Well, as if the international rugby was not enough to keep you on the edge of your seat this weekend, the school game if anything managed to add to it.
There was some sensational stuff being played and as the results came in, a story of a hugely competitive weekend began to puzzle together. Some extraodridnary performances came in, not least in our ‘Focus On’ section of games.
There was a massive Oxford derby between Abingdon and Radley College. Derbies are often tight and tense, and this one played out almost exactly to type. Just two points separated the sides in an incredibly close encounter, with Radley just emerging victorious over their hosts, 5-3.
In the North East things were not quite so tight as St Peter’s York demonstrated their superb form this season once again with a brilliant 31-0 win away at Barnard Castle.
There was a fantastic win for Berkhamsted too as they hosted the founders of the game, Rugby School. A close game was expected, but Berkhamsted were on superb form for a quite brilliant 24-0 win.
Brighton College were in even greater try-scoring form as they took on an Eastbourne College side that last week beat Champions Trophy semi finalists St John’s Leatherhead. Brighton turned on the style, and were rewarded with a highly impressive 50-0 victory.
St John’s, had a tough task if they wanted to bounce straight back to winning ways as they travelled to a confident and in form Haileybury. A huge game ensued, with Haileybury heading in at half time 17-15 up with Spencer Owen and Sam Cappaert in form.
The second half was tight, but it was Haileybury that eventually pulled away, scoring two unanswered converted tries for a 31-15 victory, with Kyle Douglas at number 8 the star of the show.
Denstone College put in a superb display to inflict Stamford’s first home defeat of the season. It was as tough a game as they come, but Denstone held tight for a superb 22-17 win over a side that has been making headlines all season.
Perhaps the most anticipated game of the weekend was Warwick v Sedbergh. The reigning Schools Cup champions against one of the top handful of sides in the country. It proved to be just as good as expected. Warwick put Sedbergh under early pressure, and held the lead for a good period, however the Cumbrians came back in style to take a 26-10 victory, a key win as they bid to prize the Daily Mail Trophy away from Wellington College for the first time in three years – a feat that will likely require them going unebaten in their next four games, including that monster fixture against Wellington next week.
There was a thriller at Bishop Wordsworth’s as the Schools Cup finalists engaged in a end to end points fest with Hampton, eventually running out 33-27 winners against the injury hit South West Londoners, an absolutely thrilling game for all spectators.
There were a couple of cancelled games in our Focus On section due to the heavy midweek exploits of all the sides involved, with RGS High Wycombe v Bromsgrove and Whitgift v Dulwich College both having to be called off.
Around the Grounds
Bedford put in a strong display for an excellent 39-14 win at home to Stowe, a good win for the men in red. There was also an impressive win for Colston’s, beating a strong Bristol Grammar School side 23-17.
King’s Worcester capitalised on Dean Close’s busy schedule to claim a solid 12-10 win away at home. Dean Close rested thirteen of their Cup side that knocked out RGS High Wycombe but still put in a solid effort, however King’s were on form to capitalise, becoming the first side to defeat them all season.
New Hall put in a good performance to beat an Eltham College side that has been in good form 24-14, while there was an exciting draw in Yorkshire as Hymers College and Grammar School at Leeds held each other to a 15-15 share of the spoils.
Epsom College had a welcome return to form with a 31-7 win over RGS Guildford, while Felsted were in sensational form after a tough midweek outing, beating Royal Hospital School 56-0.
In a huge game between two of the most successful state rugby schools around, Campion came out on top against John Fisher with a well earned 20-12 victory.
Judd, meanwhile, were in flying form, beating Gravesend Grammar 40-0, while Langley beat Leicester Grammar 49-5 and Merchant Taylors’ saw off Audenshaw 48-0.
Hurstpierpoint College won a tight one against KCS Wimbledon, 17-13. Solihull, meanwhile, look absolutely ready for their Schools Cup last 16 tie as they turned on the style for a 67-17 win over Nottingham High School.
Cheltenham College remain unbeaten and in truly memorable form this year as they recorded yet another win against tough opposition, beating Monmouth 2012.
QEGS Wakefield are another side looking in real form ahead of the Cup last 16 games, beating Bradford Grammar 29-3. Along the road Woodhouse Grove were in equally good for against Durham, winning 29-5, while Wisbech Grammar claimed a truly outstanding 36-7 win away at Worksop College, who have been in flying form.
Reed’s look ready for the Vase, they were in sensational form against Skinners’, beating them 52-7. St Albans claimed a good 36-12 win over Bedford Modern, with St George’s Weybridge also claiming a win, a tight 15-10 one over Caterham.
Tonbridge posted a score that will give them a confidence boost as they saw off King’s Canterbury 36-0, meanwhile the side that beat them last week, St Paul’s, were beaten 10-3 by Eton College in a battle between to of England’s most well known schools.
One of the most important games of the day was Seaford College v Canford as they tried out their experimental ‘Stand together Satuday’. Designed to focus the day on enjoyment through the age-groups, fostering good relationships between players, parents, and staff from all sides and all teams, and focusing on process rather than outcome. It could not have worked out better, with the final score ending as a 5-5 draw, a truly fitting way for a memorable day to end.
Friday saw some brilliant rugby, not least at Allianz Park where Harrow once again showed their quality for a 38-18 win over Kings Macclesfield.
Elsewhere there were strong wins for Trinity, beating St Benedict’s 43-3, and Merchant Taylors’, who capped off their fantastic ‘Rugby Week’ with a 40-0 win over Emanuel.
Rutlish came out on top in a fantastic battle with Christ’s Hospital, 36-33, while Shiplake College were the winners in an exciting Friday Night Lights encounter with Lord Wandsworth College, 26-11, and Langley Park beat St Olave’s 22-5.
There was also a famous win for KES Bath, who beat Beechen Cliff, albeit a much changed Beechen Cliff side, 30-22 making for a memorable evening for players, staff, and parents alike.
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 (email@example.com).
To see photos from the weekend’s rugby, please visit our gallery: Gallery – Saturday 18th November.
Schools Rugby Weekend Results – Saturday 18th November:
Abingdon 3-5 Radley College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Barnard Castle 0-31 St Peter’s, York (Daily Mail Trophy)
Berkhamsted 24-0 Rugby (Daily Mail Trophy)
Bishop Wordsworth’s 33-27 Hampton (Daily Mail Trophy)
Brighton College 50-0 Eastbourne College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Haileybury 31-15 St John’s, Leatherhead (Daily Mail Trophy)
RGS High Wycombe v Bromsgrove (Daily Mail Trophy) – Cancelled
Stamford 17-22 Denstone College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Warwick 10-26 Sedbergh (Daily Mail Trophy)
Whitgift v Dulwich College (Daily Mail Trophy) – Cancelled
Around the Grounds
Altrincham GS 28-33 Manchester GS
Bedford 39-14 Stowe (Daily Mail Trophy)
Bishop’s Stortford HS 32-17 Brentwood
Bishop Vesey’s GS 15-22 Bloxham
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS 27-18 Ravens Wood
City of London Freemen’s 62-0 Reigate GS
Clayesmore 0-5 King’s Bruton
Colston’s 23-17 Bristol GS (Daily Mail Trophy)
Cooper’s Coborn 22-10 Bancroft’s
Culford 17-5 Gresham’s
Crypt 22-17 QEH
Dartford GS 46-0 Cranbrook
Dean Close 10-12 King’s Worcester (Daily Mail Trophy)
Dollar Academy 12-32 Glasgow Academy
Eltham College 14-24 New Hall
Epsom College 31-7 RGS Guildford (Daily Mail Trophy)
Exeter School 21-7 King’s College, Taunton
Felsted 56-0 Royal Hospital School
Glasgow HS 12-61 Stewart’s Melville
Gravesend GS 0-40 Judd
Hereford Cathedral School 31-5 Cathedral School, Llandaff
Hymers College 15-15 Grammar School at Leeds (Daily Mail Trophy)
John Fisher 12-20 Campion (Daily Mail Trophy)
KCS Wimbledon 13-17 Hurstpierpoint College (Daily Mail Trophy)
KES Southampton 21-33 Churcher’s College
King’s Grantham 14-27 Northampton School for Boys
Leicester GS 5-49 Langley
Loughborough 24-19 KES Birmingham (Daily Mail Trophy)
Magdalen College 29-3 KES Stratford
Merchant Taylors’ 48-0 Audenshaw
Mill Hill 18-11 Pangbourne College
Monmouth 12-20 Cheltenham College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Nottingham HS 17-67 Solihull (Daily Mail Trophy)
Oratory 40-12 St Gerrard’s
Pate’s GS 8-19 Sir Thomas Rich’s (Daily Mail Trophy)
Perse 26-12 Norwich
Plymouth College 26-10 Queen’s College, Taunton
Pocklington 26-19 Yarm (Daily Mail Trophy)
Portsmouth GS 10-24 Bryanston (Daily Mail Trophy)
Princethorpe College 0-24 Wellingborough
Prior Park College 31-0 Wycliffe College
QEGS Wakefield 29-3 Bradford GS (Daily Mail Trophy)
Ratcliffe College 17-15 King Henry VIII, Coventry
Reed’s 52-7 Skinners’ (Daily Mail Trophy)
Richard Hale 22-20 QES Barnet
Rydal Penrhos 24-27 Birkenhead
Sandbach 15-35 St Ambrose College
Seaford College 5-5 Canford (Daily Mail Trophy)
St Albans 36-12 Bedford Modern (Daily Mail Trophy)
St George’s College, Weybridge 15-10 Caterham (Daily Mail Trophy)
St Joseph’s College 32-12 RGS Colchester
St Paul’s 3-10 Eton College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Sutton Valence 26-11 Sevenoaks
Tiffin 45-10 Windsor Boys
Tonbridge 36-0 King’s Canterbury (Daily Mail Trophy)
Trent College 7-17 Oakham (Daily Mail Trophy)
Watford GS 9-18 UCS
Wimbledon College 36-7 London Oratory (Daily Mail Trophy)
Woodhouse Grove 29-15 Durham (Daily Mail Trophy)
Worksop College 7-36 Wisbech GS
Christ’s Hospital 33-36 Rutlish
Harrow 38-18 King’s Macclesfield (Daily Mail Trophy)
KES Bath 30-22 Beechen Cliff
Langley Park 22-5 St Olave’s GS
Merchant Taylors’ 40-0 Emanuel
Shiplake College 26-11 Lord Wandsworth College
St Benedict’s 3-43 Trinity
Still to Come
Bolton v Stockport GS
Crossley Heath v Harrogate GS
King William’s College v Queen Ethelburga’s
Kingswood v Dauntsey’s
Monkton Combe v Wellington School
Newcastle-Under-Lyme v Liverpool College
Sir Joseph Williamson’s v St Dunstan’s College
Wallington CGS v Halliford