What a week of rugby this has been, the school season is coming to a head, and this week saw things really ignite.
We had one of the biggest and most important games on the school calendar, the second Champions Trophy semi final (you can see our report from that here, Oakham v Tonbridge), plenty of NatWest Cup action and the draw for the U18 Cup and Plate quarter finals (which you can see here, NatWest Cup QF draw), and much more elsewhere.
Tuesday was a huge day in the schools rugby world, there were not many fixtures but those that were on Tuesday really made the schools rugby world sit up and take notice.
The story of the day was expected to be the Champions Trophy final, where Tonbridge beat a determined Oakham side 19-8 to secure a place against Bedford in the final on Friday 2nd. You can see our report from the game here: Oakham v Tonbridge.
However the real story of the day came over in Essex, where Felsted stunning the two time NatWest Cup champions, Whitgift, who are one of the form teams in the country. It was a stunning result, 10-8, sending Felsted into the quarter finals, where they must travel to Manchester Grammar School.
Elsewhere on Tuesday there was an exciting game in Kent as Eastbourne College beat Seaford College, 24-18. Bishop’s Stortford College meanwhile beat The Leys 32-19, while Wellingborough saw off Akeley Wood 35-0.
On game stood out above all on Wednesday, a huge game between two of the biggest teams in the country over the last few years, Sedbergh and Kirkham Grammar School. Traditionally Sedbergh are the stronger, but Kirkham had won the last two in a row, and made that three on Wednesday with a 15-9 victory. The win could be vital in terms of the final standings in the Daily Mail Trophy, particularly with Kirkham to play Woodhouse Grove and Sedbergh facing Wellington College soon. You can see photos from the game here: Kirkham v Sedbergh.
There were huge games in the Cup too, with John Fisher suffering a surprise defeat to Judd, 17-15, setting up a quarter final against Bishop Wordsworth’s.
Last year’s finalists, QEGS Wakefield, beat a strong RGS Newcastle side 17-5 to secure a quarter final against Warwick, who secured their place in the quarters on Thursday with a win against Oundle. The game will be a replica of the U15 finals of 2013, 2014, and 2015, with both sides full of players from those games, making it a real grudge match.
The Plate quarters were also drawn on Tuesday lunchtime and they took real shape on Wednesday as the last 16 results came through. There was a shock in the south east as Cooper’s Coborn won 22-13 away at Caterham to set up a quarter final away at Lymm High School.
Wimbledon College then picked up a tight win away at Richard Collyer, 10-7, securing an away quarter final at Solihull. One of the performances of the day was from Reigate Grammar, who beat Downside 42-3 to set up a home quarter against St Columba’s College.
The Vase saw some stunning results, none more so than Silcoates’ 73-0 victory over Audenshaw, Taunton meanwhile beat Torquay Boys Grammar 46-0, while Worksop College were 13-6 winners over Hill House, and St George’s Weybridge beat Wallington County Grammar 12-3.
In the Bowl there was a win for St Olave’s over Dover Grammar School by a strong 34-7 margin, while Sandringham saw off Westcliff High School 24-19. Worth meanwhile surprisingly went down 19-17 to Cobham International School.
Outside of the Cups there were wins for Cokethorpe, Bablake, and Christ’s Hospital, while Cranleigh secured a brilliant 57-7 win over Glyn.
In the County Cup Hampton were 31-23 winners over St Benedict’s, while we were live at Hayes School for their outstanding 46-15 win over Sutton Grammar. Hymers College beat Hill House 19-12, while Lord Wandsworth College were in flying form at home to Hampshire Collegiate, 50-7.
Pangoburne College faced AASE opposition in the form of Henley College, and the Wasps AASE side were the victors, by a 29-6 margin. Meanwhile St Albans, UCS, and Watford Grammar all picked up victories.
Thursday’s big fixture was the final NatWest Cup last 16 tie between Oundle and Warwick. A tight, thrilling, game was played out, with both sides having chances to win and seeing tries disallowed. The swing went Warwick’s way though as they secured a 13-11 victory and a quarter final against their old rivals QEGS Wakefield.
There was another Oxford derby in the form of Radley College v St Edward’s Oxford. Radley lost against their other local rivals, Abingdon, last week, but were back on form this week to beat St Edward’s 18-8.
KES Bath continued their absolutely fantastic form by beating King’s Bruton 50-0, a quite brilliant victory, you can see photos here: KES Bath v King’s Bruton. There was excitement of a different kind further East as Emanuel and Sutton Valence played out a thrilling 28-28 draw.
Downside meanwhile beat Milton Abbey 31-23, their second game of the week, while Monmouth saw off Dean Close in a good game, 29-17.
The action continues tonight as Merchant Taylors’ face Haberdashers’, while Denstone College meet St Joseph’s College ahead of a huge weekend of schools rugby that sees some of the biggest teams in the country face off. You can see our preview here: Schools Rugby Weekend Preview – Saturday 26th November.
You can check out the NatWest Cup and Plate quarter final draws here as well as vote for who you think will win: NatWest Cup Draw.
If you have any photos, videos, or reports from the week’s school rugby, please do send them in via email (email@example.com ), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby ), or via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV).
Schools Rugby Midweek Results:
Bishop’s Stortford College 32-19 The Leys
Eastbourne College 24-17 Seaford College
Felsted 10-8 Whitgift – NatWest Cup
Oakham 8-19 Tonbridge – Champions Trophy
Wellingborough 35-0 Akeley Wood
Bablake 33-22 Southam College
Caterham 13-22 Cooper’s Coborn – NatWest Plate
Christ’s Hospital 19-5 Tiffin
Cokethorpe 34-26 Crypt
Cranleigh 57-7 Glyn
Dover GS 7-34 St Olave’s – NatWest Bowl
Downside 3-42 Reigate GS – NatWest Plate
Hampton 31-23 St Benedict’s
Hayes 46-15 Sutton GS
Henley College 29-6 Pangbourne College
Hymers College 19-12 Hill House
John Fisher 15-17 Judd – NatWest Cup
Lord Wandsworth College 50-7 Hampshire Collegiate
QEGS Wakefield 17-5 RGS Newcastle – NatWest Cup
Richard Collyer 7-10 Wimbledon College – NatWest Plate
Sandringham 24-19 Westcliff HS – NatWest Bowl
Sedbergh 9-15 Kirkham GS
Silcoates 73-0 Audenshaw – NatWest Vase
St Albans 17-11 Bishop Stortford’s HS
St George’s College, Weybridge 12-3 Wallington CGS – NatWest Vase
Torquay BGS 0-46 Taunton – NatWest Vase
UCS 14-5 Bancroft’s
Watford GS 41-0 Dr Challoner’s
Worksop College 13-6 Hill House – NatWest Vase
Worth 17-19 Cobham International – NatWest Bowl
Dean Close 17-29 Monmouth
Downside 31-23 Milton Abbey
Emanuel 28-28 Sutton Valence
KES Bath 50-0 King’s Bruton
Oundle 11-13 Warwick – NatWest Cup
Radley College 18-8 St Edward’s Oxford