What a superb weekend of Schools Rugby it was, with some truly outstanding games of rugby and some stunning results, including a few shocks.
All five fixtures in our Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition produced some great games and talking points, and as ever we begin there with our round up of the weekend.
Dulwich College were our favourites to beat Whitgift after an outstanding start to the season, and after keeping Whitgift under pressure for most of the game it looked like they might just do so. However a try in the last play of the game by England U18 full back Matt Gallagher secured a 12-10 win for Whitgift, the first defeat of the season for Dulwich.
Prior that the closest they had come to defeat was a draw against Wellington College, who earlier this week lost their unbeaten record in a stunning game against Sedbergh. A match against Epsom College on Saturday therefore seemed like one of the toughest follow ups to that defeat possible, but Wellington showed all of their outstanding quality to win 37-10 against the side that went over 12 months unbeaten up until October.
Oakham, the only other side to have defeated Epsom this season, were coming off the back of two defeats in a week, including their Champions Trophy semi final loss to Millfield, and faced a tough task away at Oundle, who have been excellent this season. Unfortunately for the away side it was a third loss from three as Oundle showed their quality to win 32-10.
The other defeated side in the Champions Trophy semi finals was Barnard Castle. The North-Eastern school made up for that in excellent fashion though, winning a fixture against one of the other greats of Northern Schools rugby, QEGS Wakefield, 24-16.
The final game in our Prediction Competition was an absolute classic between Marlborough College and Cheltenham College, which Marlborough managed to win in excellent fashion 28-23, a particularly brilliant result given Cheltenhamâ€™s outstanding recent run of form.
Our five previewed fixtures were no less exciting than our prediction competition fixtures, with two games in particular resonating across the country.
Sedbergh, so heroic on Tuesday in the victory over Wellington College, fell to the outstanding Kirkham Grammar School. Kirkham have been brilliant all year but Sedbergh were still favourites for this, however the with the draining effects from Tuesday and a fine performance from Kirkham, they were unable to, resulting in a superb 22-12 victory for Kirkham Grammar School.
If that was a surprise, it was nothing compared to what emerged from the 2013 Daily Mail Trophy Champions, Woodhouse Grove. They faced the unbeaten Grammar School at Leeds, who had just reached the first ever Champions Trophy final by beating Woodhouse Grove on Wednesday. That game had clearly drained them as Woodhouse Grove stepped up to the plate despite a slightly iffy season to beat their local rivals by a stunning 22-0 scoreline â€“ an absolutely outstanding result.
Brighton College continued their good run of from by beating the very much in form Seaford College 21-10, while Bedford beat a resurgent Radley College, buoyed by last weeks win over Marlborough, by 21-14.
St Paulâ€™s gave a good account of themselves against Tonbridge, however the Kent side had too much and won the game 15-10.
Around the grounds
Elsewhere there were plenty of other notable results, including a 13-10 victory for Monmouth over Bromsgrove. With both sides looking impressive this year, and both competing hard in the NatWest Cup, this was a huge win for the Welsh side.
Abingdon were highly impressive once again with a 33-3 win over Rugby, while Hampton secured another decent win, 27-13 against Campion.
Cranleigh look in good nick ahead of their clash with Wellington in midweek, they beat Hurstpierpoint 39-0 at home, and Warwick carried on their good form, beating Harrow 17-8.
Hymersâ€™ good season continues, they edged to a 6-3 win over Pocklington, that was in contrast to Kingswood, who put over fifty points on Colstonâ€™s.
RGS High Wycombe were in equally fine form, beating Northampton Schools for Boys 66-0, and Stamford made a further step towards an unbeaten season by beating Leicester Grammar Schools 38-7.
Millfield enjoyed a 15-3 win over Blundellâ€™s, RGS Newcastle also performed well, beating St Peter’s York 24-16. Old Swinford Hospital also surprised a few, beating RGS Worcester 23-5.
Sherborne and Stonyhurst were both in top form, recording big victories over Canford and Ampleforth College, while Trinity were in equally good form once again with a 57-30 win over Tiffin.
One game that was a real thriller was between Yarm and Durham, the two sides played out an absolute thriller that ended in a 27-27 draw, stunning stuff.
Finally to Uppingham, where Stowe continued their excellent season, securing a 36-10 victory as they prepare for Marlborough College in midweek.
On Friday Langley Park beat St Olaveâ€™s, while Shiplake saw off Lord Wandsworth College at Henley RFC. The undoubted highlight though was an excellent 33-7 victory for St Josephâ€™s College over Denstone College.
It truly was a brilliant weekend of schools rugby.
Schools Rugby Weekend Results:
Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition:
Dulwich College 10-12 Whitgift
Epsom College 10-37 Wellington College
Marlborough College 28-23 Cheltenham College
Oundle 32-10 Oakham
QEGS Wakefield 16-24 Barnard Castle
Five Previewed Fixtures:
Brighton College 21-10 Seaford College
Radley College 14-21 Bedford
Sedbergh 12-22 Kirkham GS
St Paulâ€™s 10-15 Tonbridge
Woodhouse Grove 22-0 Grammar School at Leeds
Abingdon 33-3 Rugby
Berkhamsted 37-5 Merchant Taylors
Bishopâ€™s Stortford College 0-5 The Perse
Bristol GS 8-5 Kingâ€™s Worcester
Bromsgrove 10-13 Monmouth
Campion 13-27 Hampton
Clifton College 48-10 St Peterâ€™s Gloucester
Colfeâ€™s 0-18 Eltham College
Cranleigh 39-0 Hurstpierpoint
Dean Close 7-20 Christ College
Eastbourne College 10-30 Skinnersâ€™
Ellesmere College 5-10 Malvern College
Felsted 36-6 Mill Hill
Harrow 8-17 Warwick
Hymers College 6-3 Pocklington
Judd 0-26 John Fisher
KCS Wimbledon 27-29 RGS Guildford
Kingâ€™s College, Taunton 48-3 Taunton School
Kingswood 54-0 Colstonâ€™s
Leicester GS 7-38 Stamford
Loughborough GS 34-10 Nottingham HS (NatWest Cup)
Millfield 15-3 Blundellâ€™s
Northampton School for Boys 0-66 RGS High Wycombe
Plymouth College 9-5 Llandovery College
Prior Park 17-3 Downside
Reedâ€™s 47-13 St Johnâ€™s, Leatherhead
Reigate GS 29-10 Sutton Valence
RGS Lancaster 22-24 Wilmslow High
RGS Newcastle 24-16 St Peterâ€™s, York
RGS Worcester 5-23 Old Swinford Hospital
Royal Hospital School 24-28 The Leys
Sevenoaks 6-12 Caterham
Sherborne 43-7 Canford
Sir Thomas Richâ€™s 14-13 Hereford Cathedral School
Solihull 19-17 KES Birmingham
St Ambrose College 22-55 Lymm High School
St Georgeâ€™s, Weybridge 42-8 Portsmouth GS
Stonyhurst 36-8 Ampleforth College
Tiffin 30-57 Trinity
Trent College 10-20 Bradford GS
Uppingham 10-36 Stowe
Yarm 27-27 Durham
Denstone College 7-33 St Josephâ€™s College
Langley Park 12-10 St Olaveâ€™s
Shiplake College 15-10 Lord Wandsworth College
Image Credit: Keith Patton