The Champions Trophy picked up again this week with the first of the four quarter finals.
Tonbridge became the first of the semi finalists after they won a tough game against Eton College, 18-10. It puts Tonbridge into the semi finals for the first time in the competition, which is now in its third season. (You can see our report from that game here: Eton College v Tonbridge)
Their semi final opponents are yet to be decided though, with the other three quarter finals to be played next week.
Tuesday 8th November
Bedford v Canford (14.30)
There is just one game on Tuesday, but it is a huge one as the champions, Bedford, hosts the irrepressible Canford in front of the RFU Live Stream cameras.
Bedford received a bye in the last round, before having to really work hard for a 16-13 win over St Paul’s in the second round, where they required a try in the last play of the game to salvage victory. They will feel that they will need to step up another level if they are to continue to defend their title as they face a Canford side who are free-scoring in this competition. In the opening round they beat Marlborough College by a huge 57-10 margin, and in the second round they were equally clinical, this time dispatching Kingswood 48-20, leaving them as the highest scorers in the competition by far.
Whatever happens this is likely to be very close indeed, and may well be the game of the round.
Prediction: Bedford, just.
Wednesday 9th November
Oakham v Monmouth (14.30)
Oakham have set the tournament alight with a couple of superb victories. They stunned Berkhamsted in the opening round, a side of whom much was expected, winning 38-7, before they then took on one of the best Clifton College sides for some time in the second round. 0-0 at half time, the game looked destined for a tight finish, but as the sun came out, so Oakham stepped up to take an excellent 15-3 win.
Monmouth started off the entire competition, playing the very first game of the first round against Radley College, against whom they won 21-13. It has been a long wait since then to get into the tournament as they were given a bye into the quarter finals. That could leave them a little rusty in this intense tournament, or it could leave them desperate to prove a point, either way they will face an Oakham side in form and at home for the third game out of three. Monmouth are going to fancy their chances though, they have beaten some of the biggest names out there in the last few years.
Epsom College v Blundell’s (14.30)
This is a fascinating repeat of last year’s thrilling semi final, which Epsom College won 27-23 in a typical Champions Trophy tie, full of passion, skill, and a scoreboard that could have gone either way.
This year Epsom are again at home, their progress in the competition began with a bye before they put in a brilliant performance against St John’s Leatherhead to secure a 29-12 victory and their place in the quarter finals.
Blundell’s are a tough nut to crack once again though, perhaps even tougher than last year, their form would suggest. They too received a bye into the second round, where they beat a very good Bristol Grammar side 44-19 to secure their place in this repeat of last year’s semi final.
Prediction: Too close to call. Blundell’s to avenge last year’s loss…just.
Champions Trophy quarter final draw:
Bedford v Canford – Tuesday 8th November, 14.30
Oakham v Monmouth – Wednesday 9th November, 14.30
Epsom College v Blundell’s – Wednesday 9th November, 14.30
Champions Trophy Round 2 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
Semi Finals – 14th November-19th November
Finals – Friday 2nd December