It has been a brilliant start to the school rugby season, perhaps as good as any that we can remember.
There have been some brilliant games of rugby as well as some highly impressive scorelines. We pick out five games and scores that we think have been the pick of the bunch in September.
Bromsgrove 54-0 Warwick
The NatWest Cup holders against a side compromised of U15 NatWest Cup winners; this was billed as one of the biggest games of the season and a real showdown.
Warwick came into the game with injuries but even then nobody could possibly have expected such dominance from Bromsgrove and such a telling scoreline by the end of the game.
This truly signalled Bromsgrove as a force once again this year. Injuries to Warwick or not, Bromsgrove showed that they are not just good, they are ruthless.
Dulwich College 27-12 Wellington College
This is always a good game, and Dulwich actually have a staggeringly good record against Wellington, having only lost to them once in four years, a fitting return you might say given their status as triple Schools Cup winners in that period.
Nevertheless Wellington were big favourites ahead of this one, the theory being that having retained, and even added to, so much of last year’s talent, they are going to be every bit as good as last year. Dulwich came to the game with a plan and boy did they deliver.
Since then Wellington have blossomed, while Dulwich have been searching for results (though performances have been good), which only serves to show what a game and result this was.
Epsom College 20-37 Cranleigh
At the time of this result the general assumption was that perhaps Epsom were not quite as strong as in the last few years and that maybe Cranleigh were on an upward curve.
Fast-forward a few weeks and only half of that sentence is true. Cranleigh are most certainly on an upward curve, indeed they are arguably one of the best around. So too are Epsom though, they have been superb since.
All of which shows what an extraordinary result this was, and away from home to boot.
Marlborough College 24-27 Sherborne (HT 5-27) (See report here)
This was just an extraordinary game of rugby, as so often seems to be the case in the Champions Trophy. Oddly, the end result was probably just about what most would have predicted – a close enough game, but one that Sherborne would win. The manner in which we got there though was utterly extraordinary.
Sherborne ran away with it in the first half, they were 27-5 up at the break and, frankly, the suspicion was that they could well go on to slightly embarrass Marlborough in the second half.
Instead Marlborough bounced back in stunning fashion, reigning the score in to 24-27, to the point where arguably they should have won it thanks to the sheer momentum that they had. That they did not is of great credit to Sherborne.
Radley College 31-56 Sedbergh (55 mins 31-27) (See report here)
Yet another truly outstanding Champions Trophy game, made all the better for the fact that it was live streamed and therefore seen by thousands.
If you had said to those thousands beforehand that Sedbergh would win by 25 points, most would have nodded their heads and thought that that sounded about right.
What few would have predicted was that with fifteen minutes left on the clock, Radley, who performed extraordinarily, would be leading 31-27. And at that stage, even fewer would have predicted that Sedbergh would then find the time to conjure an unanswered twenty-nine points. It was absolutely sublime stuff, capping off what had been a brilliant game of rugby. One that will live long in the memory.
Of course there have been many other brilliant games and results this month, and it is worth mentioning a few of the more stunning scorelines, beginning with Ampleforth College’s 52-0 win against Grammar School at Leeds, who were last year’s Champions Trophy finalists.
Bradford Grammar School’s 85-0 mauling of Hymers College was even more brilliant, especially at the time. Hymers have struggled since while BGS have proved their quality. But at the time, based on last year’s form, this was an extraordinary result.
Sedbergh almost got on our list twice, their 70-14 destruction of RGS Newcastle was staggering. Sure, they were expected to win, but like that? No, RGS have a strong reputation and do not often get turned over like that.
Bedford were another to post an early cricket score as they beat Uppingham 82-12. What is extraordinary there is that Uppingham have gone on to be competitive. Bedford have been very good since, but the gulf in class is nowhere near that margin. A stunning result.