Week two of the schools rugby season often gives us a chance to begin to asses the relative strengths and weaknesses of various different teams.
This year appears no different. Once again it looks as though Wellington College have an exceptional team, QEGS Wakefield and Cranleigh appear strong, and Sedbergh look to be in the Wellington bracket. Whitgift are not a million miles behind either, while Dulwich College are making a few early headlines too.
Our Focus On fixtures produced some real thrillers this weekend. Haileybury v Felsted always looked like being an exciting fixture between two sides that are definitely going up and up. So it proved, Haileybury flew out of the traps for a 10-0 lead only for Felsted to take advantage of a strong set-piece and level things at 10-10 at the break. A penalty extended that lead but a Haileybury try put them 17-13 ahead. Felsted fought back admirably though, scoring a try of their own for a 20-17 lead that they would hold through to the final whistle.
The Wimbledon derby was an absolute firecracker of a game, finishing up KCS Wimbledon 13-13 Wimbledon College. The game was as even as the scoreline suggests and full of all of the passion that might be expected of such a local derby, particularly in front of a large crowd. KCS had a chance for the win with a penalty in the final play, but the long range effort just did not quite have the legs.
The close games just kept on coming in our Focus On fixtures. Up in Rutland, Oakham hosted local rivals Stamford. Oakham’s had their redevelopment of their famous Doncaster Close site finished for this game, but the spectacular new redesign was just no quite enough as Stamford dug deep to hold on for a 14-12 victory against their big local rivals.
Moving to Yorkshire, there was a huge game between two giants of the region, QEGS Wakefield and Woodhouse Grove. QEGS started their season with a bang last week, while Woodhouse Grove feel to a narrow defeat to a very good St Peter’s side. That form from last week carried through for QEGS, who picked up a very handy 33-20 victory.
There was a big game in Oxfordshire between two of the most famous schools in the world, Radley College and Eton College. Our first draft of this initially said that Radley had won, however it was in fact Eton College that took the win, a strong 22-8 victory, an ideal way to bounce back from last weekend’s opening defeat to RGS.
RGS High Wycombe were at home this weekend to Millfield, who last week lost to Canford. The strength of that Canford performance was shown on Saturday though as Millfield showed their talents off for an outstanding 42-10 victory over RGS.
Cranleigh made it two wins fro two with an excellent 29-17 win over a strong St John’s Leatherhead side. Having beaten Brighton College last weekend, they now have two very decent sized scalps to their name already this season.
Harrow proved that they are definitely a force to be reckoned with again this season, just like last year. Having smashed Norwich in a warm up game last week, this week they travelled to Schools Cup champions, Warwick. It was a close and tense game, but Harrow came out on top with an impressive 26-19 victory.
When you hear Daily Mail Trophy champions v Champions Trophy champions as the billing for a game, you expect a close battle. With that in mind, Wellington College’s 65-7 victory over Tonbridge has to go down as one of the results of the weekend. Wellington are now three from three, including big wins over RGS High Wycombe and now Tonbridge. It also puts the fact that Dulwich College ran them so close into real perspective, keep an eye on Dulwich this year.
The last of our Focus On fixtures was a repeat of the Esher RFC President’s Cup final between Whitgift and Hampton. Whitgift won that game, and they did so again on Saturday, but in much more commanding fashion for an excellent 33-0 margin of victory.
Around the Grounds
Elsewhere, one of the most impressive results of the weekend was a brilliant 28-27 win for Hurstpierpoint College against Brighton College. A win that should fill them with a huge amount of confidence and set them up for a good few more impressive wins this season.
Berkhamsted were on song, beating UCS 52-0, while in the triangular at Blundell’s, there was a real mix as Sherborne beat Kirkham Grammar but host to the host school.
One of the real highlights of the weekend was a close battle between Bryanston and Clifton College, with Clifton winning 29-22, while Bromsgrove were 38-11 victors over Oundle at home.
King’s Canterbury found their feet for a 14-5 win at Caterham, and Colston’s fast start continued with a 38-12 victory over RGS Worcester. Denstone College meanwhile stunned those in attendance with an awesome display for a 55-3 win over Solihull.
In the other triangular taking place on Saturday Christ College Brecon came out on top, beating both Newcastle-Under-Lyme and Ellesmere College. Ellesmere did manage to give them home crowd something to cheer though as they beat Newcastle.
One of the results and performances of the day was an outstanding 13-12 away win for Dulwich College and Epsom College. Both sides really made each other work hard and there is now no doubt that both are top quality outfits. Dulwich are now looking very pretty indeed having been the only side so far to truly cause Wellington College any problems as well as now having this victory at Epsom.
Judd showed their quality that took them to last year’s Cup quarter finals as they beat Glyn 41-0, while up at Grammar School at Leeds there was a good result for the home side with their 27-20 win over Durham. Not far down the road, Worksop College were on good form for a 19-0 win at Hymers College, while St Ambrose College were on fire, beating Hutton Grammar 53-0.
In Croydon there was a big derby between John Fisher and Trinity, Trinity came out on top with a 26-17 victory. There was an exciting draw in the South West as King’s College Taunton and Prior Park held each other at 24 a piece. Things were nearly as close in Worcester as King’s Worcester edged out St Peter’s Gloucester in a thriller, 35-31.
Over at Malvern College, Bloxham did outstandingly well to turn a 12-6 deficit on the half hour into a brilliant 34-12victory. All the more impressive give that it was achieved with a side containing just two players in their Upper 6th year.
In the big game in Scotland Merchiston Castle were 38-7 winners over Dollar Academy, they look as though it’ll take an impressive side to beat them, as ever.
Downside impressed with a 41-10 win at Monkton Combe, so too Plymouth College who were 45-0 winners v Mount Kelly, and Portsmouth Grammar, who saw off Lord Wandsworth College 51-7.
Reed’s won a really tight battle against RGS Guildford, 13-12, and it was similarly tight as King’s Macclesfield beat RGS Lancaster, 18-15. Royal Hospital School, Seaford College, and Sevenoaks all picked up large wins, however one of the biggest and almost certainly the most impressive was Sedbergh’s stunning 73-0 win over RGS Newcastle. Everyone knows Sedbergh’s quality, but RGS are hardly slouches, it was a serious win.
Cheltenham College’s 23-8 win at Stowe has impressive, as was St Edward’s Oxford’s 20-0 win over Rugby School, who went unbeaten last year, remember. St Paul’s bounced back from defeat last week for a 15-6 win at home to Marlborough College, while St Peter’s York were absolutely flying against Ampleforth College, 66-15. Just as good were Kingswood, who beat Taynton 60-0 away from home. Bedford, meanwhile, maintained their good start with a hard fought 17-5 win over Uppingham.
Manchester Grammar School seized the north western honours against Stockport Grammar with a 12-3 win on Friday night. Meanwhile in the South West Wells Cathedral beat Warminster 37-24. St Albans continued their impressive early season run with a 17-7 win over Mill Hill.
As always, if you have any videos, photos, or reports from the week’s rugby, please feel free to send them in via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby), Instagram (@fifteenrugbyxv), or through email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can see photos of the weekend’s fixtures here: Gallery – Saturday 16th September.
Schools Rugby Weekend Results – Saturday 16th September:
Haileybury 17-20 Felsted
KCS Wimbledon 13-13 Wimbledon College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Oakham 12-14 Stamford (Daily Mail Trophy)
QEGS Wakefield 33-20 Woodhouse Grove (Daily Mail Trophy)
Radley College v Eton College (Daily Mail Trophy) – Score not yet official, Radley College win.
RGS High Wycombe 10-42 Millfield (Daily Mail Trophy)
St John’s Leatherhead 17-29 Cranleigh (Daily Mail Trophy)
Warwick 19-26 Harrow (Daily Mail Trophy)
Wellington College 65-7 Tonbridge (Daily Mail Trophy)
Whitgift 33-0 Hampton (Daily Mail Trophy)
Ashford 5-61 Duke of York’s RMS
Austin Friars v Queen Ethelburga’s
Aylesbury GS 12-13 Bedford Modern (Daily Mail Trophy)
Bablake 22-5 KES Camp Hill
Bancroft’s 0-10 Colfe’s
Berkhamsted 52-0 UCS
Bishop Vesey’s GS 37-13 Nottingham HS
Blundell’s v Kirkham GS v Sherborne
Blundell’s 18-5 Sherborne
Kirkham Grammar 7-18 Sherborne
Bradford GS 26-24 Crossley Heath (Daily Mail Trophy)
Bromsgrove 38-11 Oundle (Daily Mail Trophy)
Bryanston 22-29 Clifton College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Campion 20-0 Merchant Taylors’ (Daily Mail Trophy)
Caterham 5-14 King’s Canterbury (Daily Mail Trophy)
Charterhouse 10-33 Gordon’s
Cheadle Hulme 12-41 St Anselm’s College
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS 14-8 Langley Park
City of London Freemen’s 69-7 Cobham International (U18 Vase)
Colston’s 38-12 RGS Worcester (Daily Mail Trophy)
Cranbrook 14-18 Sir Joseph Williamson’s
Dame Allan’s 5-45 Barnard Castle (Daily Mail Trophy)
Denstone College 55-3 Solihull (Daily Mail Trophy)
Eastbourne College 15-7 Skinners’ (Daily Mail Trophy)
Ellemsere College v Christ College v Newcastle Under Lyme
Ellesmere College 0-10 Christ College
Christ College 36-0 Newcastle-Under-Lyme
Ellesmere 7-0 Newcastle-Under-Lyme
Epsom College 12-13 Dulwich College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Exeter 35-0 West Buckland
Fettes College 62-0 Dundee HS
Glenalmond 36-12 Loretto
Glyn 0-41 Judd
Grammar School at Leeds 27-20 Durham (Daily Mail Trophy)
Gresham’s 10-42 St Joseph’s College
Haberdashers 14-5 Hitchen
Halliford 14-36 Reading Blue Coat
Harrogate GS 5-8 Ashville College
Hereford Cathedral 50-5 Wycliffe College
Hurstpierpoint College 28-27 Brighton College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Hutton GS 0-53 St Ambrose College
Hymers College 0-19 Worksop College
John Fisher 17-26 Trinity (Daily Mail Trophy)
Kelvinside Academy 49-14 Merchiston Castle 2nd XV
KES Bath 10-22 Bristol GS
KES Stratford 12-17 King Henry VIII, Coventry
King’s Bruton 33-0 Clayesmore
King’s College Taunton 24-24 Prior Park College
King’s Worcester 35-31 St Peter’s Gloucester (Daily Mail Trophy)
Latymer Upper 41-7 Saint Cecilia’s
Liverpool College 38-26 Bolton
Malvern College 12-34 Bloxham (Daily Mail Trophy)
Merchiston Castle 38-7 Dollar Academy
Monkton Combe 10-41 Downside
Monmouth 27-6 Old Swinford Hospital (Daily Mail Trophy)
New Hall 35-5 Bishop Stortford’s HS
Northampton School for Boys 38-7 Sir Thomas Rich’s (Daily Mail Trophy)
Plymouth College 45-0 Mount Kelly
Portsmouth GS 51-7 Lord Wandsworth College
Princethorpe College 26-7 Ratcliffe College
Reed’s 13-12 RGS Guildford
RGS Colchester 50-8 Culford
RGS Lancaster 15-18 King’s Macclesfield (Daily Mail Trophy)
Royal Hospital School 42-3 Norwich
Rydal Penrhos 26-34 St Mary’s College
Seaford College 43-17 Shiplake College
Sedbergh 73-0 RGS Newcastle (Daily Mail Trophy)
Sevenoaks 43-12 Reigate GS
Silcoates 34-12 Yarm
Stewart’s Melville 14-19 George Watson’s
Stowe 8-23 Cheltenham College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Strathallan 50-3 Edinburgh Academy
St Aloysius’ 31-5 Glasgow Academy
St Benedict’s 33-12 London Oratory (Daily Mail Trophy)
St Columba’s College 22-21 Watford GS
St Edmund’s College 25-7 Robert Clack
St Edward’s, Oxford 20-0 Rugby (Daily Mail Trophy)
St Ignatius 0-47 QES Barnet
St Paul’s 15-6 Marlborough College (Daily Mail Trophy)
St Peter’s, York 66-15 Ampleforth College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Sutton Valence 45-7 Christ’s Hospital
Taunton 0-60 Kingswood
Uppingham 5-17 Bedford (Daily Mail Trophy)
Wallington CGS 10-5 Tiffin
Wellington 14-24 QEH
Wisbech GS 14-23 Wellingborough
Worth 7-35 The Oratory
Manchester GS 12-3 Stockport GS (Daily Mail Trophy)
St Albans 17-7 Mill Hill
Wells Cathedral 37-24 Warminster