Schools Rugby: Weekend Roundup – Teams put on a show after half term break

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Coach Logic

After a long half term break, rugby returned in style this weekend with some huge match ups and thrilling games of rugby across the board.

It had been an outstanding first half of term, and it sent a number of teams into this weekend’s fixtures looking to protect unbeaten records or to continue to demonstrate their quality, for others it was a chance to start afresh.

There were examples of sides all over the country doing exactly that as the November chill crept in and the scene was set for an epic final six weeks of the season.

Ten to Watch

Our Ten to Watch featured some absolutely brilliant games of rugby and our readers were on good form too, correctly predicting eight out of the ten games.

The Ten to Watch action began on Friday night has Millfield headed to the Alpas to take on Hartpury College Bulls and backed up the view of 84% of you by sealing an outstanding 38-8 victory. It might have been the Bulls rather than the full ACE side but the Somerset side made sure that next time it might be the ACE side, beginning this second half of term with a bang to hold on to their unbeaten record and back up the momentum from that St Joseph’s Festival triumph before half term. The next few weeks are going to be huge for them, so too for Hartpury, who have their eyes on that ACE prize.

Moving on to Saturday and another side in the South West who are unbeaten and in sparking form, Clifton College. 76% of readers predicted a Clifton College victory over Sherborne and Clifton more than delivered as they put in another spectacular performance to win 25-0. With both Wellington College and Millfield to come in the next few weeks, it was a vital one for Clifton College. For Sherborne, meanwhile, solace should be taken in the fact that they beat one of the very best sides out there.

In Wiltshire there was a shock to 58% of our readers as Marlborough College backed up the promise that they had started to show in the last few weeks before the break to beat the previously unbeaten Monmouth by an impressive 27-5 margin. There are tough fixtures to come for Marlborough, Sherborne and Clifton are their next two, but that is now three wins in a row for them and some serious momentum. For Monmouth the loss of the unbeaten record will hurt, but they will be eager to bounce back, starting in the Cup in midweek.

The other game to surprise a few of our readers was Seaford College’s 26-14 victory over Hampton. Just 41% of readers predicted a Seaford victory, but they were on fire in victory over Hampton, who have proven to be an outstanding side so far this season. Seaford were clearly riding the momentum of that Merchiston Festival triumph though and will surely be eyeing the rest of this season up hungrily.

The closest game in our Ten to Watch was at Bedford School where they just saw off the challenge of Warwick 19-17. Our readers had guessed it might be close, Bedford were the favourites but only had 50.42% of the vote. The two could barely be separated, but in the end the side that reached the final of the Merchiston Festival in their last outing just manged to hold on.

One game that did go very much as predicted was Kirkham Grammar School’s outstanding 57-7 victory at RGS Newcastle. 85% of you had them as favourites and in fairness they were the strong favourites, but few would have expected a performance of quite such dominance. Kirkham have huge ambitions this year though, not least in the Cup where their campaign continues in midweek. RGS will be reeling a little after that result, but as Kirkham showed at the St Joseph’s Festival, they are one of the best around.

So too are Sedbergh, who previous outing was a stunning defeat of Whitgift and they were on sensational form again on Saturday at Denstone College as they sealed a 31-5 victory against the side that actually beat Kirkham at the St Joseph’s Festival. 85% of you thought Sedbergh would do the job, and so they did, and with both Wellington College and Millfield to come this year, the momentum from this unbeaten run is going to be important as they move into position for yet more glory.

Another of our key Ten to Watch games in the North of the country saw Barnard Castle hit peak form at home to QEGS Wakefield backing up the expectations of 78% of readers as they secured an excellent 31-0 victory. Only Woodhouse Grove have beaten Barnard Castle this year, the men from the north east are having yet another very quietly impressive year.

Down in the South 84% of you thought that Tonbridge would come away successfully from their trip from Kent to South West London and St Paul’s, and you were proved right as they sealed an impressive 20-0 victory against a side that have been playing some nice rugby this year. Tonbridge have been brilliant at times this year, and it is only that shock defeat to Skinners in the wet that is seeing them perhaps be a little underrated, this is a fantastic group.

So too is the group of players at Rugby School, who travelled up to a Stamford side that is bang in form and playing great rugby and game away with a really hard fought 21-12 victory, one of the best games of our Ten to Watch. Both sides have so many qualities, but 67% thought Rugby would edge it and so it proved as they made it four in a row. Only Clifton College have beaten them this year, and Clifton have proven to be one of the best four or five around.

Friday

There was a huge derby game on Friday as Hereford Cathedral School and Hereford 6th form College went head to head in a game that had that real derby feel. The two could hardly be separated but Hereford Cathedral’s ability to get across the whitewash, with some youngsters really sticking their hands up, proved the marginal difference as they secured a 14-9 victory.

Elsewhere, St Albans won a thriller against Finborough, just edging out the Suffolk side 29-21 in a classic Friday night encounter. St George’s Harpenden enjoyed success of a different kind as they looked utterly rampant against St Columba’s College, securing an outstanding 57-5 victory. Meanwhile The Crypt were again on form, winning their game against St Peter’s Gloucester 27-15.

Saturday

Saturday saw some epic performances from sides with a point to prove, perhaps none more so than Whitgift who bounced back from that tough final game before half term with an outstanding performance against RGS High Wycombe to secure a 40-0 victory. It was their first outing back on their main Bigside pitch since the start of the pandemic, and the men in blue gave the setting the performance it deserved, an outstanding return to action from Whitgift.

Local rivals John Fisher were involved in an epic contest against Dulwich College a really tight tussle that harked back to the start of the last decade as these two went head to head and could barely be separated. It was Dulwich that came out on top though, winning 21-19 to start their second half of term off the right way. Elsewhere in the capital Gravesend Grammar were on song, beating Cranbrook 39-7, while City of London Freemen’s were sensational in their brilliant 52-26 takedown of Emanuel. Meanwhile Cardinal Vaughan played well for a 29-5 victory at St Ignatius College, while Langley Park won a cracker against Brentwood33-21 and their 2nd XV defeated Cedars 38-17.

Harrow were once again looking utterly brilliant, we have consistently spoken of how highly we regard them and on Saturday they showed that again with a superb 34-12 victory over Northampton School for Boys. Halliford are a side that keep on impressing, but perhaps even more so on Saturday than usual as they were in simply terrific form to condemn ACS Cobham International to a 67-7 defeat, brilliant from Halliford. Elsewhere, Latymer Upper beat Gunnersbury 21-10, while Eltham College were on form in a high scoring game at Ravens Wood, winning 47-22.

Sutton Valence are fast becoming a must-watch team in Kent, and on Saturday they were at it again with an utterly superb 44-7 victory over Chrucher’s College. Churcher’s should take some solace though, that was only the third try Sutton Valence have conceded all year. Duke of York’s Royal Military were on form too, beating Christ’s Hospital 36-19, while Reigate Grammar won a close one at Sevenoaks, 5-0. The Judd meanwhile returned to Kent from London with a 22-14 victory at Campion in tow.

Staying in the capital, Wimbledon College had a great afternoon at home to Dartford Grammar with a 35-17 victory, meanwhile Glyn won 38-21 away at London Oratory. One of the most sensational results of the day though was a stunning 61-12 victory for Wallington County Grammar at home to St Dunstan’s College.

Elsewhere in the South East, Brighton College’s 2nd XV had a great test at Eastbourne College and did superbly well in a cracking contest to win 22-21. Meanwhile Worth defeated Caterham 20-11, and Cranliegh continue to look good as they sealed a 21-10 victory at RGS Guildford. Gordon’s meanwhile won 36-14 at Portsmouth Grammar.

North London and Hertfordshire was a hot spot for rugby this weekend, not least with some Schools Vase action in London & South East A as Mill Hill booked their regional semi final spot thanks to an impressive 36-12 defeat of Shiplake College. Elsewhere Haberdashers’ and Watford Grammar drew 5-5, while Haileybury were in fantastic form at home to Reed’s after a tricky run in to half erm, winning 48-22. Bishop’s Stortford High meanwhile defeated Richard Hale 40-20 away from home.

Further East, Felsted won a thriller at Framlingham College, 27-22, getting their second half of the season underway in exciting fashion, so too did St Joseph’s College who travelled from Suffolk to Norfolk and defeated Langley 22-10. Royal Hospital School were meanwhile at home in Suffolk and claimed yet another brilliant win, this time a 48-0 victory over The Leys. Elsewhere The Perse won a good game at New Hall 31-12, while RGS Colchester held Wymondham College to a 12-12 draw away from home.

There was also a huge Schools Plate game in Norfolk as Gresham’s hosted Norwich in the delayed opening round game of Midlands B. Norwich claimed the spoils in a really tight game, one try proving the difference as they secured a 20-15 victory to send them into the second round. They will host Finborough, and the winner of that game will be up against Campion in the regional final, with a place in the National Quarter Finals at stake.

Right across the Midlands there were some outstanding performances, Nottinghamshire saw Nottingham High claim a strong victory over Loughborough Grammar, 23-12, while Trent College were in great form as they secured a dominant 29-0 victory at Worksop College. Ratcliffe College, meanwhile, were on song, beating Princethorpe College 21-14.

In Northamptonshire Oakham looked in great form as they travelled to old rivals Oundle and secured an excellent 22-0 victory. Stowe meanwhile continue to look like one of the strongest sides around, this time in a superb 43-22 defeat of Teddies Oxford, who will nevertheless take heart form getting some decent points on the board against such a tough opposition.

Reading Clue Coat are one of the rather unsung heroes this year and they showed it again on Saturday with a 26-0 defeat of The Oratory. Meanwhile in Oxford there were some cracking games and outstanding performances. Radley College were back on song after a tricky end of the first half of term after such an outstanding start. They had a really great game against Uppingham, who pushed them all the way, but the home side came through for a 27-22 victory. Local rivals Abingdon could not quite repeat the trick though, they hosted Eton College who were in strong form for a 15-6 victory, but arguably the most impressive away performance in Oxford this weekend was from Merchant Taylors’, who defeated Magdalen College 32-7, a fantastic result for Merchant Taylors’, who will have our live cameras at their ground very soon.

Further West, Pate’s Grammar won a cracking encounter with KES Stratford, just coming home with a 15-14 victory away from home. Things were tight at RGS Worcester too, but they held on for an 18-13 victory over Solihull, meanwhile Old Swinford Hospital, who have been impressive all year, were utterly irrepressible at KES Birmingham as they claimed a sensational 59-5 victory. 

King’s Worcester were in action down in the South West, but it was their hosts, Bristol Grammar that ended the day smiling thanks to a brilliant 19-5 victory. Blundell’s were also in cracking form as they secured an outstanding 29-15 victory over Cheltenham College. Meanwhile Taunton School defeated Millfield’s 2nd XV 14-12.

King’s Bruton won one of the games of the day on Saturday, edging a thriller against Monkton Combe 30-28. Elsewhere Canford looked good after an impressive result in midweek too, defeating Bryanston 31-17. QEH were on song, beating KES Bath 24-10 away from home, and Colston’s continue to impress, this time thanks to a 25-12 defeat of Wellington School.

In the North West there were some really close games, not least at AKS Lytham where Birkenhead won 25-21. St Anselm’s College were also on form away from home, beating Altrincham Grammar 38-19, while Manchester Grammar beat an in form Wirral Grammar away from home 15-8. Scarisbrick Hall beat Lancaster RGS’ 2nd XV 19-17 away from home, but King’s Macclesfield restored some pride for the home sides thanks to an 18-12 victory over Cheadle Hulme.

The North East was home to some superb performances, chief among them from this superb Woodhouse Grove side, whose latest victim was Grammar School at Leeds, Woodhouse Grove ending the day with a 41-17 victory. Stonyhurst College were equally good, winning their derby game with Ampleforth College 40-22 away from home, while Hymers College won a tight one with Pocklington 23-13. Bradford Grammar backed up their first win of the season just before half term with their second on Saturday, defeating Giggleswick 14-5.

In Scotland there were some barnstorming performances, not least from Stewart’s Melville who won 41-0 at George Heriot’s. Dollar Academy were just as impressive at home to Fettes College, winning 45-5, while Dundee High School were brilliant, beating Bell Baxter 59-17.

The oldest fixture in Scottish Schools rugby is Edinburgh Academy v Merchiston Castle, often a classic but this year this impressive Merchiston Castle side were just bang in form as they secured a strong 25-3 win away from home. Old rivals George Watson’s College were also on song, defeating Strathallan 22-13, but their 2nd XV enjoyed a much less fun afternoon as Loretto put them to the sword with their first XV, sealing a dominant 67-0 victory.

Mount Kelly meanwhile won the Jonny Wilkinson Cup at Rencomb College for the third time in a row after a fantastic series of performances.

If you have any photos, video, reports, or any other content from the week’s school rugby then please do send it in via our social media channels or admin@nextgenxv.com and if you are interested in us live streaming one of your games or an event then please do get in touch!

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Friday 5th November

Finborough 21-29 St Albans

Hartpury College 8-38 Millfield

Hereford Cathedral School 14-9 Hereford 6th form College

St Columba’s College 5-57 St George’s, Harpenden

St Peter’s, Gloucester 15-27 The Crypt

Saturday 6th November

Abingdon 6-15 Eton College

AKS Lytham 21-25 Birkenhead

Altrincham Grammar 19-38 St Anselm’s College

Ampleforth College 22-40 Stonyhurst College

Barnard Castle 31-0 QEGS Wakefield

Bedford 19-17 Warwick

Blundell’s 29-15 Cheltenham College

Bradford Grammar 14-5 Giggleswick

Bristol Grammar19-5v King’s Worcester

Campion 14-22 The Judd

Canford 31-17 Bryanston

Cedars 17-38 Langley Park 2nd XV

City of London Freemen’s 52-26 Emanuel

Clifton College 25-0 Sherborne

Cobham International 7-67 Halliford

Denstone College 5-31 Sedbergh

Dollar Academy 45-5 Fettes College

Duke of York’s Royal Military 36-19 Christ’s Hospital

Dundee High 59-17 Bell Baxter High

Eastbourne College 21-22 Brighton College 2nd XV

Edinburgh Academy 3-25 Merchiston Castle

Framlingham College 22-27 Felsted

George Heriot’s 0-41 Stewart’s Melville

George Watson’s College 22-13 Strathallan

Gravesend Grammar 39-7 Cranbrook

Gresham’s 15-20 Norwich (Schools Plate) – Midlands B R1

Haberdashers’ 5-5 Watford Grammar

Haileybury 48-22 Reed’s

Harrow 34-12 Northampton School for Boys

Hymers College 23-13 Pocklington

John Fisher 19-21 Dulwich College

KES Bath 10-24 QEH

KES Birmingham 5-59 Old Swinford Hospital

KES Stratford 14-15 Pate’s Grammar

King’s Bruton 30-28 Monkton Combe

King’s Macclesfield 18-12 Cheadle Hulme

Lancaster RGS 2nd XV 17-19 Scarisbrick Hall

Langley Park 33-21 Brentwood

Langley 10-22 St Joseph’s College

Latymer Upper 21-10 Gunnersbury

London Oratory 21-38 Glyn

Loretto 67-0 George Watson’s 2nd XV

Magdalen College 7-32 Merchant Taylors’, Northwood

Marlborough College 27-5 Monmouth

Mill Hill 36-12 Shiplake College (Schools Vase) – LSE A QF

New Hall 12-31 The Perse

Nottingham High 23-12 Loughborough Grammar

Oundle 0-22 Oakham

Portsmouth Grammar 14-36 Gordon’s

Radley College 27-22 Uppingham

Ratcliffe College 21-14 Princethorpe College

Ravens Wood 22-47 Eltham College

Reading Blue Coat 26-0 The Oratory

RGS Guildford 10-21 Cranleigh

RGS Newcastle 7-57 Kirkham Grammar

RGS Worcester 18-13 Solihull

Richard Hale 20-40 Bishop Stortford’s High

Royal Hospital School 48-0 The Leys

Seaford College 26-14 Hampton

Sevenoaks 0-5 Reigate Grammar

St Ignatius College 5-29 Cardinal Vaughan

St Paul’s 0-20 Tonbridge

Stamford 12-21 Rugby

Stowe 43-22 St Edward’s, Oxford

Sutton Valence 44-7 Churcher’s College

Taunton 14-12 Millfield 2nd XV

Wallington County Grammar 61-12 St Dunstan’s College

Wellington School 12-25 Colston’s

Whitgift 40-0 RGS High Wycombe

Wimbledon College 35-17 Dartford Grammar

Wirral Grammar 8-15 Manchester Grammar

Woodhouse Grove 41-17 Grammar School at Leeds

Worksop College 0-29 Trent College

Worth 20-11 Caterham

Wymondham College 12-12 RGS Colchester

Still to Come:

Chislehurst & Sidcup v Maidstone Grammar

Christ College Triangular: Christ College, King’s Gloucester, Malvern College

Dauntsey’s v Bishop Wordsworth’s

Jonny Wilkinson Cup: Rendcomb College, Ewell Castle, St Edward’s Cheltenham, Mount Kelly, Milton Abbey, Shebbear College

Morrison’s Academy v St Leonard’s

Prior Park College v Downside

QES, Barnet v St Albans 2nd XV

Queen Victoria v Glenalmond College

The Grange v Wilmslow High

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