Another stunning weekend of school rugby gave us plenty of food for though when it came to selecting our Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend.
Even working out the basic criteria was in some ways a challenge, for while many sides put in startling performances with big points totals, there were a lot of sides that won in really tight battles, not to mention a few that even in defeat showed great spirit and determination.
One such side was RGS High Wycombe who came suffered a really tough defeat last week but showed a huge amount of spirit in a 19-17 defeat. They may have lost, but the trajectory is fantastic and they have every reason to be satisfied.
Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend
Bishop Wordsworth’s make our Top 5 not because of their scoreline against Pangbourne College on Saturday, although a 72-3 victory was mind-boggling, but because of what it represented. They started their season with an excellent victory but lost in their second game to St Paul’s. So Saturday’s game was a big one for those involved, one that they would have been determined to win to demonstrate that they had learned from defeat. To put in such an outstanding display was icing on the cake, but the real satisfaction will be in the reaction to the previous week.
Caterham enjoyed an outstanding 46-5 win over Shiplake College on Saturday, but again it is more than just one impressive victory that earns them a spot in our Top 5, they earn a spot because they are enjoying a stellar start to the season. They have played three and won three, and are scoring points for fun at the moment whilst running a miserly defence too. Saturday was the corwning glory on a fantastic opening three weeks of the season.
Right from the opening weekend of the season, suspicion was that this was a very good Dulwich College side. They may have lost to Wellington College that day but they looked good. So it proved a week ago when they beat Epsom College, who beat Cranleigh this weekend, and that was proved even further on Saturday when Dulwich were superb in their 31-0 defeat of Harrow – a side that were unbeaten last year. The Champions Trophy holders are looking excellent at the moment and playing some exciting rugby even in wet conditions on Saturday. An outstanding day.
Sedbergh look as though they have picked up where they left off last season, they have four wins from four and on Saturday they recorded a stunner, beating Bedford 60-0 at Keele University. Bedford might not be the force they were in the past couple of years, or they may yet prove to be, but this was not really about the score or the opposition, it was about the remarkably consistent excellence of this Sedbergh group. Yes, they have a lot of good players, but so do England and they lost five on the bounce last year, it is a special set up in Cumbria at the moment.
Wellington College & Whitgift
For the first time we lump two schools together in our Top 5, but with good reason. Whitgift v Wellington College was always a special game but it is even more so now because it is played in memory of Seb Adeniran-Olule a former pupil at both schools who died so tragically a couple of years ago. The game raises money for the foundation in his name, which aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people through rugby, something that we failed to include in our preview this year unfortunately. Wellington College won the game, incidentally, a fine performance for a 36-10 victory that really suggests great things for the season to come, particularly as Whitgift are so clearly a top team too. This was about so much more than the rugby though, as is Tuesday night’s Ryan Bresnahan Memorial game at Clifton RFC between Clifton College and Millfield. The game kicks off at 7.30pm and will be streamed live here: https://www.facebook.com/CliftonCollegeUK