What a weekend of schools rugby. For many it was the last of the season, and they treated us to a very special weekend indeed.
The weekend started on Friday with the Champions Trophy final, and ended with another title being decided as the destination of the Daily Mail Trophy became known.
As such, the only place to start out ‘Focus On’ fixtures roundup is with Wellington College v St Paul’s. Wellington have secured the Daily Mail Trophy title for the past two years and on Saturday they made it a quite stunning three in a row as they beat St Paul’s 30-13, thanks in no small part to another star performance from Dylan Moss, who scored yet another hat-trick. It was a fitting performance in what was Kevin Brennan’s final game in charge of Wellington, the former London Irish man has been in charge of the most spectacular side’s in schools rugby history in the last nine years, securing Rosslyn Park titles, three Daily Mail Trophy titles, and a stunning 87% win ratio on arguably the toughest circuit in the country.
In recent times Kirkham Grammar School have been one of Wellington’s closest competitors, and this year has been no different. They are unbeaten so far this season and remain so after another brilliant victory on Saturday, seeing off King’s Macclesfield 41-10.
Brighton College are also unbeaten, and were hoping to extend that run on Saturday, however their game against Hampton had to be abandoned due to a neck injury, though fortunately the player in question was ok in the end.
Harrow are another side in flying form this season, indeed Wellington are the only side to have beaten them. They finished of the season in fine style on Saturday with a superb 43-0 victory at Radley College.
Clifton College are also flying high this season, and they continued that in a thrilling game at Sir Thomas Rich’s on Saturday, running out as the 43-22 victors and keeping themselves up at the top end of the Daily Mail Trophy.
Over the last few weeks Cheltenham College and Sherborne have been performing very well, and that made for a close encounter on Saturday, which Cheltenham just edged, 8-5.
There was a huge derby between Ellesmere College and Denstone College. The two sides threw everything at each other, in what is their oldest fixture, but a strong first half from Denstone paid off, and saw them secure a 20-5 victory.
Millfield had to dig incredibly hard away at Monmouth on Saturday to secure the win to keep them in the Top 10 of the Daily Mail. They were a fair distance down to their hosts midway through the first half but staged an outstanding comeback to win 32-24, keeping themselves in the Top 10 ahead of their final game in the competition, against Sedbergh on Wednesday.
There was a huge game in the Midlands as Rugby hosted Oundle. Rugby are enjoying one of their best seasons for a number of years, but faced an Oundle side in excellent recent form. The hosts held on though, keeping their chances of a Top 5 finish in the Daily Mail Trophy alive with a 23-17 victory.
The final game of our ‘Focus On’ fixtures was a massive game between one of the NatWest Cup favourites, Warwick, and the Champions Trophy semi finalists, Oakham. We expected a close game, and with a NatWest Cup quarter final ahead for Warwick, possibly a chance for Oakham to sneak a win. However Warwick were inspired, putting in a stunning performance to beat the visitors 45-13.
Around the Grounds
Abingdon have had one of their best years for a very long time, and they capped that off in style on Saturday with a 41-7 victory over Marlborough College.
Berkhamsted were highly rated before the season started, and they showed just why with a brilliant 64-0 win over London Oratory, a win that makes it three full seasons unbeaten at home, which means they are starting to drift into Stamford levels of home consistency.
There was a similarly dominant performance further north as St Peter’s York moved into the Top 3 in the Daily Mail Trophy thanks to a stunning 66-0 win over Bradford Grammar School.
Bryanston found some form for a 19-13 victory over Downside, while Cranbrook were on form for a 47-8 win over Simon Langton.
There was a repeat of the 2013 NatWest Cup final as Dulwich College met Northampton School for Boys. Dulwich won that day, their second of three titles in a row, and they did so again on Saturday, winning 28-17.
Epsom College were highly impressive on Saturday, as they have been many times this season, beating Trinity 50-19.
Bromgsrove have really hit their stride since half term, and not a moment to late as they await their NatWest Cup quarter final on Wednesday and they look to secure a third title in a row. They warmed up in style on Saturday, beating KES Birmingham 43-5.
Whitgift were back on form with a 57-14 victory over Langley Park. Haileybury were also top performers this weekend, beating a Merchant Taylors’ side with some huge recent victories to their names by a 35-25 margin.
There was a close game between Norwich and Felsted, with Norwich beating the NatWest Cup semi finalists 7-5. It was far from close in Nottingham though as Nottingham High School beat Grammar School at Leeds 59-5.
Bloxham performed extremely well to beat The Oratory 24-5, a scoreline that included a try for Alfie Barbeary. The Bloxham hooker has now scored in eleven consecutive school fixtures, a stunning achievement.
Pangbourne College and Magdalen College shared 67 points between them, with Magdalen College just sneaking it, 36-31. There were plenty of points shared at Pate’s Grammar, too. Bristol Grammar ran out as 52-38 winners in a thrilling game of rugby.
Kingswood were in really great form, beating QEH Bristol 62-0 in one of the most impressive performances of the entire weekend.
Reed’s secured an impressive 45-24 victory over Shiplake College, while there were good wins for Reigate Grammar and RGS Guildford who beat Caterham and KCS Wimbedon 31-3 and 33-0 respectively.
St Benedict’s got their own back after losing to John Fisher last year, beating them 15-14 in an incredibly tense game of rugby. It was similarly tense in Stockport as Crossley Heath beat Stockport Gramamr 29-28. Stowe also won a close and tense game, beating Eton College 26-24.
Woodhouse Grove rounded off their Daily Mail Trophy season in fine style as they beat Hymers Colege 45-17.
Friday was one of the great days of schools rugby as the Champions Trophy final took place at Allianz Park. Bedford were aiming to make it back to back titles but they came up against a Tonbridge side who were inspired. The two sides played out a fantastic game, a true display of the best of schools rugby. Tonbridge just took the victory, 17-10, and you can see our report from the match here: Champions Trophy Final report.
There was also a game on Friday night as Eltham College and St John’s Leatherhead met at Cobham RFC, with St John’s producing yet another outstanding performance for a 55-12 victory.
You can see a Gallery of photos from the weekend’s school rugby here: Gallery – Saturday 3rd December.
If you have any photos, videos, or reports from the weekend’s school rugby, please do send them in via email (email@example.com ), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby ), or via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV).
Schools Rugby Weekends Results:
Brighton College v Hampton – Abandoned
Cheltenham College 8-5 Sherborne
Ellesmere College 5-20 Denstone College
King’s Macclesfield 10-41 Kirkham GS
Monmouth 24-32 Millfield
Radley College 0-43 Harrow
Rugby 23-17 Oundle
Sir Thomas Rich’s 22-43 Clifton College
Warwick 45-13 Oakham
Wellington College 30-13 St Paul’s
Around the Grounds
Abingdon 41-7 Marlborough College
Adams GS 14-41 Solihull
Ampleforth College 15-15 Pocklington
Barnard Castle 5-14 Durham
Berkhamsted 64-0 London Oratory
Bishop’s Stortford HS 10-43 Bedford Modern
Blundell’s 11-10 Taunton
Bradford GS 0-66 St Peter’s York
Brentwood 15-20 RGS Colchester
Bryanston 19-13 Downside
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS 35-18 Cooper’s Coborn
Christ College 45-24 King’s Bruton
Churcher’s College 5-28 Seaford College
City of London Freemen’s 7-10 Worth
Cranbrook 47-8 Simon Langton GS
Dame Allan’s 15-13 Newcastle School for Boys
Dauntsey’s 16-20 Reading Blue Coat
Dean Close 42-10 Prior Park College
Duke of York’s RMS 8-17 Sutton Valence
Dulwich College 28-17 Northampton School for Boys
Emanuel 21-19 Halliford
Epsom College 50-19 Trinity
Fettes College 31-7 George Heriot’s
Framlingham College 12-29 Royal Hospital School
George Watson’s 7-13 Merchiston Castle
Haberdashers’ 13-27 UCS
Hurstpierpoint College 20-15 Eastbourne College
KES Birmingham 5-43 Bromsgrove
KES Stratford 24-12 Wellingborough
King’s College Taunton 27-28 Truro School
Langley Park 14-57 Whitgift
Latymer Upper 5-12 St Columba’s College
Lawrence Sherriff 25-14 King Henry VII, Coventry
Leicester GS 40-7 Ratcliffe College
Loughborough 8-8 Stamford
Merchant Taylors’ 25-35 Haileybury
Newcastle-Under-Lyme 38-7 Cheadle Hulme
New Hall v Woodbridge – Cancelled
Norwich 7-5 Felsted
Nottingham HS 59-5 Grammar School at Leeds
Old Swinford Hospital v King’s Worcester – Cancelled
Oratory 5-24 Bloxham
Pangbourne College 31-36 Magdalen College
Pate’s GS 38-52 Bristol GS
Portsmouth GS 31-3 KES Southampton
Princethorpe College 15-12 King Edward VI Camp Hill
QEH 0-62 Kingswood
Reed’s 45-24 Shiplake College
Reigate GS 31-3 Caterham
RGS Guildford 33-0 KCS Wimbledon
RGS High Wycombe 26-14 Campion
RGS Lancaster 22-24 Queen Ethelburga’s
RGS Worcester 27-25 St Peter’s Gloucester
Rydal Penrhos 18-16 St Anselm’s
Sevenoaks 13-0 King’s School, Canterbury
St Albans 43-17 Aylesbury GS
St Ambrose College 20-17 Merchant Taylors’
St Benedict’s 15-14 John Fisher
St Dunstan’s College 26-15 Kent College
St Edward’s Oxford 20-8 Malvern College
St George’s College, Weybridge 41-10 Lord Wandsworth College
Stockport GS 28-29 Crossley Heath
Stowe 26-24 Eton College
Uppingham 13-36 Trent College
Wallington CGS 25-21 Wimbledon College
Warminster 25-32 Wycliffe College
Watford GS v QEH Barnet
Wellington School 10-17 KES Bath
Wilmslow HS 26-36 Manchester GS
Wisbech GS 32-30 Gresham’s
Woodhouse Grove 45-17 Hymers College
Worksop College 17-19 Mount St Mary’s College
Bedford 10-17 Tonbridge – Champions Trophy Final
Eltham College 12-55 St John’s Leatherhead
Still to Come:
Exeter School v Queen’s College Taunton
Hereford Cathedral School v Shrewsbury
Judd v Glyn
Plymouth College v Mount Kelly
St Joseph’s College v Ipswich
Yarm v Ashville College