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Part of the aim of the newsletter is to give those of you who might not get the chance to have a look in to the website every day to get a quick snapshot of what has been happening in the schools rugby world. So here are 5 key items from the schools rugby world this week for you:
Champions Trophy Final
On Wednesday afternoon at Allianz Park, Bedford became the second side, after Millfield last year, to win the Champions Trophy. They did so with a quite brilliant performance against a brave Epsom College side, eventually winning 28-21.
Fly half Oli Burgess was the star of the show, running, kicking, and passing superbly throughout, and scoring a lovely try to boot. It was a great team performance though and a pleasure to witness.
Bedford are also in the hunt for the Daily Mail Trophy, they remain unbeaten this season and sit in 5th place. Points wise it could be a long shot, but they certainly do not look like losing anytime soon!
Highlights of the Champions Trophy final are below:
The Champions Trophy was followed by the AASE final. Many of our readers may be less familiar with the AASE league. It is a 14 team league, split North and South with 7 teams each, made up of state 6th form Colleges with close ties to the Premiership Academies. Recent success stories from the AASE programme include Jack Nowell and Luke Cowan-Dickie (both Truro College), while many may have heard of one of the brightest stars of the school scene last year, Mat Protheroe, now at Gloucester, who was at Hartpury College.
The final was between Hartpury College and Bicton College, affiliated to Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs respectively, and it was Hartpury who picked up the win, 39-12, their 7th title in a row. Incredibly they have won every single edition of the competition since its inception in 2009/10.
Highlights of the AASE final are below:
Sedbergh find their form at Broadstreet
Whilst Allianz Park was full to bursting with rugby, Sedbergh and Wellington College were meeting for their annual clash at Broadstreet RFC in Coventry. Sedbergh came in on the back of three defeats in a row, while Wellington appreared in form after a slightly wobbly start to the season.
Sedbergh managed to find their form though, winning 20-18 in yet another classic between these two sides. There is something about this game that seems to produce thrilling encounters year on year.
The result also bumped Sedbergh back up the Daily Mail Trophy table, into second place. Wellington College hold on to top spot as they hunt a second successive title, but their lead is more slender now, and Kirkham Grammar are also chasing hard.
Stamford run stretches to an unbelievable 5th year
As Stamford cruised to a 32-12 victory over a strong Denstone College side back on Saturday, they extended what has to be one of the most remarkable records not just in schools rugby currently, but in history.
That win made it five years unbeaten at home for Stamford, a stunning achievement. It has got to the point now where it is not just the record that is impressive, but the mental strength of the players to cope with what is actually becoming a very pressurizing record is equally impressive. Who would want to be a part of the first side to lose at home for over half a decade?
They are at home again this weekend, to St Alban’s. Will the run continue?
NatWest Cup gets serious
The last few weeks of this term always mean a shift in focus towards the NatWest Cup as it begins to move into the real business end of the competition.
This week was the 4th round, or the last 64, which means that we now have two regional rounds left before the competition goes national for the quarter final draw.
There were impressive results all round, but a few notable ones were the progression of Champions Bromsgrove into the next round with a 22-8 win at Solihull, they face Abingdon next. 2014 finalists Warwick are also through after a 27-7 win over RGS Worcester. Warwick’s team is made up of players who were Champions at U15 level. They play King’s Worcester next.
QEGS Wakefield’s U15s played Warwick in those finals, and they are also through as seniors, they beat Stockport Grammar 33-0. 2010 & 2011 Champions, Whitgift, progress after a 24-19 win over Hurstpierpoint, they play KCS Wimbledon who earned a dramatic victory over St Benedict’s, you can see highlights of that game below.
St Joseph’s Festival Champions Hampton also progress, they beat Reigate Grammar 38-5 and play Trinity next up. The ever impressive RGS High Wycombe are through too after a 40-14 win at Lord Wandsworth College, they play Bishop Wordsworth. There was also a win for RGS Newcastle over a Durham side that beat them earlier in the season. You can see highlights of that game below:
It really has been a superb week of rugby!
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