After a term long struggle that was seen 32 teams compete in the second ever edition of the Schools Champions Trophy, the two finalists are now decided.
It has, like last year, been a truly extraordinary tournament with drama all the way. Games in this competition seem to go right down to the wire and produce great drama more often than they do elsewhere. Perhaps it is because of the sheer quality of the competition, perhaps it is because teams play schools that ordinarily would not be on their circuit. Whatever it is, it results in some truly extraordinary rugby.
That was certainly the case yesterday as Bedford travelled to Sedbergh and Blundell’s travelled to Epsom College for the two semi finals. All four RFU regions were represented, the North, the Midlands, the South East, and the South West. Both games were fixtures that simply would not happen if it were not for this competition, and both were truly outstanding games of rugby.
Sedbergh v Bedford yielded fifty-one points, Epsom College v Blundell’s fifty, and were are not talking about defensively poor sides here. We are talking about thrilling rugby, and outstanding attacking play.
Bedford and Epsom College ran out as the victors, 27-24 and 27-23 respectively, but that almost was not the point, the point was the sheer quality.
You can read our match reports for each of the respective games, and watch the highlights for both via these links:
The result of those wins though is that Bedford and Epsom College will meet at Saracens’ Allianz Park on Wednesday 25th November for the second ever Champions Trophy final.
It will be a special and historic occasion, not only will we be treated to the Champions Trophy final, but the AASE final will be played on the same day on the same pitch. A treat for schools rugby fans all over the country. The AASE finalists will be decided on this Wednesday coming.
Who are the favourites, Bedford or Epsom College? It is a tough one to call, but we would love to hear what you think in our vote below.
From our perspective it is a very even looking contest. Both have the ability to use big powerful runners but also to move the ball and play with pace. Both have some top class players in their ranks. Each plays on a fiendishly difficult circuit.
Even trying to pick apart their respective semi final performances yields little. Both did some extraordinary things, Blundell’s a re a top class side this year and play some truly excellent rugby. Perhaps winning away in Sedbergh is a slightly better achievement, particularly coming from nine points down in the second half, but then again Epsom had to show huge character to hold off Blundell’s when the momentum was against them.
All we can say at this stage is that we are going to be treated to an outstanding game of rugby, on a pitch that lends itself to the way these teams are capable of playing.
We can’t wait!