The St Joseph’s Festival kicks off for its 30th Anniversary tournament on Saturday, with 16 top schools coming together for two days of intense and high quality rugby.
The tournament has seen most of the biggest schools in schoolboy rugby pass through over the course of the last thirty years, as well as some truly great players, including the likes of Matt Dawson and Mike Tindall.
The structure of the competition sees the sixteen teams split into four groups of four. The top two in each group then go into two further groups of four on Sunday, with the winner of each meeting in the Cup final, while Saturday’s bottom two in each group meet in two plate groups of four on Sunday, with the winners of those playing in the Plate final.
Last year the tournament was won by Hampton School, their first St Joseph’s Festival title. They are drawn this year in Group 2 against St Peter’s Gloucester, Denstone College, who won last year’s Plate competition, and Brighton College, who picked up the Plate in 2014 and will this year really fancy a crack at the main Cup (the De La Salle Trophy) after having made a superb start to the season.
In 2014 Millfield won the Festival. The Somerset side are the most successful side in the tournament’s history, and a victory this year would make it three in five years after they also won in 2012. Standing in the way of Millfield’s passage to Sunday’s Cup groups are RGS Newcastle, Cranleigh, and Cup specialists, John Fisher, who always seem to go far in tournaments, getting better and better with each passing game.
Group 3 features one of the tournaments most consistent sides, RGS High Wycombe. They reached the final once again last year, only to narrowly lose to Hampton, in fact they were the only side to score a try against Hampton last year. Their group has a nationwide feel to it, with Whitchurch High School from Wales, Merchiston Castle from Scotland, and near neighbours Gordon’s all drawn against them.
The hosts, St Joseph’s College, are drawn in Group 4 this year, in what could be one of the trickiest groups of the day. Alongside them are 2011 champions Dulwich College, as well as last year’s NatWest Cup finalists, QEGS Wakefield, while newcomers Eltham College are also drawn in a group with plenty of exciting action and interesting sub plots set to emerge.
Check out the Groups & Fixtures Below:
|St Joseph’s Festival Day 1 Groups|
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4|
|Millfield||Hampton||RGS High Wycombe||St Joseph’s College|
|RGS Newcastle||St Peter’s, Glocuester||Gordon’s||Dulwich College|
|John Fisher||Denstone College||Whitchurch High School||Eltham College|
|Cranleigh||Brighton College||Merchiston Castle||QEGS Wakefield|
|St Joseph’s Festival – Day 1 Fixtures|
|Time||Pitch 1||Pitch 2|
|09.00||Millfield v RGS Newcastle||Cranleigh v John Fisher|
|09.40||Hampton v St Peter’s||Denstone v Brighton|
|10.20||RGS High Wycombe v Gordon’s||Whitchurch v Merchiston|
|11.00||Dulwich v Eltham||QEGS v St Joseph’s|
|11.40||Millfield v John Fisher||Cranleigh v RGS Newcastle|
|12.20||Hampton v Denstone||St Peter’’s v Brighton|
|13.00||RGS High Wycombe v Whitchurch||Gordon’s v Merchiston|
|13.40||Dulwich v QEGS||Eltham v St Joseph’s|
|14.20||Millfield v Cranleigh||John Fisher v RGS Newcastle|
|15.00||Brighton v Hampton||St Peter’s v Denstone|
|15.40||Merchiston v RGS High Wycombe||Whitchurch v Gordon’s|
|16.20||St Joseph’s v Dulwich||QEGS v Eltham|
|St Joseph’s Festival Day 2 Groups|
|Group A (Cup)||Group B (Cup)||Group W (Plate)||Group X (Plate)|
|Winner Group 1||Winner Group 3||3rd Group 1||3rd Group 3|
|Winner Group 2||Winner Group 4||3rd Group 2||3rd Group 4|
|2nd Group 3||2nd Group 1||4th Group 3||4th Group 1|
|2nd Group 4||2nd Group 2||4th Group 4||4th Group 2|
|St Joseph’s Festival – Day 2 Fixtures|
|Time||Pitch 1||Pitch 2|
|08.30||W1 v W4||W2 v W3|
|09.05||A1 v A4||A2 v A3|
|09.40||X1 v X4||X2 v X3|
|10.15||B1 v B4||B2 v B3|
|10.50||W3 v W1||W2 v W4|
|11.25||A1 v A3||A4 v A2|
|12.00||X1 v X3||X2 v X4|
|12.35||B3 v B1||B2 v B4|
|13.10||W1 v W2||W4 v W3|
|13.45||A2 v A1||A3 v A4|
|14.20||X1 v X2||X3 v X4|
|14.55||B2 v B1||B3 v B4|