Schools Rugby Weekend Roundup: Saturday 14th October

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With half term rapidly approaching, a number of schools played their final game of the first half of term on Saturday.

 

There were some thrilling games, including a couple of draws and a number of games decided by just a couple of points. There were big wins, comebacks full of character, and some terrific responses after midweek setbacks.

 

Focus On

 

Canford secured a superb 38-19 win over a Blundell’s side that were full of confidence after a strong win over Epsom College in the Champions Trophy. It was a result that once again demonstrates how strong this Canford side is, and a win over Bryanston in midweek would give them an unbeaten first half of term.

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Cheltenham College will go into the half term break unbeaten, but they were given their toughest ride of the season by a determined St Edward’s Oxford side. It was a low scoring game, with Cheltenham winning 8-6, but it was a game full of determination and quality.

 

Speaking of determination, Clifton College secured a 30-19 victory over Bristol Grammar School in one of the most extraordinary games of the season, featuring not one but two stunning comebacks. Clifton raced to an early 15-0 lead, but by half term this exciting group at Bristol Grammar had overturned it to lead 19-15. On the back foot now, Clifton then turned the game back around again in the second half, scoring another fifteen points for a 30-19 victory.

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Harrow are another side to head into half term unbeaten but, much like Cheltenham, they were made to work harder than at any point this season. Epsom College put in a huge shift at home to finish within two points, at 19-17, of a Harrow side that put sixty past St Paul’s last week.

 

Haileybury made it three wins on the bounce with a really excellent win over the previously unbeaten Stamford. It was the first 20 minutes that did it ,with Haileybury going 24-0 up. Stamford responded well, scoring a try before half time and really putting the pressure on early in the second half, however Haileybury held strong and added a penalty to secure a 27-7 victory. It should put them in a great frame of mind ahead of an exciting fixture against Eton College at Allianz Park on Wednesday evening.

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With the upcoming St Joseph’s Festival in mind, there was a really exciting fixture between RGS High Wycombe and Brighton College on Saturday, two sides with great experience at the Festival, who are both always among the runners and riders for the Trophy. It was Brighton College that secured the early psychological boost ahead of this weekend’s tournament, beating their hosts 33-22 to head in full of confidence.

 

One really keenly anticipated fixture this weekend was a real schoolboy classic between Sedbergh and Barnard Castle. Sedbergh were expected to win, and did, but this was about schools rugby history as much as anything else, two great schools meeting. It was a sixth win from six for Sedbergh, a strong 31-0 effort, but with Kirkham and Llandovery to come, securing an unbeaten first half of term still will not be easy.

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Sherborne made it three wins in a row with a win in their big derby against Bryanston. It was an excellent game and finished close, with Sherborne just on top by a four point margin, 24-20.

 

Stowe and Bromsgrove both enjoyed Champions Trophy wins in midweek. Bromsgrove beat RGS Guildford, and Stowe enjoyed a real highlight win with a 19-12 victory over Millfield. The result on Saturday was an unbelievably close game, but with Bromsgrove just managing to stay out in front thanks to an extra penalty to secure a 13-10 victory, making it six wins out of seven this half term, their only defeat coming narrowly to Schools Cup champions, Warwick.

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When Wellington College put 65 past Tonbridge in September, few thought that anyone could top that in terms of shock value this season. On Saturday Wellington College did just that though, beating Bedford by a quite stunning 71-14 margin. Even more extraordinarily, those points were far from evenly split, they were 28-0 up at half time, the second half yielded a staggering 43 points, although the final score was perhaps inflated by a number of injuries for Bedford, leaving them with just 14 men at the end and a wildly reshuffled side. Debate will continue over whether this constitutes an unbeaten half term or not for Wellington after their representatives were knocked out of the premier Champions Trophy competition in midweek, but what is absolutely certain that this is a truly sensational side – Bedford are a really good team, beating them like that is extraordinary. Wellington’s clash with Irish school legends Blackrock College on Saturday 4th November could be one of the games of the season.

 

Around the Grounds

 

One of the most highly anticipated games on Saturday was Felsted’s trip to Berkhamsted. Both are looking good this season, and Felsted arrived unbeaten. They departed unbeaten, but only just, after a brilliant game of rugby that was as closely fought as any you will see this season. It, fittingly, ended in a 13-13 draw.

 

There was another exciting draw this weekend, and an impressive one in many ways from Langley Park who held their illustrious opponents, John Fisher, to a thrilling 26-26 draw.

 

There were plenty of other close games too, not least Eton College v Dulwich College, two sides with real Champions Trophy ambitions. They played out a classic encounter, sharing sixty points as Dulwich College just sneaked it 31-29.

 

Judd and RGS Guildford were almost as close. Judd have been in great form this season, but RGS have been playing some lovely attacking rugby too, and it showed from both sides as they scored plenty of tries, with Judd coming out on top, 29-24.

 

There were some impressive big wins for sides too, QEGS Wakefield sent out a reminder of their quality with an 83-0 win over Crossley Heath, while Hymers College were 87-28 winners against Ashville College, and Stonyhurst College were on song for a 60-7 win at Rydal Penrhos.

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Rugby School’s was perhaps the most impressive of all through, they have had an up and down first half of term, but ended it with an extraordinary high, beating Trent College 75-5.

 

Downside made it four wins from five with an excellent 48-24 win over King’s College Taunton. The only side that have beaten them are Colston’s, whose six game unbeaten season ended on Saturday with an excellent performance from KES Bath, who won 32-7.

 

Dean Close’s quest for an unbeaten first half of term remains on as they made it six from six with a 17-10 win over Taunton School, they will have to work hard to finish the job though, with a game against St Edward’s Oxford to come. Bradford Grammar also sealed an unbeaten first half of term, their first in over a decade, with an excellent win against Grammar School at Leeds, who were coming off the back of that brilliant win over Wellington College in the Champions Trophy.

 

Durham picked up some silverware against Ampleforth College, winning the Noel Shearing Cup, named in memory of a former pupil, with a strong 46-5 victory.

 

There was also action in the Schools Plate, where St Ambrose College progressed to the second round after a 29-13 win over Altrincham Grammar School.

 

Friday

 

Kirkham Grammar School continued their excellent season on Friday night with an impressive performance against Abingdon. The North Western side secured an excellent 41-5 victory. With Sedbergh and St Michael’s College (from Dublin) to come over the next 7 days, this has the potential to be a famous week for the team in navy and white.

 

Kingswood carried on where they left off in the Champions Trophy against Bedford, securing a really impressive 24-11 win against AASE side Beechen Cliff on Friday night. Fellow Champions Trophy quarter finalists, St John’s Leatherhead, beat Trinity 39-7.

 

There was a thriller between Malvern College and Monmouth, with Monmouth taking the spoils, 31-23. There was also some Schools Bowl action on Friday as Emmanuel College moved into the third round with a 37-28 win over Gateshead College.

 

To see photos from the weekend’s school rugby please follow this link: Gallery – Saturday 14th October.

 

As always, if you have any videos, photos, or reports from the weekend’s rugby, please feel free to send them in via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby), Instagram (@fifteenrugbyxv), or through email (writers@fifteenrugby.com).

 

Schools Rugby Weekend Results:

 

Focus On

 

Canford 38-19 Blundell’s (Daily Mail Trophy)

Cheltenham College 8-6 St Edward’s, Oxford (Daily Mail Trophy)

Clifton College 30-19 Bristol GS (Daily Mail Trophy)

Epsom College 17-19 Harrow (Daily Mail Trophy)

Haileybury 27-7 Stamford (Daily Mail Trophy)

RGS High Wycombe 22-33 Brighton College (Daily Mail Trophy)

Sedbergh 31-0 Barnard Castle (Daily Mail Trophy)

Sherborne 24-20 Bryanston (Daily Mail Trophy)

Stowe 10-13 Bromsgrove (Daily Mail Trophy)

Wellington College 71-14 Bedford (Daily Mail Trophy)

 

Saturday

 

Adams GS 33-40 Ellesmere College (Daily Mail Trophy)

Altrincham GS 13-29 St Ambrose College (Schools Plate)

Berkhamsted 13-13 Felsted (Daily Mail Trophy)

Bloxham 40-3 Pangbourne College

Campion 23-18 St George’s College, Weybridge (Daily Mail Trophy)

Cheadle Hulme 31-12 Liverpool College

Chislehurst & Sidcup GS 13-10 Whitgift 2nd XV

Colfe’s 48-7 Reigate GS

Crypt 25-7 KES Stratford

Dame Allan’s 67-0 RGS Newcastle 2nd XV

Downside 48-24 King’s College, Taunton

Durham 46-5 Ampleforth College (Daily Mail Trophy)

Eastbourne College 13-29 Reed’s (Daily Mail Trophy)

Eton College 29-31 Dulwich College

Exeter 26-19 Mount Kelly

Framlingham College 15-29 RGS Colchester

Glyn 11-19 Wallington CGS

Grammar School at Leeds 15-21 Bradford GS (Daily Mail Trophy)

Gresham’s 20-15 The Leys

Halliford 26-43 City of London Freemen’s

Hurstpierpoint College 34-24 King’s Canterbury (Daily Mail Trophy)

Hymers College 87-28 Ashville College (Daily Mail Trophy)

Judd 29-24 RGS Guildford

KES Bath 32-7 Colston’s

King Edward VI Camp Hill 0-50 KES Birmingham

King Henry VIII, Coventry 26-19 Hereford Cathedral

Langley Park 26-26 John Fisher

Magdalen College 24-10 Portsmouth GS (Daily Mail Trophy)

Maidstone GS 29-10 Sir Joseph Williamson’s

Manchester GS 26-7 Kirkham GS 2nd XV

New Hall 22-29 Bishop’s Stortford College

Norwich 61-0 Brentwood

Old Swinford Hospital 17-36 Sir Thomas Rich’s (Daily Mail Trophy)

Oratory 22-15 Wellington College 2nd XV

QEGS Wakefield 83-0 Crossley Heath (Daily Mail Trophy)

QEH 7-23 Prior Park College

Reading Blue Coat 31-3 Churcher’s College (Daily Mail Trophy)

Rugby 75-5 Trent College (Daily Mail Trophy)

Rydal Penrhos 7-60 Stonyhurst College

Skinners’ 25-5 Emanuel (Daily Mail Trophy)

St Columba’s College 28-5 QES Barnet

St Lawrence College 46-0 Cranbrook

St Paul’s 44-10 London Oratory (Daily Mail Trophy)

St Peter’s, Gloucester 26-17 Bishop Vesey’s GS

Taunton 10-17 Dean Close

Truro 19-24 Plymouth College

Wellingborough 41-15 Bablake

Wells Cathedral 35-10 Milton Abbey

Whitgift 62-3 Sutton Valence

Wimbledon College 24-12 Tiffin (Daily Mail Trophy)

Worksop College 36-5 King William’s College

Wycliffe College 0-31 Monkton Combe

Wymondam College 38-21 King’s Ely

 

Friday

 

Emmanuel College 37-28 Gateshead College (Schools Bowl)

Kingswood 24-11 Beechen Cliff

Kirkham GS 41-5 Abingdon

Malvern College 23-31 Monmouth (Daily Mail Trophy)

St John’s, Leatherhead 39-7 Trinity (Daily Mail Trophy)

 

Still to Come:

 

Christ College v Wellington School

Kent College v Ashford

Perse v Bishop’s Stortford HS

Queen Ethelburga’s v Ermysted’s Grammar

St Dunstan’s College v St Olave’s GS

St George’s, Harpenden v Watford GS

Stockport GS v Lymm HS (Daily Mail Trophy)

Wilmslow HS v Sandbach

Worksop College 36-5 King William’s College

 

Images: Simon Hipwell, Richard Papworth, Stonyhurst College, David Hutchings, David Spink Photography.

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