The Daily Mail Trophy will be decided one way or another this weekend, with five teams still in with a chance of the title.
Cranleigh, Wellington College, Epsom College, Sedbergh, and Clifton College sit one to five in the table and all are mathematically in with a shout. Four of the five play their final Trophy games on Saturday, while Sedbergh have completed their games so must just wait to see what happens around the grounds.
Cranleigh face Canford, Wellington travel to Tonbridge, Epsom are in action against local rivals St John’s, while Clifton College head to Cheltenham College. All four are tough games, far from certain victories and definitely far from certain bonus point victories, meaning that this race remains wide open.
The current standings are as follows:
1 Cranleigh – 6.6
2 Wellington College – 6.43
3 Epsom College – 6.25
4 Sedbergh – 6.23
5 Clifton College – 6.13
It is worth remembering though that the points are an average and can therefore go up as well as down, they are calculated by taking the number of league points from each side and dividing it by the number of games played, bonus points are then added for the quality of opposition faced – 0.3 per team that finished 1-25 last year, 0.2 for those that finished 26-50, and 0.1 for those that finished 51-75.
By the end of play on Saturday the ‘opposition bonus point’ total for the four sides in action will be: Cranleigh 1.6, Wellington 2.2, Epsom 2.2, and Clifton 2.2.
That leaves the possible scenarios as follows (remember Sedbergh are fixed on 6.23 points):
|Bonus Point Win||6.60||6.60||6.53||6.42|
|Win (No bonus)||6.49||6.50||6.42||6.31|
|Bonus Point Draw||6.38||6.40||6.31||6.20|
|Draw/2 BP Loss||6.27||6.30||6.20||6.09|
|Bonus Point Loss||6.16||6.20||6.09||5.98|
|Loss (No bonus)||6.04||6.10||5.98||5.87|
|Opponent||Canford H||Tonbridge A||St John’s A||Cheltenham A|
Clearly then, it is going down to the wire – and indeed were Cranleigh and Wellington College to both secure bonus point victories they would finish level on points. Cranleigh, we are informed, would take home the title in that scenario.
Should those two fail to get bonus point victories but Epsom do, and Epsom probably are the most likely to win with a bonus point (though still a huge challenge) then they would seal the title.
Clifton meanwhile need both Canford and Tonbridge to prevent Cranleigh and Wellington College from winning, and to earn a better result than Epsom in order to win the title.
Sedbergh’s chances, meanwhile are slim, they need both Cranleigh and Wellington College to do no better than earn losing bonus points, while they cannot afford for Epsom or Clifton to do better than draw.
Assuming everyone matches up results wise, Wellington College take the title unless that match up is all sides winning with a bonus point.
Strap in, because it looks like we are in for an epic Saturday of rugby, with high drama, plenty of tension, and plenty of calculators on standby. Keep an eye on those try counts, for it looks as though that is where this year’s Daily Mail Trophy will be won and lost!