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Millfield & Dulwich set the early pace – 2014 St Joseph’s Festival Day 1 Results & Standings, Day 2 Groups & Fixtures

The St Joseph’s Festival is always a great mixture of passion, celebration, and nerves and today was no different as we once again were treated to an annual showcasing of schools rugby at its very best.

Millfield, Dulwich College, and Bedford all finished the day unbeaten and at the top of their respective groups to head tomorrow’s Cup Pool draws, with St Joseph’s College also topping their group after bouncing back from an early, and what could have been potentially tournament ruining defeat to Brighton College.

St Joseph’s led 13-0 at half time in their opening game of the competition against Brighton College, before a stunning second half comeback saw the south coast side win 14-13, sending the home crowd into a state of nerves for the remainder of the afternoon.

It served for great entertainment though, making Group 1 the group to watch all day, particularly after Merchiston Castle then beat Brighton College in their next game.

That meant that going into the final round Brighton, and St Joseph’s had both won one and lost one, while Merchiston had won two (RGS Newcastle had lost out to both St Jo’s and Merchiston).

With Brighton facing RGS and Merchiston challenging St Joseph’s, the battle looked uphill for the hosts. Merchiston looked incredibly strong all day, and indeed could cause some real strife tomorrow, and were perhaps marginal favourites. However there is something about this crowd, this passion, this competition that just inspires St Joseph’s when they need it.

Perhaps it was the presence of last year’s winners, perhaps it was the memory of it, or perhaps it was the desire among this group to create their own history, whatever it was though it worked, as St Joseph’s won 15-0 to top the group, with Merchiston following them after Brighton lost to RGS.

Elsewhere things were somewhat more sedate. Dulwich waltzed into the Cup competition, topping their group and scoring a massive 71 points, conceding just 19, and positioning themselves as one of the big favourites for the competition. Their maul looks as strong as ever, while Pierre Thompson looks calm at 9 and Anthony Nzegwu looks at home in his new slot at 12.

The fight for the second cup place in group 2 was more of a scrap. Late replacements St Peter’s Gloucester fought RGS all the way for it, and it ended up with a showdown between the two in the final game. RGS won 8-3 to secure their spot but they will be looking for more points tomorrow.

It Dulwich waltzed through Group 2, then finding an adequate adjective for Millfield’s progress through Group 3 is no easy task. You could say they just blew the opposition away, yet it all seemed so calm and sedate. Either way, it was highly impressive. They scored ninety-three points, conceding just 6, and did not concede a single try.

Hampton, who ended up without a win, gave them their toughest test, holding them to just 12-3 before they tore apart Denstone College 36-3 and Bradford Grammar 45-0. With their pack firing and producing quick ball, and the likes of Darren Atkins carving through the opposition at will, they join Dulwich at the top of the favourites pile.

Bradford Grammar join them in the Cup, despite that defeat, having already wrapped up qualification ahead of that Millfield with victories over Hampton and Denstone College.

Bedford topped Group 4 and like Dulwich and Millfield, they did so without defeat, though without quite the same fanfare, theirs was a far more nip and tuck group. In fairness though, from the day the draw was released, that always looked likely. Bedford, John Fisher, Solihull, and QEGS Wakefield all looked capable of testing one another.

In that light Bedford’s unbeaten day looks all the more impressive as does the fact that their best performance, a 20-7 victory over John Fisher, came in the final game shoot out for top spot between the pair, suggesting Bedford can definitely cope with the pressure.

All of which means that tomorrow in the Cup Group A, pool winners St Joseph’s College and Dulwich College are grouped with Bradford Grammar and John Fisher.

Meanwhile in Cup Group B Millfield and Bedford go through as winners and are grouped with Merchiston Castle and last year’s finalists RGS High Wycombe. The winners of each group will meet in the Cup Final at 16.15 tomorrow.

The Plate sees Brighton College, St Peter’s Gloucester, Solihull, and Hampton in Group W, with Denstone College, QEGS Wakefield, RGS Newcastle, and Whitchurch High in Group X, with the winner of each group meeting in the Plate Final at 15.30.

Another superb day of rugby beckons!

Who do you think will win the 2014 St Joseph’s Festival? Let us know via @FifteenRugbyXV or via the comment box below.

2014 St Joseph’s Festival Day 1 Results & Standings – Day 2 Groups & Fixtures:

St Joseph’s Festival Day One Results:

Group 1

Brighton College 14-13 St Joseph’s College

Merchiston Castle 17-0 RGS Newcastle

RGS Newcastle 0-26 St Joseph’s College

Brighton College 6-31 Merchiston Castle

Merchiston Castle 0-15 St Joseph’s College

Brighton College 12-20 RGS Newcastle

Group 2

Dulwich College 23-5 RGS High Wycombe

St Peter’s, Gloucester 13-3 Whitchurch High

Dulwich College 41-7 St Peter’s, Gloucester

RGS High Wycombe 17-13 Whitchurch High

Dulwich College 17-7 Whitchurch High

RGS High Wycombe 8-3 St Peter’s, Gloucester

Group 3

Hampton 3-12 Millfield

Bradford Grammar School 20-12 Denstone College

Denstone College 3-36 Millfield

Bradford Grammar School 8-5 Hampton

Bradford Grammar School 0-45 Millfield

Denstone College 12-7 Hampton

Group 4

John Fisher 14-0 Solihull

Bedford 19-10 QEGS Wakefield

John Fisher 19-5 QEGS Wakefield

Bedford 7-5 Solihull

Bedford 20-7 John Fisher

QEGS Wakefield 5-0 Solihull

Day One Final Tables:

St Joseph’s Festival Day 1 Group 1 Final Standings

Pos

Team

W

D

L

P

1

St Joseph’s College

2

0

1

4

2

Merchiston Castle

2

0

1

4

3

Brighton College

1

0

2

2

4

RGS Newcastle

1

0

2

2

St Joseph’s Festival Day 1 Group 2 Final Standings

Pos

Team

W

D

L

P

1

Dulwich College

3

0

0

6

2

RGS High Wycombe

2

0

1

4

3

St Peter’s Gloucester

1

0

2

2

4

Whitchurch High School

0

0

3

0

St Joseph’s Festival Day 1 Group 3 Final Standings

Pos

Team

W

D

L

P

1

Millfield

3

0

0

6

2

Bradford Grammar School

2

0

1

4

3

Denstone College

1

0

2

2

4

Hampton

0

0

3

0

St Joseph’s Festival Day 1 Group 4 Final Standings

Pos

Team

W

D

L

P

1

Bedford

3

0

0

6

2

John Fisher

2

0

1

4

3

QEGS Wakefield

1

0

2

2

4

Solihull

0

0

3

0

St Joseph’s Festival Day Two Groups:

St Josephs Festival Day Two Cup Groups

Group A

Group B

St Joseph’s College

Millfield

Dulwich College

Bedford

Bradford Grammar School

Merchiston Castle

John Fisher

RGS High Wycombe

St Josephs Festival Day Two Plate Groups

Group W

Group X

Brighton College

Denstone College

St Peter’s Gloucester

QEGS Wakefield

Hampton

RGS Newcastle

Solihull

Whitchurch High School

Day Two Fixtures:

08.30 – Brighton College v Solihull – Pitch 1

08.30 – St Peter’s Gloucester v Hampton – Pitch 2

09.05 – St Joseph’s College v John Fisher – Pitch 1

09.05 – Dulwich College v Bradford Grammar School – Pitch 2

09.40 – Denstone College v Whitchurch HS – Pitch 1

09.40 – QEGS Wakefield v RGS Newcastle – Pitch 2

10.15 – Millfield v RGS High Wycombe – Pitch 1

10.15 – Bedford v Merchiston Castle – Pitch 2

10.50 – Hampton v Brighton College – Pitch 1

10.50 – St Peter’s Gloucester v Solihull – Pitch 2

11.25 – St Joseph’s College v Bradford Grammar School – Pitch 1

11.25 – Dulwich College v John Fisher – Pitch 2

12.00 – Denstone College v RGS Newcastle – Pitch 1

12.00 – QEGS Wakefield v Whitchurch – Pitch 2

12.35 – Millfield v Merchiston Castle – Pitch 1

12.35 – Bedford v RGS High Wycombe – Pitch 2

13.10 – Brighton College v St Peter’s Gloucester – Pitch 1

13.10 – Hampton v Solihull – Pitch 2

13.45 – St Joseph’s College v Dulwich College – Pitch 1

13.45 – Bradford Grammar School v John Fisher – Pitch 2

14.20 – Denstone College v QEGS Wakefield – Pitch 1

14.20 – RGS Newcastle v Whitchurch – Pitch 2

14.55 – Millfield v Bedford – Pitch 1

14.55 – Merchiston Castle v RGS High Wycombe – Pitch 2

15.30 – Plate Final – Pitch 1

16.15 – Cup Final – Pitch 1

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