The first weekend of the season might have been wet and wild for many, but the rugby was superb.
There were some stunning performances all over the country, and while relative performance is hard to judge at this point in the season, given that there is no form guide to go by, we did manage to pick out five that particularly stood out for us.
Of course there were many more than five, and sides with some quite stunning opening day results, such as Campion, Merchant Taylors’, Harrow, and Stamford, are incredibly unlucky to miss out.
Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend
Without doubt, Canford are a school on the rise, their performances last season certainly confirmed that. However no matter how far on the rise you are, an opening weekend fixture against school rugby giants Millfield is always a daunting prospect. Canford were unaffected though, digging in through some torrid conditions at time for a memorable 18-5 victory. It is the sort of victory that can set a side up for a very strong season, and do not be surprised if that is exactly what happens with Canford.
Cranleigh kicked off where they left off last season, playing Brighton College and winning. The two sides were joined at the hip last year it seemed. Brighton won their block fixture at 1st XV level, a tight 6-3 win, before Cranleigh won the St Joseph’s Festival after a 10-10 draw in the final by virtue of scoring first, the sides then met twice at Rosslyn Park, including the final, with Cranleigh winning at the death, before again meeting at Twickenham during the London 7s. Of the lot, this weekend’s was by far the most convincing win, 29-17, and suggests that once again Cranleigh have a strong side. Right now though, you suspect, both sides will just be glad to be playing someone else next week.
An away game against a good St Paul’s side, and one who really impressed last year, was never likely to be the easiest of starts for Epsom College. They made it as easy as it could be, though it was still a tough old game, as they plugged away for an impressive 32-7 victory. It sets Epsom up for a strong tilt at the season, and with many of last year’s top players still available, they are definitely a side to keep close tabs on this year, particularly after such a strong start on Saturday.
We may have predicted that QEGS Wakefield would beat RGS Lancaster on Saturday, but never in a million years would we have guessed that the scoreline would be a staggering 82-0. RGS Lancaster were a decent side last year and a tough one to crack, suggesting that QEGS are once again sitting on a very good 1st XV indeed this year. Keep an eye on them, especially in the Schools Cup, where they are always a threat, and after a performance like that they are going to be arriving full of confidence.
RGS High Wycombe – 17-5 away Eton College
After a heavy defeat last weekend to Wellington College it was important for RGS High Wycombe to bounce back on Saturday. Bounce back they did, with a convincing 17-5 win away at Eton College. It would have been possible for last weekend’s result to demoralise the side, but in true RGS style they dug in and have now set their season back on course at the earliest possible opportunity. It is a superb turnaround, and will be interesting to see if they can keep that form up from now on.