Day 4 Preview – HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s – Festival & Open

Day 4 at the HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s sees the conclusion of the Festival tournament and the much anticipated start of the Open tournament, the highlight of the week for many.

Weather wise it looks set to be a wet and wild morning but a gloriously sunny afternoon, a bonus for those hoping to pop down for the afternoon’s finals on RE1.

Festival

Those finals will be the Festival Cup final and the Festival Plate final. They will in fact be the only two straight knockout fixtures of the day in the Festival. The Festival begins tomorrow with a quarter final pool stage, featuring five groups of three, before the winners and the best runner up are then drawn into two semi final groups.

The winners of those two groups will then meet in the final, with the same process being replicated over in the Plate tournament.

Each of the Cup groups looks highly competitive, Group 1 sees last year’s runners up KCS Wimbledon meet Monmouth and Stonyhurst, two of the to fifteen-a-side teams of the year, and two excellent sevens sides too.

Group 2 is, if anything, even tougher. Blundell’s, Epsom College, and Stowe are included and all three have good reason to feel confident. Blundell’s have been on fire on the South West circuit, while Epsom have looked equally good in the South East, and Stowe are always a top side, and have some very dangerous in that side too.

Pool 3 sees Bedford Modern, whose back play in the fifteen-a-side season had them pegged as a potentially dangerous side here, Cheltenham College, real dark horses here, and the surprise package of the day, KES Bath, all packed together. This will be an intriguing group and will be worth a glance at should you get the chance.

Tonbridge are the likely favourites in Pool 4, they have great 7s pedigree and some dangerous players, but in Berkhamsted and in Denstone College particularly they have some sides who are very capable of upsetting that apple cart. Denstone have already shown their quality this season, beating Stowe, Sedbergh, and St Jo’s to claim their own title.

Finally in the Cup competition it is Group 5, which features Barnard Castle, Seaford College and Kingswood. Barnard Castle are well known for their famous rugby heritage and have been performing well, while Seaford have been excellent on the circuit this season. However the team to look out for here are Kingswood, who we earmarked as dark horses for this competition a week or so ago after some sterling work on the South West circuit. This will be a very interesting group.

Open

The Open tournament is the flagship tournament for the HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s, and fittingly it looks likely to be a hugely exciting tournament.

That said, Wellington College are the clear favourites after utterly dominating the 7s circuit this season, however with Sam Aspland-Robsinson away with England they have perhaps one small opening for teams to exploit, though their big rivals, Millfield and Sedbergh, are also missing quality runners in Darren Atkins and Jonny McPhillips respectively.

Wellington are in Group I, where they should progress without too much bother, similarly Millfield in Group A as reigning champions. Their opponents in last year’s final, John Fisher, sit in Group P, where Wimbledon College will likely be their strongest opponent.

Sedbergh, champions in 2013, are in Group M, and like the others they will be strong favourites in this one too. They ended up in the Plate tournament last year, where they finished as runners up to Woodhouse Grove. The Yorkshire school are in Group N this year, where they ought to fancy their chances of progression.

Group B looks a particularly interesting Group. Kirkham Grammar School, who have been competing with Sedbergh for the title of the best side in the North, could well challenge for the title here, but they must negotiate a tough group that also includes Welsh legends Llandovery College.

Next to them Group C also looks tough, with Brighton College and Filton College two sides who will believe they should go far but who must first deal with the threat that each represents.

Group D too looks interesting, with St Joseph’s College, a dangerous running side who reached the Surrey 7s semi final, and Scottish legends Merchiston Castle drawn together. That will be a match not to be missed.

Going through the groups things only continue to look tough, try picking apart Hampton, Solihull, and Warwick in E, there are sure to be points dropped there, similarly Bedford, Campion, Coleg Sir Gar, and Henley College in F. Sir Gar will fancy a crack at the title, but Bedford are Festival champions, while the others all pose a strong threat too. This is a group to seek out if you get the chance.

Bryanston and St Benedict’s will likely share the limelight in G, while it would be a major surprise to see anyone other than Hartpury emerge from H as victors. Group J could be one to look at for a surprise though, on paper Whitgift are favourites but having perhaps underperformed this 7s season, they will come under threat from AASE side Worcester 6th form College and possibly London Oratory too.

Group K looks wide open, any one of the five could progress there, while L will likely be a shootout between  AASE side Moulton College and Sherborne, who have been playing good rugby of late.

Finally then to Group O, which really does look an excellent Group. It features two AASE sides in Oaklands College and St Paul’s Catholic College, and also QEGS Wakefield, who won the Colts last year. Bro Morgannwg and Glantaf are likely to provide some stiff opposition too.

All around the Open tournament then there are strong sides and exciting match ups. While Wellington may be favourites and perhaps a small core of sides around them, any slip-ups will see a whole host of very, very good schools ready to make a charge. We are likely to see a very good day of 7s.

Festival & Open Day 4 Pools:

Festival Cup Quarter Final Pools

QF1

QF2

QF3

QF4

QF5

KCS Wimbledon

Blundell’s

Bedford Modern

Berkhamsted

Barnard Castle

Monmouth

Epsom College

Cheltenham College

Denstone College

Kingswood

Stonyhurst College

Stowe

KES Bath

Tonbridge

Seaford College

Festival Plate Quarter Final Pools

PQF1

PQF2

PQF3

PQF4

PQF5

Canford

Bradford Grammar

AKS Arnold

Caterham

Gresham’s

King’s College, Taunton

Ellesmere College

Felsted

Millfield 2nd VII

Loretto

Prior Park College

Cranleigh

Royal Hospital Sch

Reed’s

Worth

2015 HSBC Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s Open Draw:

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Millfield

Kirkham Grammar School

Brighton College

Brynteg

Queen Elizabeth HS

Llandovery College

Robert Clack

Greenhill

Rydal Penrhos

Mount St Mary’s College

SGS Filton College

Leighton Park

Simon Langton

Sutton Valence

Wallington County Grammar

Merchiston Castle

Tasker Milward

Tiffin

Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni

St Joseph’s College

Group E 

Group F 

Group G 

Group H 

Hampton

Bedford

Bryanston School 1st VII

Bede’s

Pocklington

Campion

City of London Freemen’s

Coleg Llandrillo

Solihull

Coleg Sir Gar

Coleg Gwent Crosskeys College

Hartpury College

Warwick

Henley College

Dartford Grammar School

Judd

Bryn Tawe

Ysgol Gyfun Y Preseli

St Benedict’s

Cymer Rhondda

Group I

Group J

Group K 

Group L

Chislehurst & Sidcup GS

London Oratory

Cowbridge

Gower College Swansea

Gravesend GS

Maidstone GS

Hurstpierpoint College

Hills Road

Queen Ethleburga’s

Whitgift

Nottingham HS

Moulton College

Wellington College

Worcester 6th form College

USA HS All American, London

Sherborne

Rhydywaun

Bro Myrddin.

Y Strade

Gymraeg Llangynwyd

Group M

Group N

Group O

Group P

Leicester Grammar School

Exeter College

Oaklands College

Bishop Burton

Pembrokeshire College

Newport HS

QEGS Wakefield

Cardiff HS

Peterborough Regional College

St David’s Catholic College

St Paul’s Catholic College

Coleg y Cymoedd

Sedbergh

Treochy Comprehensive

Bro Morgannwg

John Fisher

Welbeck

Woodhouse Grove

Glantaf

Wimbledon College

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