After a stunning weekend of schools rugby, picking a Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend was no easy task.
There was a real mix of gutsy performances, huge wins, outstanding displays, and wins against the odds, trying to pick out just five was near impossible. How, for instance, to you differentiate between Kirkham, Judd, and Blundell’s, all of whom won by margins that are just staggering in their scale.
Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend
Bedford v Bromsgrove was one of the most anticipated games of the season so far, perhaps the most anticipated of the season until we start to get to move towards silverware time. The reason being that it pitted the Champions Trophy holders, Bedford, against the back to back NatWest Cup holders, Bromsgrove.
As such, it was perhaps an inevitability that the winner might end up in our Top 5, but given the strength of Bedford’s victory, 31-13, it left us no choice. A brilliant performance and victory from one of the top sides in the country, who moved up to third in the Daily Mail Trophy.
Blundell’s have started the season faster than the Japanese bullet train, it has been highly impressive. They were therefore the strong favourites against Colston’s on Saturday, however few would have predicted that a 67-0 victory would be the outcome.
Coslton’s might not be the force that saw them become by far and away the most decorated school in Schools Cup history, but nevertheless this was a performance of outstanding class from Blundell’s.
Oundle v Harrow is a fixture that over the years you look at and say, ‘that should be a good contest’. It usually is, and if you were working off last year’s evidence, where both teams had some outstanding players and produced wonderful performances, you would have said that this year’s should be an epic too.
Harrow made absolute mincemeat of that theory though, charging to a quite simply breaktaking 47-0 victory. A victory that was made all the more impressive for the fact that it was played at Oundle, on their superb 1st XV pitch, one of the more intimidating venues on the school scene.
Kirkham Grammar School
Kirkham Grammar went unbeaten last year and finished second in the Daily Mail Trophy, before then picking up the School Team of the Year at the National Rugby Awards. They have started off this season in just that kind of form again, however their performance against Wirral Grammar on Saturday perhaps exceeded even that.
Kirkham were favourites to win, and win well, but few could have guessed that that would be a 71-0 victory. Fewer still, having heard that result, would have guessed that the game had actually been called early, really early, in the second half. A quite outstanding performance from Kirkham.
There are certain things in life and in sport that are just taken for granted, one of those has become that Stamford simply do not lose at home. November 2010 was the last occasion, and in that time they have had some good teams, some great teams, and some less good teams, but what has always been true is that at home, they win.
It was going to take something very very special to end that run then, and on Saturday Oakham produced it, beating their local rivals 22-15 for a victory that will have been noticed by schools rugby followers from all around the country. It was a superb achievement from Oakham, and one that they will rightly remember for a long time. A hat tip to Stamford, what a record that was, what a run, it has been one of the great stories of school rugby.
So that is our Top 5 this week, a tough one to choose and big shout outs must go out to the likes of Clifton College and Judd, who both enjoyed huge victories this weekend, and to Caterham to secured a big win over Worth. St Paul’s deserve special mention, bouncing back from a big defeat to Epsom last week to put on fifty points against Tiffin this week, while St Peter’s York were also flying as they beat Ampleforth 56-0 away from home. A mention to Woodhouse Grove too, who beat a QEGS Wakefield side who are U18 NatWest Cup finalists and are packed with U15 Cup winners and runners up.