The first Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend following the half term break was a tricky one to select just five teams for.
A tricky weekend weather wise, meant that performances and scorelines had to be judged within that context, though oddly some of the bigger scores have actually missed out, perhaps harshly, on a place in the top 5, as some of those gritty performances just edged it into the top 5.
Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend
Bedford will head into Wednesday’s Champions Trophy semi finals as the only team of the four to have picked up a win. Blundell’s and Epsom College both lost, while Bedford’s opponents, Sedbergh, had their game cancelled.
That is already a hugely positive point for Bedford, but even more positive was the opponent that their victory came against, Warwick. Warwick are always up there with the top sides, so a 17-5 victory is a highly impressive result for the East Midlands side.
One of the reasons that Bedford head into the semi finals as the only team with a win this weekend under their belts is Brighton College.
Brighton, so impressive at the St Joseph’s Festival, carried on that form to secure a stunning and gritty 15-10 away win against Epsom College.
Epsom are known as one of the very best around, and a win on their turf is a rare achievement, and it is a fine achievement for Brighton College. Outstanding.
The other Champions Trophy semi finalist to lose this weekend was Blundell’s, with Clifton College putting in an outstanding effort to beat the Devon side.
Clifton were 14-0 down at one stage but fought back outstandingly well to secure a 19-14 victory that will surely do down as one of Clifton’s most memorable of the season, if for nothing else than for their sheer determination and will to win having set themselves a mountain to climb.
The trip to Monmouth is a long one and the drive back a horrible one if you have lost, but Stowe’s return trip would have felt like heaven after they secured an immensely impressive 32-18 win in Wales.
It avenged last year’s NatWest Cup loss at the hands of the same team, and asserted Stowe’s position as one of the trickiest sides around. Nobody will much fancy facing Stowe over the course of the rest of the term, while they will be worth keeping an eye on in the Cup too.
Woodhouse Grove have not quite hit the heights of their 2013 Daily Mail Trophy winning days over the last couple of years, but they remain a strong rugby school, capable of some top performances.
What they are also capable of is digging deep, very deep, for a win. They had to do just that on Saturday as they played out an absolute thriller against Yarm, winners of the NatWest Vase a couple of year’s ago.
Woodhouse Grove eventually claimed a thrilling 32-31 victory and a place in our Top 5 Teams of the Weekend after participating in and winning such a tremendous game of rugby.
Who would you pick in your Top 5? Let us know on @FifteenRugbyXV