There’s another huge midweek of schools rugby this week, following on from a highly dramatic weekend.
The NatWest Cup, Plate, Bowl, and Vase continue, while there is also the first Champions Trophy semi final and a host of matches under the lights on Friday night.
There was just one fixture on Monday, a NatWest Bowl fixture between Gordon’s and Saint Cecilia’s. Gordon’s took the spoils from a tight game, winning 19-17.
It’s a quiet Tuesday too, with Chatham & Clarendon, who have been on a good run, hosting Sevenoaks. Sevenoaks will start as favourites but must bounce back fast after their 15-0 defeat at home to Caterham on Saturday. Taunton also play in the NatWest Vase on Tuesday, hosting Wells Cathedral.
The action really kicks up on Wednesday, and there are further fixtures likely to be confirmed as the evening goes on. In the NatWest Cup there is a massive game in South West B as Sir Thomas Rich’s and Exeter School play for a place in the quarter finals, at which point the competition goes national.
Similarly in South West A, where Bishop Wordsworth’s, possibly one of the dark horses this year and very much in form, host Christ’s Hospital in the section decider.
There is also a last 32 tie from North B, last week’s rearranged fixture between two giants of schoolboy rugby and legends of the competition, Barnard Castle and RGS Newcastle. There is also a catch up fixture in London and South East B as John Fisher, fresh from a tough defeat to Dulwich College, host KCS Wimbledon, a side in fine form after their win on Friday night.
Back to back Champions, Bromsgrove, are in action in the last 16 of Midlands B against Sandbach, where they are the favourites to reach the quarter final stage once again.
The Plate competition also sees action on Wednesday. Cheadle Hulme host Lymm High School in a huge game in the North.
In the Vase London Oratory must travel to Alton, while Trent College, fresh from a huge win over Bradford Grammar at the weekend, travel to King Henry VII Coventry and Watford Grammar host Seevic. Meanwhile in the Bowl Worth travel to Cobham International, the old school of Alex Corbisiero.
There is a huge non Cup game on Wednesday evening as Sherborne School host Millfield at Sherborne RFC. Millfield are coming off an excellent win over Blundell’s on Saturday, while Sherborne are looking to bounce back after they were beaten by Canford. This one ought to be a superb game.
Elsewhere there is a big game between Bishop Heber and King’s Macclesfield, while Pangbourne College host the Oratory.
The big event on Thursday is the Champions Trophy semi final, Epsom College v Bedford. It is a repeat of last year’s final, which Bedford won in some style. Both have been highly impressive in this year’s competition and won their quarter finals over Canford and Blundell’s with similarly muscular and dominant performances.
It ought to make for a fantastic game of rugby, between two powerful sides with no little skill in their ranks either. Get set for a huge game of schools rugby!
There is plenty more exciting rugby on Thursday, notable Wellington College v Cranleigh, an ever popular midweek fixture between two of the top teams in the country.
Eton College are another of the year’s top sides, they travel to Marlborough College on Thursday, who were involved in an incredibly tight game on Saturday, drawing 3-3 with Radley College.
There is also a big event in the NatWest Bowl as Wycliffe College hosts St Brendan’s in South West A.
There are three huge games under the lights of Friday. In the South West KES Bath host AASE side Beechen Cliff, two sides who are in real form at the moment.
Over in London, Merchant Taylors’ host Shiplake College, who are playing for the second Friday in a row, having lost to KCS Wimbledon last week. There is a second Friday night game around the capital as St Benedict’s host Trinity, a game that ought to produce some outstanding rugby.
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Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Gordon’s v Saint Cecilia’s – NatWest Bowl
Chatham & Clarendon v Sevenoaks – NatWest Vase
Gresham’s v King’s Ely
Taunton v Wells Cathedral – NatWest Vase
Alton v London Oratory – NatWest Vase
Ashville College v Prince Henry’s GS
Barnard Castle v RGS Newcastle – NatWest Cup
Bishop Heber v King’s Macclesfield
Bishop Wordsworth’s v Christ’s Hospital – NatWest Cup
Brine Leas v Rydal Penrhos
Bromsgrove v Sandbach – NatWest Cup
Cheadle Hulme v Lymm HS – NatWest Plate
Cobham International v Worth – NatWest Bowl
Crossley Heath v Yarm – NatWest Plate
Dollar Academy v Fettes
Drayton Manor v Latymer Upper
John Fisher v KCS Wimbledon – NatWest Cup
King Henry VIII, Coventry v Trent College – NatWest Vase
Manchester GS v Stockport GS – NatWest Cup
Millfield v Sherborne – 19.30
Newcastle-Under-Lyme v KES Aston
Pangbourne College v The Oratory
Princethorpe College v Southam College
QES Barnet v UCS
Simon Langton GS v St Lawrence College
Sir Thomas Rich’s v Exeter School – NatWest Cup
St Dunstan’s College v Hayes
St Peter’s Gloucester v Cokethorpe
Wallington CGS v Royal Alexandra & Albert
Watford GS v Seevic – NatWest Vase
Charterhouse v Hurtwood House
Epsom College v Bedford – Champions Trophy Semi Final
Marlborough College v Eton College
Plymouth College v Taunton
Sexey’s v Clayesmore
Wellington College v Cranleigh
Wycliffe College v St Brendan’s – NatWest Bowl
KES Bath v Beechen Cliff
Merchant Taylors’ v Shiplake College
St Benedict’s v Trinity