It was another superb weekend of schools rugby, with plenty of top performances all around the country.
Choosing our Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend this week was a real balancing act between big wins, significant wins, bouncing back well from prior results, and performing against the odds.
Narrowing it down was a tough choice, and opinions are sure to vary, but here is our Top 5.
Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend
Haileybury are looking good this season, but even they probably did not expect to beat an Oundle side that they have not managed to get one over in a number of years. Throw into the mix that the previous weekend Oundle had beaten the reigning back to back NatWest Schools Cup champions, Bromsgrove, and the scale of the task was clear. Nevertheless the Hertfordshire side did win, and they did not just sneak over the line, they won convincingly, 25-9, to secure a deserved place in our Top 5.
Manchester Grammar School
When a school posts a score of 82-0 there is going to have to be a highly compelling reason not to include them in the Top 5. Manchester Grammar School did exactly that to their rivals, Bolton School, on Saturday. They put in a brilliant display to record the highest score of the entire weekend, capping off a brilliant start to the season that has seen them win five straight games.
Heading to Bedford this weekend, everyone was now aware that Oakham are a very good side this year. They had won their opening four games, and progressed to the 2nd round of the Champions Trophy after beating Berkhamsted. Even so, an away trip to Bedford was expected to be too much, they are the reigning Champions Trophy holders and are in great form this year, they led the Daily Mail Trophy table heading into this game. However Oakham showed just how much quality they have in the locker with a brilliant 13-12 victory that will have seen every school in the country sit up and take notice.
An 8-3 victory is not necessarily a recipe for entry straight to the Top 5, however this one was significant. It came over Whitgift, who last week beat Wellington College and have run Sedbergh to within a point. It was therefore a game for Warwick against a side that can definitely be classed as one of the very best in the business. That is also what is expected of Warwick this year, and after perhaps underperforming last year, this was an acid test of Warwick’s form and capabilities this year. That meant pressure, and to come through it with a win was hugely significant. Watch out for Warwick this year, especially in the Cup.
As mentioned, Wellington College lost last week to Whitgift, and fell out of the Top 10 in the Daily Mail Trophy to boot. It was therefore crucial to them to bounce straight back up with a win. An away trip to the mighty Millfield is probably not what you would want on the agenda next then, but that was exactly what Wellington College face, and such is their fixture list that no matter what the week, their follow up is always tough. They had to follow up with a win though, and they certainly did that, securing a superb 35-17 victory, aided by a brilliant 28 points from Dylan Moss.
Image Via – Bob Bradford Images
You can see more info from the weekend’s school rugby in our Schools Rugby Weekend Roundup: Weekend Roundup, Saturday 1st October
Photos from some of the games can be seen in our Gallery: Schools Rugby – Saturday 1st October