting element to the weekend, but that ought only to make things more exciting.

Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition

Once more we start with our prediction competition, which you can enter here – Prediction Competition. This week it includes two local derbies, the triple NatWest Schools Cup Champions, their opponents in last year’s final and semi final, and a North of England clash between two high flyers.

Barnard Castle v Hymers College

 

Barnard Castle have lost just once this season, to RGS Newcastle, and are in the quarter finals of the new Schools Champions Trophy, while Hymers College are unbeaten, having won their opening six games – making this a really intriguing fixture.

Their common opponents have been Durham and Yarm, so it is to those games where the most clues probably lie. Barnard Castle won theirs by a slightly greater margin, suggesting that they might just be favourites on Saturday but it is very tight. All we can say for certain is that this will be Hymers’ toughest test to date.

Prediction – Barnard Castle, by a whisker.

 

 

Dulwich College v Bedford

 

Dulwich are unbeaten in their opening six games, beating Campion, Brighton College, Trinity, and KCS Wimbledon, and drawing with Wellington College. When you see the sides that those teams have beaten, you really get a sense of how good Dulwich are.

Bedford’s season has been mixed, they have played seven, won four, and lost three. However they are no middle of the road side, they are quite capable of beating anyone. Defeats have come to top class opposition.

Neverthless, Dulwich are probably just favourites but Bedford are more than capable of winning this one, and ahead of the St Joseph’s Festival, it would be a strong statement too.

Prediction – Dulwich College

 

 

Radley College v Abingdon

 

The first of our big derby games, these two are located not much more than a stone throw apart and always produce a decent game.

Abingdon have been in good form, beating the likes of St Edward’s Oxford and Cheltenham, while Radley have lost three times, their only victory coming over St Paul’s last week. Those defeats have been to Sherborne, Eton, and Tonbridge though, three top class sides, and Radley have battled all the way with them.

You get the sense that they are desperate to get than win/loss margin closer to an even keel and they may just be favourites. Abingdon a riding the crest of a wave though, it will be close.

Prediction – Radley College, just.

 

 

Warwick v RGS High Wycombe

 

Last year’s NatWest Cup finalists against the semi finalists, two of the top teams in the country over the last couple of years – this is a big one.

Warwick are on an even keel at the moment, played four won two. But their fixture list is what excites, victories over Bromsgrove and Whitgift do not come easily, while defeat to Stowe and Millfield is a fate that almost any side would suffer. They will be feeling confident, and buoyed by victory against Whitgift last week.

RGS started the season with two losses, a narrow defeat to Wellington was excusable, but then a thumping at the hands of Millfield could really have thrown the train from the tracks. However since then victories over Sir Thomas Rich’s, John Fisher, and Hampton have followed – RGS are firmly back on track.

Will they beat Warwick though? It will be close, either could win but home advantage and that confidence boost last weekend might just see Warwick take it.

Prediction – Warwick

 

 

Whitgift v John Fisher

 

One of the most well supported and fierce derby matches in the country, this one always produces the goods. Last year they played twice, the first, at John Fisher, was an absolute thriller, which Whitgift nicked by a point, the second, in the NatWest Cup at Whitgift, was a little simpler for Whitgift – they won 29-6.

Fisher will be desperate to erase those memories and to get a victory to their name, it will be tough though Whitgift look in good shape this year, they beat Sedbergh on the opening day and only narrowly lost to both Wellington College and Warwick, although successive defeats may just have dented their confidence.

Fisher come into this game with the exact opposite feeling. Having lost to Trinity and RGS High Wycombe in successive weeks, they have since beaten Glyn and Ravens Wood, scoring a whopping 126 points in the process and conceding just 6.

However, they are yet to beat any of their top tier opponents yet, Saturday could be that chance, but Whitgift will be doing everything in their power to stop them and claim another big scalp of their own. Ultimately though, this game is about heart and passion as much as form.

Prediction – Whitgift

 

It is all set to be an incredibly tight set of games in the prediction competition then, but that is not where it ends, there are still plenty of other exciting fixtures.

Five Previews

Bryanston v Blundell’s

 

Bryanston have not had the start to the season that they would have hoped for, theyare yet to pick up a win, though their opponents have been fiercely tough.

Blundell’s has been better, they have won three and lost three, but they will be hoping for a better return as the season progresses. Bryanston are traditionally a tough opponent, but Blundell’s seen the side in better form right now.

Prediction – Blundell’s.

 

 

Cranleigh v Tonbridge

 

A real heavyweight tussle this, Tonbridge’s only defeats this season have come to Epsom College and Millfield, two of the very best in the country, while victories over Radley and Eton, among others, show their strength.

Cranleigh have not quite hit the heights of yesteryear, losing three of their opening five games, however they are still a force to be reckoned with, they provided Epsom with one of their sternest tests of the season and will take some beating.

Prediction – Tonbridge

 

 

Eton College v Wellington College

 

Eton are a top class side this season, as shown by their presence in the Champions Trophy quarter finals, however Wellington are right up at the very top, as their victory over Millfield on Wednesday showed.

Interestingly, Eton’s staff were at the game as they face Millfield after this one in that Champions Trophy quarter final, so they will have seen how much that game will have taken out of Wellington for Saturday. That could be their opening, and it will be interesting to see if Wellington rest anyone, as it will for Millfield’s tough game against Bromsgrove, if either side gets it wrong they could end up losing this weekend. Wellington will be confident though.

Prediction – Wellington College

 

 

Trinity v Brighton College

 

This will be an interesting one for Trinity, their first real test after their first defeat of the season to Dulwich College. This ought to be pretty even. Brighton College also lost to Dulwich College, 20-15 last weekend, but have suffered another defeat, unlike Trinity, to Reed’s.

That probably just about makes Trinity favourites but it will be very tight indeed and either side could take it.

Prediction – Trinity, just.

 

 

Uppingham v Stamford

 

Stamford continued their unbeaten start with a 10-9 victory over Bedford Modern last week, but crucially it was away from home, their first away game of the season. It proved the point that they are a very good side this year.

This week they have their second away game, against their local rivals Uppingham. Stamford will be favourites for this one, and their record is superior to Uppingham’s, however local derbies always have a bit of an edge, and historically Uppingham have had the edge over Stamford and some of the long standing members of staff will be reminding them of that this week.

Prediction – Stamford

 

Elsewhere

There are other fascinating fixtures going on all over the country, Sedbergh v Durham has been one of the real heavyweight northern tussles lately but this year Durham are struggling a bit so Sedbergh will be expecting a solid win. Over in Kirkham this could get interesting, can the superbly in form Kirkham beat Denstone College, who have a strong reputation this year.

Cheltenham College v Sherborne is a bit of a classic schoolboy fixture, however this season Cheltenham are struggling a bit, while Sherborne are getting back to where they will feel they belong.

Heading back up North, Grammar School at Leeds will look to continue their fine opening to the season as they travel the short distance to Grammar School at Leeds.

Sunday

On Sunday Marlborough College welcome Clifton College in the Governor’s Cup, a celebration of 150 years of matches between the two schools, having both played their first inter-schools fixture back in 1864 against one another.

It ought to be a superb occasion, and is preceded by an old boys game between the two schools, making a large and boisterous crowd a near certainty. It should be a superb occasion.

Do you agree with our predictions? Have we missed any games off? Let us know what you think via the comment box below or through @FifteenRugbyXV

 

If you have any match reports, videos, photos, or other content, please feel free to send it in to promotions@fifteenrugby.com – we are always happy to have contributors!

Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition:

Barnard Castle v Hymers College

Dulwich College v Bedford

Radley College v Abingdon

Warwick v RGS High Wycombe

Whitgift v John Fisher

Five Previewed Fixtures:

Bryanston v Blundell’s

Cranleigh v Tonbridge

Eton College v Wellington College

Trinity v Brighton College

Uppingham v Stamford

Other Fixtures:

Ampleforth College v RGS Newcastle

Berkhamsted v Bedford Modern

Bishop Wordsworth v Kingswood

Bloxham v Dean Close

Bradford GS v Grammar School at Leeds

Bromsgrove v Millfield

Campion v Chislehurst & Sidcup GS

Cheltenham College v Sherborne

Crossley Heath v QEGS Wakefield

Eltham College v Cranbrook

Epsom College v Eastbourne College

Glyn v Seaford College

King’s College Taunton v Bristol GS

King’s Worcester v Loughborough GS

Kirkham GS v Denstone College

Malvern College v RGS Worcester

Mill Hill v Sevenoaks

Oratory v Canford

Pangbourne College v Shiplake College

Portsmouth GS v Magdalen College

QEH v Pate’s GS

Reed’s v King’s Canterbury

Reigate GS v Lord Wandsworth College

Richard Hale v Northampton School for Boys

RGS Guildford v St John’s Leatherhead

RGS Lancaster v Stonyhurst College

Sedbergh v Durham

Skinners’ v Judd

St Ambrose College v Sandbach

St Peter’s Gloucester v Solihull

Wimbledon College v St George’s, Weybridge

Wirral GS v Wilmslow HS

Woodhouse Grove v Lymm HS

Worksop v Trent College

Wrekin v Ellesmere College

Yarm v Dame Allan’s

Sunday

Marlborough College v Clifton College

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