It was a weekend of schools rugby dominated by two big local derbies on Saturday and a 150th Anniversary game on Sunday.
That 150th Anniversary was between Marlborough College and Clifton College, which Clifton rose to excellently, winning 17-0, perhaps responding to the pressure of the occasion slightly better.
Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition
The two big derbies were both part of our weekly prediction competition. Whitgift v John Fisher in Croydon is one of the most fiercely contested and supported derbies every year, and this was no different.
Whitgift have probably been in slightly better nick though, despite losing to Wellington and Warwick in recent weeks, and they showed that by recovering from those defeats to beat their local rivals 38-10.
Warwick themselves had a big game, they faced fellow NatWest Cup semi finalists RGS High Wycombe. Warwick were favourites and showed as much as they raced to a half time lead, however RGS showed their quality to mount a bit of a comeback but it was not enough to stop Warwick winning 24-17.
The second big derby of the weekend was Radley College v Abingdon, the two are only separated by a mile or so, making this a genuine local derby. Radley have generally had the more success but Abingdon have bee in superb form of late, and showed that on Saturday, beating their hosts 31-26 â€“ a magnificent result.
Up in the North of England Hymers College were looking for their seventh win from seven this season, however in Barnard Castle they faced their toughest opponents of the year.
Barnard Castle play in the Champions Trophy on Wednesday against Marlborough, highlighting their quality. That quality shone through on Saturday as they inflicted a first defeat on Hymers, winning 22-0.
Dulwich also went into the weekend unbeaten, having won all of their games bar a draw away at Wellington College. They faced a strong Bedford side, who had reached the Champions Trophy last 16 before falling to the outstanding Grammar School at Leeds.
Bedford might well have fancied their chances of coming home with a result, however the triple NatWest Cup Champions were in no mood to slacken off, winning 26-8 to head into the St Josephâ€™s Festival in prime form.
Tonbridge have had an excellent start to the season, only losing to superstar school sides Epsom College and Wellington College, however they came unstuck on Saturday against a Cranleigh side who managed to piece together the promise of their opening few months to get that first real standout victory, winning Â 21-20.
Wellington College capped off an excellent week that began by beating Millfield with a 31-10 victory over Eton College, who must now travel to Millfield on Wednesday themselves in the Champions Trophy quarter final.
Blundellâ€™s heaped further misery on Bryanston, beating them 23-10, while Trinity School showed their class with an impressive 17-0 victory over Brighton College, making them one of the real standout sides of this half term.
The last of our previewed fixtures was Stamford v Uppingham. Stamford have been in excellent form, while Uppingham have been shaky. We had â€˜laid down the challengeâ€™ for Stamford last week of taking their home form on the road and they had done so, beating Bedford Modern by a point to make it five from five.
They went a step further on Saturday, continuing their unbeaten season with a truly staggering 57-3 away win over Uppingham. Looking through their remaining fixtures, it is going to be tough for anyone to prevent an unbeaten Stamford season.
There were some stunning other results too, Berkhamsted and Bedford have both been in magnificent form so a 22-22 draw in many ways was a fair reflection of that, and of a tense and exciting game. The Grammar School at Leeds bus keeps on rolling, they beat Bradford Grammar 22-10 ahead of their Champions Trophy quarter final on Thursday.
Millfield suffered their second defeat in a week after a stunning start to the season, losing 15-5 to Bromsgrove as they tried to manage their resources with back to back Wednesday fixtures on their card. A stunning result for Bromsgrove, who are looking thoroughly formidable this year.
Cheltenham College bounced back to form with an excellent 16-3 win over Sherborne, sending them bouncing into Thursday;s encounter with Radley. Epsom College look more than ready for their midweek Champions Trophy clash with Oakham, beating Eastbourne College by an incredible 86-0 scoreline â€“ are they the best around?
Sedbergh might fancy a claim at that title, they beat Durham by an equally breathtaking 75-17, not the first time the famous school has hit the seventies this season.
Just along the road Woodhouse Grove bounced back to winning ways, becoming the first side to defeat Lymm this season, winning 21-17.
Once again, another stunning weekend of school rugby!
Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition:
Barnard Castle 22-0 Hymers College
Dulwich College 26-8 Bedford
Radley College 26-31 Abingdon
Warwick 24-17 RGS High Wycombe
Whitgift 38-10 John Fisher
Five Previewed Fixtures:
Bryanston 10-23 Blundellâ€™s
Cranleigh 21-20 Tonbridge
Eton College 10-31 Wellington College
Trinity 17-0 Brighton College
Uppingham 3-57 Stamford
Marlborough College 0-17 Clifton College
Adams GS 3-25 Old Swinford Hospital
Ampleforth College 15-17 RGS Newcastle
Bablake 14-42 Princethorpe
Berkhamsted 22-22 Bedford Modern
Bishop Wordsworth 7-59 Kingswood
Bloxham 33-15 Dean Close
Bradford GS 10-22 Grammar School at Leeds
Bromsgrove 15-5 Millfield
Campion 20-23 Chislehurst & Sidcup GS
Cheltenham College 16-3 Sherborne
Crossley Heath 3-51 QEGS Wakefield
Eltham College 21-31 Cranbrook
Epsom College 86-0 Eastbourne College
Glyn 6-41 Seaford College
Kingâ€™s College Taunton 20-3 Bristol GS
Kingâ€™s Worcester 15-15 Loughborough GS
Kirkham GS 34-7 Denstone College
Malvern College 36-5 RGS Worcester
Mill Hill 38-10 Sevenoaks
Monmouth 17-9 Sir Thomas Richâ€™s
Oratory 20-22 Canford
Pangbourne College 30-32 Shiplake College
Portsmouth GS 7-30 Magdalen College
QEH 10-34 Pateâ€™s GS
Reedâ€™s 39-24 Kingâ€™s Canterbury
Reigate GS 19-33 Lord Wandsworth College
RGS Guildford 35-15 St Johnâ€™s Leatherhead
RGS Lancaster 12-36 Stonyhurst College
Sedbergh 75-17 Durham
Skinnersâ€™ 21-7 Judd
St Ambrose College 16-21 Sandbach
St Benedictâ€™s 40-8 London Oratory
St Paulâ€™s 23-18 Harrow
St Peterâ€™s Gloucester 18-22 Solihull
Wimbledon College 23-3 St Georgeâ€™s, Weybridge
Woodhouse Grove 21-17 Lymm HS
Worksop 9-13 Trent College
Worth 42-24 Hurstpierpoint
Yarm 32-22 Dame Allanâ€™sÂ
Image via Keith Patton
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