The final game of the Champions Trophy second round has been completed, giving us the full 2017 Champions Trophy quarter final lineup.
A dramatic opening week of the second round saw all three former Champions knocked out, Millfield, Bedford, and Tonbridge. Alongside that, on Thursday 2014 finalists Grammar School at Leeds sensationally knocked out one of the big and exciting new additions to the tournament, Wellington College.
It all means that we will have a new champion once again, as we have every year since this tournament started back in 2014.
The action all began on Tuesday when Kingswood showed a display of immense courage to come back from a score within 30 seconds of kick off to beat the 2015 champions, Bedford, 29-17, you can see our report form that game here: Bedford 17-29 Kingswood.
Whilst that was going on St John’s Leatherhead were once again scoring the most points of the round, this time scoring 39 as they beat the holders, Tonbridge, 39-25, making it twice in three years that they have knocked out the men from Kent.
Not far up the road was arguably the most hotly anticipated tie of the round as the 2015 finalists and 2016 semi finalists, Epsom College, hosted Blundell’s for the third time in a row. Epsom had ended Blundell’s hopes in the previous two seasons but the men from Devon put in an immensely talented and powerful performance to secure the most dominant victory of the round, 31-7, potentially setting them up as one of the favourites now.
Moving into Wednesday a third former champion saw their time in the tournament ended at the first step as Millfield went down 19-12 at Stowe in a highly competitive game in Buckinghamshire. It was a superb effort from Stowe, who surely now head into the rest of the competition flush with confidence.
The 2015 and 2016 Schools Cup Champions, Bromsgrove, have moved across this year and after a dominant first round win over Monmouth, they backed it up in a thoroughly entertaining game at RGS Guildford, winning 37-22 with skipper Ollie Lawrence scoring 32 of his side’s points.
Moving into Thursday Eton College opened their account with a 15-10 win away at Bryanston School after a first round bye. Bryanston had almost hit a half century in their opener, so to restrict their scoring like that was a real bonus for Eton.
Finally on Thursday came the big news that Grammar School at Leeds had defeated Wellington College in one of the biggest stories of the round. For much of the game the Leeds outfit were down to 14 men due to an early red card, and each side also exchanged yellows, but it was the hosts that managed to dig deep into their reserves to secure a quite brilliant 17-11 victory, knocking out one of the pre-tournament favourites in the process.
The final tie of the round saw Dulwich College, Schools Cup winners in 2012, 2013, and 2014, travel to Berkhamsted. Both sides have been playing good rugby this season, and it was a tight game at half time, with Dulwich just ahead 14-10. Dulwich were playing with the greater control though, and they accelerated away in the second half to take a 33-17 victory and a place in the quarter finals.
The victory for Dulwich College means that they will travel to Bromsgrove for their quarter final, a game that is now doubly interesting as between the two sides they have five of the last 6 Schools Cup titles. Most interestingly of all, there is some Cup history between them after it was Bromsgrove that ended Dulwich’s run of Schools Cup titles back in 2015, beating them in the final. Of course for those on the pitch for this quarter final, that is by the by, this is two new sets of players, looking to create their own history in a different competition.
Kingswood’s reward for knocking out Bedford is a home tie against Eton College, a game that should prove to be another cracking fixture.
Stowe meanwhile have the daunting task of the very much in from Blundell’s to contend with, though in Stowe’s favour they are at home and have the huge confidence of that win over Millfield.
Grammar School at Leeds are at home for the third game in a row, a fitting reward for Thursday’s win, and it St John’s Leatherhead who this time are faced with the long away trip up to Leeds.
All in all, we are looking at four stunning games of rugby, kicking off on the week commencing on the 6th November, plenty of time for the build up to reach fever pitch!
For those involved, a huge opportunity beckons, for they all know that a new champion will be crowned in this 2017 edition of the Champions Trophy.
Champions Trophy Quarter Final Fixtures:
Kingswood v Eton College
Bromsgrove v Dulwich College
Stowe v Blundell’s
Grammar School at Leeds v St John’s Leatherhead
Champions Trophy Round 2 Results:
Bedford 17-29 Kingswood
Berkhamsted 17-33 Dulwich College
Bryanston 10-15 Eton College
Epsom College 7-31 Blundell’s
Grammar School at Leeds 17-11 Wellington College
RGS Guildford 22-37 Bromsgrove
St John’s Leatherhead 39-25 Tonbridge
Stowe 19-12 Millfield
Quarter Finals – w/c 6th November
Semi Finals – w/c 20th November
Final – Wednesday 6th December
Champions Trophy Round 1 Results:
Bromsgrove 34-5 Monmouth
Bryanston 47-37 Bristol Grammar
Dulwich College 43-12 St Paul’s
Grammar School at Leeds 38-24 Oakham
Marlborough College 3-22 Kingswood
Radley College 17-32 Berkhamsted
RGS Guildford 38-0 Caterham
Sherborne 7-18 Blundell’s
St John’s, Leatherhead 61-14 King’s Canterbury
Stowe 47-17 St Albans
Byes – Bedford, Epsom College, Eton College, Millfield, Tonbridge, Wellington College