St Joseph’s Festival: Day 1 Review – Day 2 Preview

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Coach Logic

A brilliant opening day of action at the 2018 St Joseph’s Festival saw RGS Newcastle emerge as one of the favourites for the De La Salle Trophy.


In a brutally tough Group 3 they beat Hampton, Brighton College, and St Peter’ York to seal their place as top seeds, meaning they will be a group with Merchiston Castle, Hurstpierpoint College, and Denstone College on Sunday, with the winner of that heading to the final.


They signaled their intent with some very direct and physical rugby right from the off as they beat Hampton 23-5. That, plus their win over reigning champions Brighton College, meant that when the final round of games in the group took place they had already qualified, which meant the Brighton v Hampton game was a straight shootout for the second Cup spot in the group.


Brighton won that 27-7, a brilliant performance, sending them to Cup Group A where they will face Dulwich College, Millfield, and the hosts, St Joseph’s College. St Peter’s York, who have RGS a bit of a scare in the last game, and Hampton head into the Plate groups.


Dulwich College also went through the day unbeaten, beating QEGS Wakefield and Seaford College comfortably early on, before a late try against Hurstpierpoint College earned them top spot in the group. Both sides were already through though, Hurstpierpoint’s early victory over Seaford was key and they were in control against QEGS.


In Group 4, where host side St Joseph’s College reside, it came down to a final game battle between the hosts and Merchiston Castle, who were both unbeaten. Merchiston Castle took top spot, playing classic St Joseph’s Festival as they took a 12-0 lead and then controlled the game. St Joseph’s rallied, but could only close to 12-7, leaving Merchiston facing RGS Newcastle, Hurstperpoint, and Denstone tomorrow, while St Joseph’s are in a real group of death with both of last year’s finalists Brighton College and Millfield, and the reigning Champions Trophy champions, Dulwich College.


Millfield made it to that group with some seriously impressive rugby early on, but then in a dramatic twist in the final round of games we were left with the tightest group of the lot.


Millfield were already through, and faced Denstone College who had to win to qualify for the Cup, while Eltham College faced RGS High Wycombe, with the same scenario. Should both win, try count would be the decider but given Millfield’s form, it seemed an unlikely scenario.


Unlikely, maybe, but not impossible. Denstone College pulled out a stunning performance to catch Millfield cold, securing a 26-14 victory. Denstone’s try count was high, so while Eltham College were an impressive 17-0 up against RGS High Wycombe, they needed more, but unfortunately for the South East Londoners they had given all that they possibly could


Day 2


All of which means that the two Cup groups on Sunday are as follows:


Group 1: Dulwich College, Millfield, Brighton College, St Joseph’s College

Group 2: RGS Newcastle, Merchiston Castle, Hurstpierpoint College, Denstone College


Both look like brutally tough groups, as ever at the St Joseph’s Festival – winning it is always done the hard way. The format is that the winner of each Cup group on Sunday meets in the Cup final at the end of the day.


Group 1 looks unbelievably tough, St Jo’s will be fired up, while with reigning champions Brighton, last year’s finalists Millfield, and unbeaten Dulwich, their competition is red hot.


Group 2 is not much easier, RGS Newcastle have been outstanding, while Merchiston are unbeaten too. Hurstpierpoint very nearly topped their group, and Denstone College showed their class as they beat the outstanding Millfield. Quite the quartet!


Over in the Plate, meanwhile, the groups look equally tough:


Group 1: Seaford College, Eltham College, St Peter’s York, Whitchurch High School

Group 2: Hampton, John Fisher, QEGS Wakefield, RGS High Wycombe


Eltham College will doubtless be determined to go one better than last year, when they reached Plate final, particularly after missing out on the Cup by such a fine margin. Meanwhile Hampton in Group 2 will surely be smarting after such a tough draw saw them end up in the Plate, they will be determined to win it but have reigning Plate champions QEGS Wakefield in their group.


Day 1 and Day 2 Groups & Fixtures and Results:



2018 St Joseph’s Festival Day 1 Groups – Final Standings


Group 1


Pos Team W D L Points
1 Dulwich College 3 0 0 6
2 Hurstpierpoint College 2 0 1 4
3 Seaford College 1 0 2 2
4 QEGS Wakefield 0 0 3 0


Group 2


Pos Team W D L Points
1 Millfield 2 0 1 4
2 Denstone College 2 0 1 4
3 Eltham College 2 0 1 4
4 RGS High Wycombe 0 0 3 0


Group 3


Pos Team W D L Points
1 RGS Newcastle 3 0 0 6
2 Brighton College 2 0 1 4
3 Hampton 1 0 2 2
4 St Peter’s, York 0 0 3 0


Group 4


Pos Team W D L Points
1 Merchiston Castle 3 0 0 6
2 St Joseph’s College 2 0 1 4
3 John Fisher 1 0 2 3
4 Whitchurch HS 0 0 3 2


2018 St Joseph’s Festival Day 1 Fixtures


Pitch 1 Time Pitch 2
Hurstpierpoint 19-10 Seaford College 09.00 Dulwich College 26-0 QEGS Wakefield
Denstone College 0-13 Eltham College 09.40 Millfield 29-0 RGS High Wycombe
Hampton 5-23 RGS Newcastle 10.20 Brighton College 15-0 St Peter’s, York
St Joseph’s College 10-5 Whitchurch 11.00 John Fisher 10-19 Merchiston Castle
Dulwich College 22-5 Seaford College 11.40 Hurstpierpoint 17-0 QEGS Wakefield
Eltham College 5-31 Millfield 12.20 Denstone 22-17 RGS High Wycombe
Brighton College 3-15 RGS Newcastle 13.00 Hampton 24-0 St Peter’s, York
John Fisher 0-12 St Joseph’s College 13.40 Merchiston Castle 20-7 Whitchurch
QEGS Wakefield 0-21 Seaford College 14.20 Dulwich College 12-7 Hurstpierpoint
Eltham 17-0 RGS High Wycombe 15.00 Denstone College 26-14 Millfield
RGS Newcastle 15-10 St Peter’s, York 15.40 Brighton College 27-7 Hampton
Merchiston Castle 12-7 St Joseph’s 16.20 John Fisher 17-10 Whitchurch


2018 St Joseph’s Festival Day 2 Groups


Group A (Cup) Group B (Cup) Group X (Plate) Group Y (Plate)
Dulwich College RGS Newcastle Seaford College Hampton
Millfield Merchiston Castle Eltham College John Fisher
Brighton College Hurstpierpoint St Peter’s York QEGS Wakefield
St Joseph’s College Denstone College Whitchurch HS RGS HW


2018 St Joseph’s Festival Day 2 Fixtures


Pitch 1 Time Pitch 2
Seaford v Whitchurch 08.30 St Peter’s v Eltham
Dulwich v St Joseph’s 09.05 Millfield v Brighton
Hampton v RGS High Wycombe 09.40 John Fisher v QEGS Wakefield
Denstone v RGS Newcastle 10.15 Hurstpierpoint v Merchiston
Seaford v St Peter’s 10.50 Whitchurch v Eltham
Millfield v St Joseph’s 11.25 Dulwich v Brighton
Hampton v QEGS Wakefield 12.00 John Fisher v RGS High Wycombe
Hurstpierpoint v RGS Newcastle 12.35 Denstone v Merchiston
Eltham v Seaford 13.10 St Peter’s v Whitchurch
Brighton v St Joseph’s 13.45 Dulwich v Millfield
Hampton v John Fisher 14.20 QEGS Wakefield v RGS HW
Merchiston v RGS Newcastle 14.55 Hurstpierpoint v Denstone
Plate Final – 15.30 – Pitch 1
Cup Final – 16.15 – Pitch 1
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