It is a huge week in the Champions Trophy, the first round has kicked off and eleven of the last 16 are now known.
Last week saw two games take place early, with Monmouth defeated Radley College 21-13 and Eton College progressing on try count against Dulwich College following a 17-17 draw.
This week is where the meat of the action takes place, with the RFU showcase game being Tonbridge v Hampton at 16.00 on Wednesday. It will be live streamed, with Nick Heath on commentary, and will be followed by the live draw for the 2nd round (last 16) – you can watch it all on this link: Tonbridge v Hampton.
By that stage all but two of the last 16 sides will be known, with Monmouth and Eton already through, Wednesday’s games decided, Bedford, Blundell’s, Clifton College, Epsom College, Millfield all with byes, while today saw Bristol Grammar, Canford, Oakham, and 2014 finalists Grammar School at Leeds all secure their places in that last 16.
As ever, it was another stunning day of Champions Trophy rugby. It truly is the tournament that just keeps on giving.
The pick of the bunch was surely Bristol Grammar v Sherborne. Sherborne led 29-5 at the break, but Bristol Grammar, in quite brilliant fashion, pulled it back to 29-29. It was the sort of incredible drama that we have come to expect from this competition, and by leveling the game Bristol Grammar secured their place in the last 16 thanks to having superior try count, 5-4 in their favour.
Things were perhaps a little more routine elsewhere, though as always there was still plenty going on. Probably the performance of the day was from Canford, who put in a staggering display to see off a good Marlborough College side as they sealed a superb 57-10 victory.
Grammar School at Leeds reached the final in 2014 and they were in fine form as they sealed a 25-17 victory for Uppingham, who actually rallied well after a very tough loss to Oakham last week.
Oakham carried that form into this week though as they produced an outstanding second half to see off a very good Berkhamsted side 38-7. It was a tight and cagey game at half time, with Oakham leading just 11-7. However in the second half the former NatWest Cup winners exploded out of the traps for a superb 38-7 victory. You can see our report from that game here: Oakham v Berkhamsted.
Tomorrow sees two further games taking place, the live stream between Tonbridge and Hampton, and another exciting game in Kent, with Cranbrook hosting the excellent St John’s Leatherhead.
After those games the draw will be made, with two games remaining. On Thursday Kingswood host Bryanston, before RGS Guildford travel to St Paul’s on Saturday for the final game of the round.
If the evidence so far is anything to go by, we are set for another classic couple of months in the Champions Trophy, which never fails to entertain.
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Champions Trophy 1st Round Results:
Bristol GS 29-29 Sherborne (BGS through on try count)
Canford 57-10 Marlborough College
Dulwich College 17-17 Eton College (Eton through on try count)
Grammar School at Leeds 25-17 Uppingham
Monmouth 21-13 Radley College
Oakham 38-7 Berkhamsted
Bedford, Blundell’s, Clifton College, Epsom College, Millfield
Remaining 1st Round Fixtures:
Cranbrook v St John’s Leatherhead – Wednesday 28th September, 14.30
Kingswood v Bryanston – Thursday 29th September, 14.30
St Paul’s v RGS Guildford – Saturday 1st October, 15.00
Tonbridge v Hampton – Wednesday 28th September, 16.00