In cold and windy conditions for most, and some horribly wet ones for a few, the weekend still managed to produce some sparkling rugby.
It also produced some really tense and close games, and there is a good mix of both in this week’s Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend.
RGS High Wycombe
We do not often include teams in our Top 5, but RGS High Wycombe deservedly become one of the few in that bracket this week.
That comes after they drew 10-10 with Bromsgrove on Saturday afternoon. Bromsgrove have been in flying form all year, and went into the game on Saturday as firm favourites. They have, if anything, looked even better than their NatWest Cup winning side of last year.
RGS are a good team, and that was known beforehand – they reached the St Joseph’s Festival final after all. Nevertheless, to prevent Bromsgrove from winning was a surprise and evidence of a superb and gutsy performance, and just in time for the more competitive stages of the NatWest Cup, which RGS always thrive in.
For the second week in a row, Seaford College make our Top 5. This week it is after they recorded the biggest scoreline that we have seen so far this weekend, a 66-7 victory over Churcher’s College.
Seaford have been in good form all year, and looked excellent when we have seen them live, against St John’s Leatherhead.
The only shame is that there are not quite enough of those fixtures on their list for a side that looks very strong this year. Nevertheless, their consistent high scorelines and victories demonstrate their quality this season.
With victory over Denstone College this weekend, Stamford made it five years unbeaten at home. Five years. It is really quite an unbelievable record, particularly when you consider the sort of side that they regularly play, to maintain that sort of record requires not just quality, but mental strength. A record like that can become something of a burden if not handled properly.
Handle it they did though, in a very losable fixture against a tough Denstone College side, Stamford absolutely smashed their way over the five year mark, winning by a strong 32-12 margin, and an even stronger five tries to nil.
Who can stop this incredible home run?
Another side who make our Top 5 for the second week in a row after they beat St Paul’s so handsomely last weekend.
This weekend they faced King’s Canterbury. Not as tough a side as St Paul’s perhaps, but nonetheless a competitive outfit. Tonbridge though were in flying form winning 58-7.
Once again they racked up one of the scorelines of the weekend, and once again in deeply unpleasant conditions. Their ability to put the squeeze on teams in these torried conditions could see them finish the term as one of the most in form teams around.
If any side must have felt reasonably confident of being in this week’s Top 5, it was surely Warwick. Their 20-14 victory over Sedbergh was almost a guarantee.
It condemned Sedbergh, who have looked like one of the top sides around and had sat at the top of the Daily Mail Trophy table for months, to a third defeat in a row.
The thing is, Sedbergh are a very very good side, and Warwick’s victory was against the run of form despite those two Sedberhg defeats. Warwick have had some good wins but also too many losses for their liking.
This though was a magnificent win and could perhaps be the trigger that inspires this group of players, who are all U15 NatWest Cup winners let us remember, into really peaking for the rest of the season and onto another big NatWest Cup run. Certainly with the deeper stages of the Cup starting to begin, it could not be better timed.
Who are your top 5 teams of the week? If you have photos, videos, or reports from the weekend’s play, feel free to send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org
There should also be a few mentions for some tremendous games of rugby elsewhere, not least at Colston’s, where Bristol Grammar School won a thrilling, high scoring, and tantalizingly close game, 36-34. There was equal excitement in Berkhamsted, where St Paul’s were held by their hosts to a thrilling 21-21 draw. It was similarly close up at Woodhouse Grove, where they beat the outstanding Durham 21-19.
A thrilling weekend all round!