After a dramatic week’s play in the NatWest Champions Trophy, the draw for the quarter finals has been made.
Three further teams made the last 8 on Wednesday, Bedford, Oakham, and Tonbridge, joining Epsom College, Eton College, and Blundell’s from Tuesday and Monmouth, who had a bye, while on Thursday Canford joined the illustrious 8.
Bedford secured the most dramatic of victories on Tuesday against St Paul’s to keep their dreams of retaining the title alive as they scored a try in the very last play of the game to steal a 16-13 victory away from home. It was a stunning finish to a classic Champions Trophy game that was played with the utmost commitment with momentum ebbing and flowing from one side to the other. You can see our report from that game here: St Paul’s v Bedford.
The win sets a quarter final at home against the winners of Thursday’s game between Canford and Kingswood. Both sides arrived in form but it was Canford who raced away to an exciting 48-20 victory, showing just what a good side they are. In just two games in this competition so far, they have scored a staggering 105 points, no other side even comes close to that sort of total so far.
Tonbridge then joined them, beating the 2014 champions Millfield 26-7. This was a huge game for Tonbridge, who had lost to Millfield at the same stage in 2014 in one of the great Champions Trophy games. In that game they led 12-0 at the break, only to lose 14-12. Ominously they were 12-0 up at the break here, and early in the second half Millfield were on the up, but Tonbridge played their hearts out in the second half to win 26-7. You can see our report from that game here: Tonbridge v Millfield.
Tonbridge will now travel to Eton College for their quarter final. Eton had really had to work to get through to the 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 to set up the quarter final with Tonbridge.
Oakham’s game against Clifton College was the subject of this week’s live stream, but it looked like it was not going to be much of a tv classic as they took a 3-0 lead into the break after a first half where the rain and injuries made things rather difficult. Clifton then levelled things up at 3-3 midway through the half, only for Oakham to pull away with a couple of tries to seal the game at 15-3.
Oakham were then third out of the hat in the live draw and will play at home against Monmouth, who had a bye in the second round following a 21-13 first round win over Radley College.
The fourth quarter final sees two sides who were in action on Tuesday pitted together, Epsom College and Blundell’s. The two met in last year’s semi final, with Epsom holding off a Blundell’s fighback to reach the final after yet another astonishing Champions Trophy game.
This should be no different, both appear to be very good teams once again, yesterday Epsom College showed all of the power, class, and determination 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.)
Blundell’s, meanwhile, were looking inspired too. They received a bye into the second round, but there was no rustiness at all as they put in a brilliant performance to beat Bristol Grammar School 44-19. Remember this was a Bristol Grammar School side who came back from 29-5 down in their first round game to reach this second round.
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 quarter final draw:
Bedford v Canford
Oakham v Monmouth
Epsom College v Blundell’s
Eton College v Tonbridge
Champions Trophy Round 2 Fixtures/Results:
Bristol GS 19-44 Blundell’s
Canford 48-20 Kingswood
Eton College 55-12 Grammar School at Leeds
Monmouth – Bye
Oakham 15-3 Clifton College
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