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Schools Rugby Weekend Preview & Predictions: The final weekend

The final weekend of the term sees a shortened fixture list, with many schools having already completed their fixture lists.

 

Nonetheless, there are a number of exciting fixtures ahead, and there is still the rather large matter of the Daily Mail Trophy to be decided.

 

With a truncated fixture list though, rather than our usual 5 Key Fixtures and 5 Previews, this week we just have 5 Key Fixtures, and a quick glance at a few of the other games around the country.

 

5 Key Fixtures

 

Ampleforth College v Bradford Grammar School

 

A great fixture to end the term on between two schools who have a great rugby history behind them. Ampleforth have had a decent season but host Bradford Grammar here off the back of a defeat to Pocklington, they will be desperate to end the term in a winning fashion, particularly as this game will decide if their season has been a winning one or a losing one.

 

For Bradford Grammar this game is absolutely vital too though. A highly successful season so far has just been stung in the last few weeks as they lost three games one the bounce, to QEGS Wakefield, RGS Newcastle, and St Peter’s York. All three are good sides, but they will not be wanting to see their term end on a low note with four defeats on the bounce.

 

All of which serves to make this a truly fascinating game, and all the better for being a bit of a classic schools fixture too.

 

Prediction – Bradford Grammar

 

Berkhamsted v Haileybury

 

Berkhamsted have lost just once this season, a narrow 15-12 one to Harrow. They will not be in any sort of mood to allow that to change as they head into the Christmas break.

 

Standing in their way though are a Haileybury side who, whilst not quite as successful as Berkhamsted, have also enjoyed a very good season, peaking with their County Cup success at Allianz Park on Wednesday.

 

With the momentum of that victory behind them, they will fancy their chances. However Berkhamsted really have been outstanding, and with a longstanding unbeaten home run, it will take something special to beat them.

 

Prediction – Berkhamsted

 

Hampton v Bishop Wordsworth

 

Two defeats and a draw are the only blemishes on the Hampton scorecard this season, and it is a scorecard that has seen them win the St Joseph’s Festival too.

 

Their season may continue into next term, with some tough fixtures, but that will not stop them from wanting to end this season on a real high with a good win against Bishop Wordsworth. With a decent NatWest Cup run on the go too, they will want to hold on to as much momentum as possible.

 

Bishop Wordsworth’s are having a great season too though, they only have three defeats to their name, and have an early season draw against Clifton, who have not lost this season.

 

They too will see no reason why that sort of form should not continue, and they are certainly going to make life very tough for Hampton indeed.

 

Prediction – Hampton

 

Warwick v Bromsgrove

 

This is always a superb game of rugby, and there is no reason why it should not be again this year. Warwick have had a bit of a tough season, but in the last month their form has been fantastic. It has included a victory over Sedbergh and progression into the last 16 of the NatWest Cup, in which this group of players has so much experience and success.

 

Bromsgrove though are flying, they are unbeaten this season. The closest they have come to a blip was a 10-10 draw with RGS High Wycombe, hardly a blip. They look like the favourites to win the NatWest Cup and retain their title.

 

The biggest factor weighing on this match though, is that these two already played on the opening weekend of the season, and Bromsgrove won 54-0. Warwick are not the same side they were then, but nevertheless that is a mighty score to have tucked away ahead of this game.

 

On the other hand, it is a huge carrot for Warwick to turn it around.

 

Prediction – Bromsgrove

 

Wellington College v Marlborough College

 

This game is absolutely crucial for the outcome of the Daily Mail Trophy. A bonus point victory for Wellington College on Saturday will see them secure the title for the second year in a row. A win of any sort will see them leapfrog Bedford, the current leaders, who have completed all of their fixtures, but would leave Kirkham Grammar School able to snatch the title should they get a bonus point win against Lymm High School on Tuesday.

 

Wellington College will certainly be favourites for this one, however having lost their last two fixtures on the bounce, including a surprise turnaround to St Paul’s last week, there will be some nerves.

 

Marlborough have had a tough year though, only winning twice all season, but they have the ability to score tries and be dangerous, and if they can gain some momentum the anything can happen.

 

For Wellington though, while it has not been a vintage season, the chance to end on a high and claim some silverware will be one that they will give everything for, as ever.

 

Prediction – Wellington College

 

Around the Grounds

 

There are plenty of other attractive looking games around the country too, in particular, King’s Macclesfield v Solihull looks like it could be a very good game indeed.

 

St Paul’s will look to build on that great win over Wellington College last week at home against a good Felsted side, while Tiffin v St Benedict’s has the look and feel of a very competitive fixture.

 

The likelihood is unfortunately, like last weekend, that due to the storms, many games in the North and in the Midlands may well be called off, but we will do our best to keep you in form.

 

It has been a fantastic term, now for one final flourish!

 

IF you have any results, photos, match reports, or videos from the weekend’s matches, please do send them in to writers@fifteenrugby.com

Schools Rugby Weekend Fixtures (predictions in bold):

 

5 Key Fixtures:

 

Ampleforth College v Bradford GS

Berkhamsted v Haileybury

Hampton v Bishop Wordsworth

Warwick v Bromsgrove

Wellington College v Marlborough College

 

Other Key Games:

 

Bishop’s Stortford HS v Watford GS

Brentwood v Dartford GS
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS
v Gravesend GS

City of London Freemen’s v Colfe’s

Grammar School at Leeds v Wilmslow HS

Grange v Cheadle Hulme

Halliford v Shiplake College

KES Aston v Bishop Vesey’s GS (NatWest Vase)

KES Stratford v Princethorpe College

King’s Macclesfield v Solihull

London Oratory v Northampton School for Boys

Loughborough GS v Denstone College

Lymm HS v Manchester GS

Maidstone GS v Judd

Merchant Taylors’ v Eton College

Norwich v Ipswich

QEGS Wakefield v Nottingham HS

Rydal Penrhos v Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Sir Joseph Williamson’s v Skinners’

St Ambrose College v Crossley Heath

St George’s Harpenden v St Albans

St Joseph’s College v Sevenoaks

St Paul’s v Felsted

Stockport GS v Sandbach

Tiffin v St Benedict’s

Whitchurch HS v King Edward’s, Southampton

Whitgift v Glyn

Wimbledon College v Wallington CGS

Woodhouse Grove v Harrogate GS

Wycliffe College v Monkton Combe

Yarm v Hymers College

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