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Schools Rugby Weekend Preview & Predictions – Exciting fixtures all around

After a sensational day at Allianz Park for the Champions Trophy final and some brilliant NatWest Cup action, the weekend is suddenly on the horizon.

We should be set for yet another grandstand Saturday of school rugby with some fascinating fixtures around the country.

Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition

This week’s Daily Mail Trophy prediction competition looks like a fascinating one, with five huge games – you can still enter it here: Prediction Competition.

Bedford v Abingdon

 

This ought to be an excellent game, Bedford are a top team but Abingdon have been in superb form, not least in this second half of term where they are unbeaten, winning against Eton College, Rugby, and RGS Guildford.

Bedford have had some excellent wins this season and since half term have enjoyed excellent victories over Radley College and Culford, and ran the excellent Warwick close despite eventually falling to defeat. This game should be another close one, but home advantage may just play to Bedford’s hands.

Prediction – Bedford, just.

 

Oakham v Uppingham

 

After a shaky start to the season Oakham have really progressed, eventually reaching the inaugural Schools Champions Trophy semi final. Unfortunately it was a tough old week for the Rutland side who played and lost to Stamford on either side of that Millfield semi final.

Uppingham have not had their best year, suffering some heavy defeats to teams they would ordinarily like to compete hard against, however this Rutland derby always produces a huge crowd and a competitive game, and you can be sure that there will be fireworks on Saturday.

Prediction – Oakham

 

Sherborne v Clifton College

 

Since half term Sherborne have played five and won five, two NatWest Cup fixtures and three victories over St Paul’s, Bryanston, and Canford respectively, they are a side bang in form and looking to prove it again against a good Clifton side.

Clifton are in similarly good form though, they have won all three games since half term, v Blundell’s, St Peter’s, and Bristol Grammar, a run that stretches all the way back to late September.

Choosing between the two is tough, they have both faced and beaten pretty similar opposition, and predicting this one is as much a hunch as anything else.

Prediction – Clifton, just.

 

St Joseph’s College v Stowe

 

This is an absolutely titanic clash. It is a long trip from Stowe to St Joseph’s (Fifteen Rugby did it under severe time pressure earlier in the year to watch both play on the same day), which could help the home side but these are two top teams who, one would think, will play out a superb game.

St Joseph’s reached their own festival final and coming off a big revenge mission against Campion in the NatWest Cup they will be on a real high.

Stowe have, festival aside, faced much tougher opposition than St Joseph’s in general though and have an excellent record this season. That extra battle hardness could play into their hands on Saturday, negating the effect of the long journey.

Prediction – Stowe

 

Woodhouse Grove v Kirkham Grammar School

 

Woodhouse Grove started the season poorly but the 2013 Daily Mail Trophy Champions have been in brilliant form lately, they ended Grammar School at Leeds’ unbeaten run and have beaten Durham and will welcome Kirkham full of confidence of an upset.

However Kirkham Grammar School could scarcely be more confident, they are unbeaten this season, and that includes victories over Tonbridge and the truly outstanding Sedbergh. It is tough to see them tripping up now after such outstanding performances.

Prediction – Kirkham Grammar School

 

Five Previews

As always, there are plenty of exciting fixtures outside of our prediction competition, including the five below that we have picked out.

Bradford Grammar School v RGS Newcastle

 

These two sides have had good season and have both been in superb form since half term, with each winning three from three. RGS have generally had bigger scorelines since the break, which might suggest they are favourites, though Bradford may have had slightly tougher opponents and are riding the crest of a wave after a sensational comeback against QEGS Wakefield last weekend.

It should be a cracking game.

Prediction – Bradford GS, just.

 

Cheltenham College v Bromsgrove

 

This is a game that historically ought to be a cracker, however while over the last couple of months Cheltenham have been in good form, it would be a real shock to see this game turn against Bromsgrove. Bromsgrove have proven themselves to be one of the top teams in the country, a win over Millfield was a real high point, and they have lost just twice all year, to the excellent Warwick and Monmouth.

Prediction – Bromsgrove

 

Dulwich College v Tonbridge

 

Dulwich had been on a brilliant unbeaten run until the met Whitgift two weeks ago. Since then they have suffered two defeats in a row, to Whitgift and Hampton, both were comebacks after Dulwich had led – surely a hammerblow to their confidence.

A tough fixture against Tonbridge, who have won all three of their games since half term, would not be the ideal fixture, and Tonbridge will be looking to make it four in a row for sure having been one of the top sides around in the opening few weeks of the season.

Predictions – Dulwich, just.

 

Monmouth v Millfield

 

This will be a very interesting game – will Millfield be fresh enough after their Champions Trophy Final triumph on Wednesday, and will they have to keep an eye on next week’s midweek encounter with Sedbergh?

They will have to be at their best as Monmouth have been in terrific form all season, losing just once, and that was to the very excellent Crawshays Welsh.

It should be a brilliant game, Millfield will be favourite if they play to their best but if they are off their best by even a little, Monmouth will pounce.

Prediction – Millfield.

 

Eton College v John Fisher

Always a feisty encounter, this should be a fascinating encounter. Earlier in the season you would have predicted this to be a decent win for Eton College, they were in supreme from while John Fisher were struggling a little. However over the past few weeks Fisher’s form has really started to lift off, with last weekend’s win over Brighton College a real highlight. Eton meanwhile have stalled just a touch, though the tough opposition they face mitigates more than a little.

It ought to be a fascinating game of rugby, but with home advantage and a maul that is near enough unstopable, Eton are problably just favourites.

Prediction – Eton College

 

Other Fixtures

Canford v Marlborough College ought to be an excellent game between two well matched sides. Harrow v Radley will be another even encounter, whilst one of the most exciting fixtures on the card will be Bristol Grammar School’s trip up to Yorkshire to face QEGS Wakefield, which ought to be a wonderful occasion.

Do you agree with our predictions for this weekend’s school fixtures? Let us know via @FifteenRugbyXV or via the comment box below.

Schools Rugby Weekend Fixtures (predictions in bold):

Prediction Competition:

Bedford v Abingdon

Oakham v Uppingham

Sherborne v Clifton College

St Joseph’s College v Stowe

Woodhouse Grove v Kirkham GS

Five Previews:

Bradford GS v RGS Newcastle

Cheltenham College v Bromsgrove

Dulwich College v Tonbridge

Monmouth v Millfield

Eton College v John Fisher

Other Fixtures:

Adams GS v KES Birmingham

Bablake v Lawrence Sheriff

Barnard Castle v Ashville

Beechen Cliff v QEH

Bishop’s Stortford College v Framlingham

Bishop Veseys v King’s Worcester

Bishop Wordsworth v King Edward’s, Southampton

Blundell’s v Taunton

Brighton College v Eastbourne College

Campion v Judd

Canford v Marlborough College

Cranleigh v Caterham

Ellesmere College v Wilmslow High

Eltham College v Hampton

Epsom College v St John’s Leatherhead

Grammar School at Leeds v Stockport Grammar

Haileybury v Oundle

Harrogate GS v Dame Allan’s

Harrow v Radley College

Hurstpierpoint College v Christ’s Hospital

Hymers College v Birkdale

KCS Wimbledon v Reed’s

KES Bath v Prior Park

King’s College Taunton v Exeter School

King’s Canterbury v Sutton Valence

Kingswood v Dean Close

Langley Park v Whitgift

Lymm HS v Audenshaw

Magdalen College v The Oratory

Norwich v Royal Hospital School

Nottingham HS v Bedford Modern

Pangbourne College v Worth

Pocklington v Yarm

QES Barnet v City of London Freemens

QEGS Wakefield v Bristol GS

Reading Blue Coat v St George’s Weybridge

Reigate GS v Sevenoaks

RGS Guildford v Tiffin

RGS Lancaster v Merchant Taylors’

RGS Worcester v Pate’s GS

Rugby v Berkhamsted

Sir Thomas Rich’s v Loughborough GS

Skinners’ v Chislehurst & Sidcup

St Albans v Stamford

St Edward’s, Oxford v Malvern College

St Peter’s York v Durham

Trent College v Solihull

Wellington College v St Paul’s

Wimbledon College v Trinity

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