Following a brilliant first round, the second round of the Champions Trophy started with a bang.
Monmouth were already through before the action started after receiving a bye, but on Tuesday three more joined them, Epsom College, Eton College, and Blundell’s.
Epsom College showed all of the power, class, and determination that saw them reach the final last year as they beat St John’s Leatherhead 29-12. You can see our report from that game here, as well as links to photos: Epsom College v St John’s Leatherhead.
On their way to the final last year, Epsom College beat an inspired Blundell’s side, and Blundell’s have started off this campaign looking inspired too. They received a bye into this second round, but there was no rustiness at all as they put in a brilliant performance to beat Bristol Grammar School 44-19. This is a Bristol Grammar School side who came back from 29-5 down in their first round game to reach this second round.
Eton College were equally impressive. They had really had to work to get through to this second round, qualifying on try count after a 17-17 draw with Dulwich College. Back on home turf for the second round though they were in stunning form, absolutely blowing away the 2014 finalists Grammar School at Leeds, beating them 55-12.
That gives us half of the quarter finalists now confirmed, with three more to be decided on Wednesday and the final side to be confirmed on Thursday.
Wednesday is another busy day, it begins at 14.15 with an exciting game between Tonbridge and Millfield, two sides who epitomise the point of the Trophy, having not entered a national cup at U18 level prior to it. Millfield won the inaugural title in 2014, and on the way played a thriller at home to Tonbridge. It was one of the best games of schools rugby that this writer has seen, and the prospect of a rematch, even if two years later, is mouthwatering. This is a must watch game.
It is followed by another cracking game as the reigning Champions, Bedford, travel to St Paul’s. St Paul’s beat RGS Guildford 20-5 to reach this stage, while Bedford had a bye, as champions. Bedford ought to be favourites, but following a tough start to the year v Epsom, St Paul’s have been in good form, while last weekend Bedford lost for the first time in a year. Keep an eye on this one, there is nothing quite like seeing the champions in action for the first time, in any competition.
The side that beat Bedford last weekend was Oakham, who look a great prospect this year and got to the last 16 with a brilliant 38-7 victory over a Berkhamsted side that much was expected of. They host Clifton College at 15.15 on Wednesday, and this could be another classic. Clifton had a first round bye, but already look like being one of the very best sides in the business this year. The winner of this one could go very far indeed.
The final game of the round sees Canford host Kingswood at 14.45. Once again this could be excellent, Canford recorded the biggest winning margin of the first round as they saw off Marlborough College by a stunning 57-10 margin. They will be challenged by Kingswood though, who were highly impressive in their 20-7 victory over Bryanston.
If you have any photos, videos, or reports from the week’s Champions Trophy action, please do send them in via email (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby ), or via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV).
Champions Trophy Round 2 Fixtures/Results:
Bristol GS 19-44 Blundell’s – Tuesday 15.30
Canford v Kingswood – Thursday 14.45
Eton College 55-12 Grammar School at Leeds
Monmouth – BYE
Oakham v Clifton College – Wednesday 15.15
St Paul’s v Bedford – Wednesday 14.30
Tonbridge v Millfield – Wednesday 14.15
Champions Trophy Round 1 Results:
Bristol GS 29-29 Sherborne
Bedford – Bye
Blundell’s – Bye
Canford 57-10 Marlborough College
Clifton College – Bye
Cranlbrook 19-36 St John’s Leatherhead
Dulwich College 17-17 Eton College
Epsom College – Bye
Grammar School at Leeds 25-17 Uppingham
Kingswood 20-7 Bryanston
Millfield – Bye
Monmouth 21-13 Radley College
Oakham 38-7 Berkhamsted
St Paul’s 20-5 RGS Guildford
Tonbridge 28-22 Hampton
Quarter Finals – 31st October-5th November
Semi Finals – 14th November-19th November
Finals – Wednesday 30th November