The biggest midweek of the term to date takes place this week as the NatWest Cup last 16 gets underway.
There is also NatWest Vase last 16 action and plenty of other regular season fixtures too.
On Monday afternoon Truro School became the first side through to the quarter finals as they defeated the former Champions, St Peter’s Gloucester, 15-8. That result now gives Truro the luxury of sitting and watching whilst their potential opponents fight for their places in the last 8.
The NatWest Vase took over on Tuesday as St Ambrose College took on 2014 winners Yarm and beat them in a pulsating and tight encounter, 21-20.
Wednesday sees the bulk of the major action take place. There are five NatWest Cup last sixteen ties taking place, each of which has the feel of being a major Cup game.
Cup legends RGS High Wycombe host Stowe in what has regularly been both a Cup and regular season classic. Stowe won 33-20 when the sides met back in September but RGS have been in fine form since and are always up for a long Cup run. This will be fascinating.
Next up is Simon Langton v Hampton. At first glance most would put this down as a routine Hampton win, they are the St Joseph’s Festival winners and are regulars in the latter stages of the NatWest Cup. Simon Langton have been quietly excellent this season though and will cause problems, especially at home. This ought to be a cracker.
Warwick v Oundle is arguably the game of the day. Warwick were finalists in 2014 and their side is entirely made up of winners at U15 Cup level, always a good indication of a side who will go far. However they started the season poorly before picking things up for the second half of last term. Oundle by contrast have been outstanding throughout and were semi finalists last year. This really will be a titanic tussle, and one well worth a watch.
Whitgift v St Joseph’s College in London & South East A is also fascinating. The two met at the same stage last year, with St Joseph’s College winning that time. This year Whitgift are perhaps the slightly stronger side, but once again we can expect a brilliant game of rugby with plenty of passion following last year’s game.
St Peter’s York, always a good Cup team, host QEGS Wakefield, one of the true legendary schools of the NatWest Cup, stretching right back through the Daily Mail Cup era. QEGS’ side is made up of two year groups worth of U15 runners up, and have looked suitably strong. They will be keen to make a mark at senior level now too.
The final NatWest Cup game of the day sees Wilmslow High School host Woodhouse Grove in North B. Wilmslow reached the semi finals last year and have been a strong Cup team for a few years. Woodhouse Grove have not been quite as strong as their opponents in the Cup in recent times but have been in superb form all season ahead of what will be another superb game of rugby.
In the Vase Pangbourne College host Cokethorpe, and there are a few other unconfirmed fixtures likely to take place on Wednesday.
Outside of the NatWest competitions, Austin Friars host Kirkbie Kendal and Cheadle Hulme host Sale Grammar, while there is a fascinating evening game between Bristol Grammar and Sir Thomas Rich’s.
Thursday is dominated by the NatWest Vase as St George’s College, Weybridge, travel to Ipswich and The Leys host Bloxham in a couple of last 16 ties that should be highly entertaining.
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Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures (Predictions in bold):
Truro 15-8 St Peter’s, Gloucester (NatWest Cup)
St Ambrose College 21-20 Yarm (NatWest Vase)
Austin Friars v Kirkbie Kendal
Bristol GS v Sir Thomas Rich’s
Caterham v Coopers Coborn (NatWest Vase)
Cheadle Hulme v Sale GS
Crossley Heath v Altrincham GS (NatWest Vase)
Northampton School for Boys v Hereford 6th form College (NatWest Vase)
Pangbourne College v Cokethorpe (NatWest Vase)
RGS High Wycombe v Stowe (NatWest Cup)
Simon Langton GS v Hampton (NatWest Cup)
St Peter’s York v QEGS Wakefield (NatWest Cup)
Warwick v Oundle (NatWest Cup)
Whitgift v St Joseph’s College (NatWest Cup)
Wilmslow HS v Woodhouse Grove (NatWest Cup)
Ipswich v St George’s College, Weybridge (NatWest Vase)
The Leys v Bloxham (NatWest Vase)