Week two of the schools rugby season had a lot to live up to after a stunning opening weekend, but it has more than matched that excellent opening week.
This weekend saw some very important match ups, perhaps most interestingly of all the battle between the Champions Trophy champions, Bedford, and the back to back NatWest Cup winners, Bromsgrove. That was far from the only big fixture though, with huge games all around the country, plus a couple of very local derbies such as Wimbledon College v KCS Wimbledon in SW19.
As ever, we picked out ten games to focus on in our preview, and it is to those results that we first turn to in our roundup. What a collection of results they were, with a few incredibly tight fixtures, some truly outstanding performances, and one very longstanding record being broken.
First to that huge fixture between two of last year’s champions, Bedford v Bromsgrove. Bedford hosted and were bang in form after a big win over Uppingham, while Bromsgrove were looking to recover having lost to Warwick. Suspicion was that it would be an incredibly tight game, but Bedford were magnificent, securing an excellent 31-13 victory to lay down a huge marker to the rest of the watching schools rugby world.
If impressive results are what you are after, how about St Peter’s York’s 56-0 win over Ampleforth College. St Peter’s were excellent last year, but Ampleforth have had a strong couple of early games this season. St Peter’s were favourites, but the expectation was for a close game, showing just how impressive this win was from St Peter’s.
Millfield continued their strong start to the year with an excellent 34-19 win over RGS High Wycombe, a result that is made to look even more impressive given that RGS last week beat Stowe, who this weekend pushed Warwick very hard, though Warwick just managed to hold on to the victory, winning 20-17 to make it two from two for them.
The two derby games were contrasting in styles, in Croydon John Fisher were on excellent form for a strong 26-8 victory over Trinity, meanwhile over in Wimbledon it was a much much closer affair between Wimbledon College and KCS Wimbledon, with KCS running out as 13-5 winners in what was a terrifically well fought game.
One game that is always a highlight in Tonbridge v Wellington College, two of the great schools rugby teams. Wellington outscored Tonbridge four tries to two for a 33-21 victory that saw huge performances from Wellington’s Dylan Moss, Ben Loader, and Josh Basham. Wellington leaf 26-14 at the break, only for Tonbridge to then narrow that to 26-21, however Wellington held their nerve to pull away for a good victory.
Moving further North, there was a fantastic battle between Woodhouse Grove and QEGS Wakefield. Both are expected to produce some good performances this year, with QEGS expected to be among the strongest around. They therefore began as the slim favourites, but Woodhouse Grove confounded that with a brilliant performance to secure a wonderful 15-12 victory. Radley College meanwhile got their season officially started with an excellent 15-10 win over Sherborne.
So to that record. Stamford have not lost at home since November 2010, a stunning record, one of the great schools rugby records. Time and again they have defended that record, even when the odds are stacked against them. All records must come to an end at some point though, but what a tough afternoon it must have been to lose that record to their local rivals. Oakham were the side to break that incredible record, beating Stamford 22-15, and in doing so proving that they are a side to watch out for. Records are not easily broken, those that do break them are always a side to watch.
Around the Grounds
Elsewhere there were some truly outstanding performances. Kirkham Grammar School went unbeaten last year and were one of the very best sides in the country. That form looks to have continued through to this year as they absolutely stunning Wirral Grammar School, beating them by a staggering 71-0 margin.
Blundell’s were almost as impressive, beating schools rugby legends Colton’s by an incredible 67-0, confirming that they really are a side to watch this year. Judd too were scoring freely as they stormed past Colfe’s 66-0. Three truly staggering scorelines.
Caterham impressed with a 34-0 win over Worth, while St Edward’s were in fine form too, beating Uppingham 15-3. Whitgift were back on form after a loss last week to Sedbergh, beating Skinners’ by a brilliant 49-15 margin. Speaking of Sedbergh, the Cumbrian’s made it three victories in a week by beating RGS Newcastle 36-15, earning themselves a well deserved few days rest.
Keeping on the theme of impressive scoreline, Seaford College’s 50-5 effort against Shiplake College was quite something, so to Fettes College, who beat Loretto 43-17, while Harrow stunned Oundle, 47-0.
There was a close and exciting win for Rugby over Denstone College, 21-18, while Crossley Heath and Bradford Grammar played out an exciting 14-14 draw, with The Leys and Mill Hill also drawing, 5-5. King’s Macclesfield took a close one of RGS Lancaster 12-10.
Cheltenham College were on song at Marlborough College with a 25-17 victory, while Haileybury were impressive in secured a 15-10 win over a good Felsted side. Durham were back on form with a 19-3 win over Grammar School at Leeds, while Epsom College flexed their muscles at Dulwich College, winning strongly with a 38-7 scoreline.
Things were incredibly tight between Cranleigh and St John’s Leatherhead, two great sides who played out a huge game, with Cranleigh running out as winners 19-16. Things were far less close between Clifton College and Ellesmere College, with Clifton continuing their stunning start by securing a 52-7 dominant win. Elsewhere in the South West it was much closer as Canford beat Hampton 27-25, while KES Bath ran out as winners over Bristol Grammar by just a point, 18-17.
Brighton College still look like one of the reams to keep an eye on, they were in fine form again for a 25-0 win over Hurstpierpoint College.
There was also action in the NatWest Cup, where Dartford Grammar secured their place in the next round by beating Cooper’s Coborn 8-5 in an incredibly tight game.
Friday also saw a few games, with Barnard Castle running out as the winners at Darlington Mowden Park, beating Dame Allan’s 40-7. Manchester Grammar also picked up a win, 43-15 over Stockport Grammar, while Wells Cathedral beat Warminster 29-5.
Don’t forget that if you have any photos, reports, or videos from the weekend’s school rugby, please do send them into us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby ), or via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV).
You can see photos from the weekend’s school rugby here: Schools Rugby Gallery – 17/09/16
Schools Rugby Results – Saturday 17th September:
*DMT stands for Daily Mail Trophy
Focus On; Results:
Ampleforth College 0-56 St Peter’s, York (DMT)
Bedford 31-13 Bromsgrove (DMT)
Millfield 34-19 RGS High Wycombe (DMT)
Radley College 15-10 Sherborne (DMT)
Stamford 15-22 Oakham (DMT)
Stowe 17-20 Warwick (DMT)
Tonbridge 21-33 Wellington College (DMT)
Trinity 8-26 John Fisher (DMT)
Wimbledon College 5-13 KCS Wimbledon (DMT)
Woodhouse Grove 15-12 QEGS Wakefield (DMT)
Ashville College 33-18 Harrogate GS
Bedford Modern 11-0 Aylesbury GS (DMT)
Berkhamsted 33-5 UCS
Bloxham 18-23 Malvern College (DMT)
Blundell’s 67-0 Colston’s (DMT)
Brighton College 25-0 Hurstpierpoint College (DMT)
Bristol GS 17-18 KES Bath
Canford 27-25 Hampton (DMT)
Christ’s Hospital 0-33 Eastbourne College (DMT)
Clifton College 52-7 Ellesmere College (DMT)
Colfe’s 0-66 Judd
Cranleigh 19-16 St John’s, Leatherhead (DMT)
Crossley Heath 14-14 Bradford GS (DMT)
Dartford GS 8-5 Cooper’s Coborn (NatWest Cup)
Daunstey’s 39-5 Churcher’s College
Dean Close 5-24 Magdalen College (DMT)
Downside 43-5 Monkton Combe
Dulwich College 7-38 Epsom College (DMT)
Durham 19-3 Grammar School at Leeds (DMT)
Felsted 10-15 Haileybury
King’s Canterbury 23-14 Simon Langton
King Edward VI, Camp Hill 22-15 Bablake
King Henry VIII, Coventry 36-3 KES Stratford
King’s Macclesfield 12-10 RGS Lancaster (DMT)
Kingswood 27-0 Taunton
Kirkham GS 71-0 Wirral GS (DMT)
Langley Park 15-27 Chislehurst & Sidcup
Leys 5-5 Mill Hill
Lord Wandsworth College 17-29 Portsmouth GS
Lorreto 17-43 Fettes College
Loughborough 7-10 Trent College (DMT)
Marlborough College 17-25 Cheltenham College (DMT)
Merchant Taylors 17-10 Campion (DMT)
Norwich 22-24 Royal Hospital School
Nottingham HS 9-7 Bishop Vesey’s
Old Swinford Hospital 15-25 Monmouth (DMT)
The Oratory 0-33 Eton College
Oundle 0-47 Harrow (DMT)
Perse 34-0 Wymondham College
Plymouth College 39-5 Llandovery College
Prior Park College 24-10 King’s College, Taunton
Queen’s College, Taunton 35-12 King’s Bruton
Ratcliffe College 0-17 Princethorpe College
Reading Blue Coat 35-6 Halliford
Reed’s 23-17 RGS Guildford (DMT)
Reigate GS 23-19 Wallington CGS
RGS Colchester 14-17 Culford
RGS Newcastle 15-36 Sedbergh (DMT)
Rugby 21-18 Denstone College (DMT)
Sanbach 12-29 Lymm HS
Sevenoaks 21-5 Sutton Valence
Shiplake College 5-50 Seaford College
Sir Joseph Williamson’s 22-29 Cranbrook
Sir Thomas Rich’s 26-23 Northampton School for Boys (DMT)
Skinners’ 15-49 Whitgift (DMT)
Solihull 16-10 RGS Worcester (DMT)
St Albans 28-12 Haberdashers
St Ambrose College 39-7 Hutton GS
St Anselm’s 19-14 Cheadle Hulme
St George’s College, Weybridge 18-7 Pangbourne College
St Mary’s 12-33 Rydal Penrhos
St Paul’s 56-8 Tiffin
St Peter’s, Gloucester 32-14 King’s Worcester (DMT)
Strathallan 10-34 Merchiston Castle
Uppingham 3-15 St Edward’s, Oxford (DMT)
Wellingborough 42-7 Wisbech GS
Wilmslow HS 43-15 Altrincham GS
Worksop College 21-18 Hymers College
Worth 0-34 Caterham (DMT)
Wycliffe College 7-47 Christ College
Warm 14-17 Silcoates
Friday 16th September
Barnard Castle 40-7 Dame Allan’s (DMT)
Stockport Grammar 15-43 Manchester Grammar (DMT)
Warminster 5-29 Wells Cathedral
Still to Come:
Beechen Cliff v Pate’s GS
Gunnersbury v Cardinal Vaughan
St Edward’s v Hereford Cathedral School
St Olave’s v Ravens Wood
Wrekin College v KES Aston