As we all head into a well deserved half term break, the final few schools rugby fixtures of the half term provided us with plenty of entertainment to reflect on.
Many were already on holiday, but for those who remained in school, this week has proved to be a thriller.
On Tuesday Beechen Cliff, one of the top AASE side, faced Canford, one of the top schools sides, the NatWest Champions Trophy quarter finalists. It was a brilliant game of rugby, one that was a real battle, eventually going the way of the AASE side, 22-12.
There was action in the NatWest Vase as New Hall travelled to Brentwood. The game started off reasonably evenly, before New Hall pulled away for a solid 32-17 victory. There was an outstanding performance in the fens as Wisbech Grammar School put a staggering 91 points past St Ivo’s.
There was a fantastic game in Wales as Monmouth took on the invitational side, and annual opponent of the ISRFC Lambs, Crawshay’s Welsh. Crawshays too the lead with an early converted try, and looked in control, however Monmouth landed a long range penalty not long after to keep the scores close.
From there it was a close and tense game, but with ten minutes to play, Monmouth worked their way over the line to secure an 8-7 victory.
Wednesday was a busy day on the school scene, with a number of loose ends being tied up in the NatWest Cup as schools looked to get their fixtures completed ahead of the break.
2010 and 2011 champions Whitgift are looking in formidable form, they beat a decent Chislehurst & Sidcup side by a stunning 75-3 margin.
Pangbourne College secured their passage into the next round with an 18-15 victory over Peter Symonds’, while Bishop Wordsworth’s were again impressive as they went past Dauntsey’s, 27-7.
Campion saw off Dartford Grammar in reasonable comfort, 20-3, while Barnard Castle edged out Durham in a real thriller in the north east. A tense game ended with Barnard Castle winning 14-13.
In the Plate there were strong wins for Portsmouth Grammar and Cheadle Hulme, who beat Churcher’s College and Bradford Grammar 52-10 and 41-14 respectively.
The Vase saw action as Barking and Dagenham saw off Enfield grammar 46-10 away from home, while Lord Wandsworth College beat Royal Wootton Bassett 21-0 in the Bowl.
Outside of the Cup there were wins for Cokethorpe, Caterham, KES Southampton, Queen Ethelburga’s and Bishop’s Stortford High School.
One of the biggest fixtures of the week came on Wednesday evening at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium, the Modus Cup between local rivals RGS Worcester and King’s Worcester. As ever, it was a close, tense, and fiercly competitive game, King’s ended up on top, claiming a 15-5 victory.
Thursday saw some real schoolboy classic taking place. There was a huge game between Epsom College and Eton College. These two are both in the quarter finals of the NatWest Champions Trophy, and could well be drawn against each other in the latter stages of that competition. If they are then it will be Epsom who will fancy their chances after they secured an excellent 24-5 victory.
Harrow jumped back to the top of the Daily Mail Trophy table after a stunning 54-5 victory against Berkhamsted. The men from North West London appear to be really cementing their place as one of the most formidable teams in the country right now.
The final Thursday before half term sees Radley College and Cheltenham College meet to contest the Waters Cup. Always a keenly contested affair, the game this year was once again a close one, with Cheltenham College coming out as the winners, 14-6 to claim the silverware.
Finally on Thursday we saw another close game of rugby as St Edward’s Oxford hosted Dean Close. Teddies claimed the victory, but were made to work hard for it, eventually running out as 10-7 winners.
This weekend is a fairly quiet one, with most people away on half term. There are a few sides away on tour though, which throws up some very interesting fixtures on Saturday, not least in Dublin where Kirkham Grammar School once again one of the strongest teams in England, take on Blackrock College, one of the most famous rugby schools in Ireland, and indeed the world.
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Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures:
Beechen Cliff 22-12 Canford
Brentwood 17-32 New Hall – NatWest Vase
Monmouth 8-7 Crawshay’s Welsh
Wisbech GS 91-10 St Ivo
Barnard Castle 14-13 Durham – NatWest Cup
Burford 0-28 Cokethorpe
Campion 20-3 Dartford GS – NatWest Cup
Caterham 17-13 Skinners’
Cheadle Hulme 41-14 Bradford GS – NatWest Plate
Dauntsey’s 7-27 Bishop Wordsworth’s – NatWest Cup
Enfield GS 10-46 Barking & Dagendham – NatWest Vase
KES Southampton 24-7 St John’s College
King’s Grantham 0-52 Queen Ethelburga’s
Pangbourne College 18-15 Peter Symonds’ – NatWest Cup
Portsmouth GS 52-10 Churcher’s College – NatWest Plate
RGS Worcester 5-15 King’s Worcester – Modus Cup
Royal Wootton Bassett 0-21 Lord Wandsworth College – NatWest Bowl
Watford GS 18-21 Bishop’s Stortford HS
Whitgift 75-3 Chislehurst & Sidcup GS – NatWest Cup
Epsom College 24-5 Eton College
Harrow 54-5 Berkhamsted
Radley College 6-14 Cheltenham College
St Edward’s, Oxford 10-7 Dean Close