After a weekend of rugby like the one just gone, choosing our Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend was a tough ask.
We tried to balance, quality of the opposition, style of victory, scoreline, and situation â€“ both of that weekend and of the season, when making the decision, but ultimately, as always, it is simply a matter of opinion.
Do you agree with our Top 5? Let us know by commenting below, or get in touch with us on @FifteenRugbyXV
Dulwichâ€™s 17-7 victory over Tonbridge was brilliant for a number of reason. First, having had a brilliant season, Dulwich had suddenly lost two in a row and came into this under a bit of pressure. Second, with a big NatWest Cup game in midweek they wanted to regain momentum. Third, with several key injuries, they had to work hard to cover those gaps. Fourth, and by far the most important, Tonbridge played very well and had Dulwich under extreme pressure for most of the game. Only outstanding defence, intelligent kicking, and two superb tries kept Tonbridge from taking this one, and that was what made Dulwich so impressive â€“ this was a real team effort and a superb win.
Kirkham Grammar School
Kirkham are becoming a regular feature in this column, and no wonder â€“ they are unbeaten this season and carried that on on Saturday with a 33-5 victory over Woodhouse Grove. A few weeks ago that might have seemed routine, however since half term Woodhouse have been flying, even defeating the Champions Trophy finalists, Grammar School at Leeds.
Chasing an unbeaten season brings real pressure of its own, and for Kirkham to keep working through that pressure is impressive, as was Saturdayâ€™s scoreline and result.
With a huge NatWest Cup tie in midweek, Monmouth would have been craving a game on Saturday that would give them the momentum to arrive at that game on a high â€“ with that in mind, a game against the recently crowned Champions Trophy champions, Millfield, was probably the last game they wanted.
Except that in hindsight it definitely was, for John Bevanâ€™s side secured a brilliant 10-8 victory, giving them not just the win but also the vital momentum they craved ahead of Wednesdayâ€™s game against Stowe.
Like Kirkham, Stamford are chasing an unbeaten season and it seems hard to see who can possibly stop them. Certainly not St Albans, their opponents on Saturday, they were dispatched in quite stunning fashion, with Stamford winning 71-7.
There were plenty of other huge scorelines this weekend, but with Stamford playing such free rugby when the pressure to continue this run is on is highly impressive.
We can hardly mention Monmouth pulling a big win out of the bag ahead of their NatWest Cup tie against Stowe without also mentioning Stowe pulling a big win out of the bag in return.
Stowe made the long trip to Ipswich to play St Josephâ€™s College, and despite conventional wisdom saying that a long trip leaves you vulnerable in the early stages, it was actually Stowe who dominated the opening quarter, something Monmouth will need to look out for. Stowe eventually won 20-12, a good victory against a very good St Josephâ€™s side, who are always inspired when playing infront of their passionate home fans.
There were plenty of other teams who deserve mention this week, not least Brighton College and Kingswood, who like Stamford posted unbelievable high scores. Brighton beat Eastbourne 71-0, while Kingswood saw off Dean Close 87-8.
Canford surprised many by comfortably beating Marlborough College, while Oundle were once again in great form, this time against Haileybury. Hymers College won their 11th game on the trot, and Pateâ€™s Grammar School defied our predictions for the 4th week running.
Stonyhurst proved their quality with a 20-10 win over Kingâ€™s Macclesfield, while Wellington College were as good as ever â€“ securing a quite excellent 55-6 victory over St Paulâ€™s.