The U18 Schools Cup kicked off this week and kicked off in some style, there are fewer teams than in past years but what that has meant is an intensity to the fixtures right from the off.
Some huge names in schools rugby have found themselves in the Plate competition because of the sheer quality of opposition faced in the opening round of the Cup, and already the second round fixtures are looking mouth-watering.
There has been plenty of other rugby this week on top of those Schools Cup fixtures though, and we will look at those in this roundup too, but we begin with a terrific week in the Cup.
QEGS Wakefield 24-31 Woodhouse Grove – Wednesday
Grammar School at Leeds 21-33 St Peter’s, York – Wednesday
Stonyhurst v Lancaster RGS – Saturday
Barnard Castle 19-24 RGS Newcastle – Wednesday
Round 1 in North A is almost complete after three games on Wednesday, and three belters they were too. The final game is Stonyhurst v Lancaster RGS on Saturday, which features in our Ten to Watch this weekend. The winner of that will be hosting RGS Newcastle after the former finalists beat three time finalists Barnard Castle away from home on Wednesday, 24-19, in a cracker of a game.
At the top end of the draw it’ll be Woodhouse Grove v St Peter’s York in round 2. Both had away wins too, Woodhouse Grove heading to former champions QEGS Wakefield for a 31-24 victory that was full of raw intensity, and St Peter’s winning 33-21 at Grammar School at Leeds to set up that trip over to Woodhouse Grove.
Bromsgrove 20-7 Solihull – Tuesday
Oswestry 0-54 King’s Macclesfield – Wednesday
Stockport Grammar 50-24 Cheadle Hulme – Wednesday
Merchant Taylors’ 25-0 Liverpool College
North B’s second round line up is all decided; Bromsgrove v King’s Macclesfield and Stockport Grammar v Merchant Taylors’, Crosby. 2015 and 2016 champions Bromsgrove progressed thanks to an impressive 20-7 victory over a Solihull side that is bang in form, but round 2 is going to take another massive effort as King’s Macclesfield are also bang in form, they defeated Oswestry by a stunning 54-0 margin away from home.
Merchant Taylors’ had sealed their progress early, a 25-0 victory over Liverpool College earlier in the season, so on Wednesday Stockport Grammar and Cheadle Hulme already knew that they would be hosting Merchant Taylors’ if they won. A brilliant game unfolded, full of exciting rugby, but Stockport Grammar were on fire to pull away to a 50-24 victory.
Oakham 64-7 Uppingham
Rugby 36-36 Warwick – Wednesday
Stowe 52-8 Bloxham
King’s Worcester 29-5 RGS Worcester
Midlands A is another section with it’s second round fixtures confirmed, Oakham will host Warwick and Stowe will host King’s Worcester. Oakham’s progress was sealed a week ago with a stunning 64-7 victory over Uppingham, so they had the luxury of watching Rugby v Warwick to see who they would host. It turned out to be beyond a luxury, it was a privilege, as Rugby and Warwick put on a show for the ages en route to a thrilling 36-36 draw that saw Warwick progress as the away side. Heartbreak for Rugby, but look out for them in the Plate, sheer joy for 3 time champions Warwick.
One side that can tell Rugby about the joys that winning the Plate can hold are Stowe, who won the Plate last year. It’s the Cup for them this year though after a stunning 52-8 victory over another form Plate winner, Bloxham, last week. Their second round fixture was confirmed before most had even begun the first round, as King’s Worcester had won their Worcester derby against RGS 29-5 last week as well – a good psychological boost ahead of their meeting in the Modus Cup next month.
Ipswich v Finborough – Tuesday 4th
Campion v Felsted – Date TBC
Haileybury 20-26 Bedford – Tuesday
Bedford Modern 19-35 Northampton School for Boys – Thursday
The top end of Midlands B has a little bit of waiting to do, Ipswich v Finborough does not take place until Tuesday – what a game that will be, by the way – while Campion v Felsted has not yet had a date confirmed. The bottom half of the draw is all confirmed though with Bedford hosting Northampton School for Boys in round 2. Bedford sealed their place first, with an excellent 26-20 victory at Haileybury on Tuesday, an impressive one given Haileybury’s performances this year. Then on Thursday Northampton School for Boys secured their place with a strong display of their own, beating a high-performing Bedford Modern side 35-19 away from home.
London & South East A
Cardinal Newman v Hurstpierpoint College – Tuesday – Result TBC
The Judd 52-3 John Fisher – Wednesday
Epsom College 13-23 Whitgift – Tuesday
Trinity 55-5 Dulwich College – Wednesday
There was so much intrigue in this section, and though one result is yet to come through, Tuesday’s Cardinal Newman v Hurstpierpoint College fixture, what did unfold was quite spectacular. The winner of that one will be hosting The Judd, who on Wednesday were utterly sensational en route to a stunning 52-3 victory over John Fisher. The Judd are a real force this year.
On the other side of the draw it will be John Fisher’s two Croydon rivals meeting in round 2, the two most recent champions, Whitgift v Trinity. Whitgift, the 2019 and shared 2020 champions, to add to their 2010 and 2011 crowns, were through first after an excellent 23-13 victory over Epsom College on Tuesday. Then came Trinity on Wednesday, up against 2012, 2013, and 2014 champions Dulwich College. Trinity, last year’s champions, were not to be overawed by that history though as they stormed to an incredible 55-5 victory.
London & South East B
KCS Wimbledon v Wimbledon College – Saturday
Hampton v St Paul’s – Date TBC
St Benedict’s v Harrow – Wednesday 5th
Berkhamsted v New Hall – Tuesday 4th
London & South East B is yet to see a shot fired, Saturday sees the first action with the Wimbledon derby, KCS hosting Wimbledon College. The winner will host either Hampton or St Paul’s, their game this week was postponed. The bottom half of the draw waits until next week, St Benedict’s hosting Harrow on Wednesday, the winner then hosting either Berkhamsted or New Hall, who meet on Tuesday.
South West A
Seaford College 23-17 RGS High Wycombe – Tuesday
Caterham 24-50 RGS Guildford – Wednesday
Marlborough College 25-3 Abingdon – Wednesday
Bishop Wordsworth’s 19-31 Canford – Tuesday
South West A has a full set of Round 2 fixtures confirmed, Seaford College will host RGS Guildford, while Marlborough College will welcome Canford. Seaford progressed on Tuesday after a great game against RGS High Wycombe that ended 23-17 in their favour. The next day RGS Guildford confirmed themselves as their opponents with another magnificent display, winning 50-24 at Caterham, RGS are looking superb this year.
On the other side, Canford booked their second round place on Tuesday with an impressive 31-19 at the home to the two-time finalists Bishop Wordsworth’s, and then were able to sit and wait to find out where they were going in round 2 as Marlborough College hosted Abingdon. Marlborough have looked good this season, but really confirmed that feeling on Wednesday with an outstanding 25-3 victory.
South West B
Sir Thomas Rich’s 53-3 Monmouth – Tuesday
Collegiate 22-31 Sherborne
Blundell’s 60-5 Richard Huish – Wednesday
King’s College, Taunton 33-24 Taunton School – Wednesday
South West B is also all confirmed for Round 2, Sir Thomas Rich’s will welcome last year’s semi finalists, Sherborne, while Blundell’s will host King’s College Taunton. On Tuesday Sir Thomas Rich’s took on Monmouth, the two sides already knowing that the winner would be hosting Sherborne after they had beaten Collegiate the week before. Sir Thomas Rich’s had eyes only for the task at hand though with a truly sensational performance to beat what is generally considered a good Monmouth side by a stunning 53-3 margin.
On the other side of the draw it was all happening on Wednesday afternoon, and Blundell’s matched Sir Thomas Rich’s levels with a quite brilliant 60-5 defeat of Richard Huish. The Taunton derby was much closer though, a proper derby that saw King’s College and Taunton School push each other all the way, but it was King’s College Taunton that progressed, beating their neighbours 33-24.
George Watson’s College 17-15 Strathallan
KES Southampton 15-32 St Albans College, South Africa
Morrison’s Academy 25-25 Queen Victoria
Scarisbrick Hall 7-40 AKS Lytham
St Edward’s, Oxford 7-24 Radley College
Woodbridge 0-43 King’s Ely
Tuesday saw some great games, particularly in Scotland where everything was incredibly tight, not least a thrilling 25-25 draw between Morrison’s Academy and Queen Victoria. George Watson’s College v Strathallan was almost as tight, George Watson’s just edging the game at home for a 17-15 victory.
In England the Oxford derby between St Edward’s and Radley College was a big one, and Radley travelled over to Teddies looking for a strong performance, and a strong performance they duly gave for a brilliant 24-7 victory. Elsewhere, King’s Ely had an excellent 43-0 victory at Woodbridge, similarly AKS Lytham at Scarisbrick Hall, 40-7, and there was a fantastic occasion at KES Southampton as they welcomed South African tourists St Albans College, the visitors going home happy with a 32-15 victory.
Ashville Harrogate 10-38 Bradford Grammar 2nd XV
Bloxham 24-3 Wellingborough
Christ College 50-17 Ysgol Gyfun Plasmawr
Dr Challoner’s Grammar 52-0 Royal Latin
KES Five Ways 33-17 King’s Gloucester
Leighton Park 28-7 The Forest
Llandovery College 29-47 Cardiff & Vale College
Pangbourne College 5-33 The Oratory
Reading 15-21 Holyport
Reddam House 43-21 LVS Ascot
Royal Alexandra & Albert 12-5 Riddlesdown Collegiate
Salesian 0-74 St George’s College, Weybridge
Aylesbury Grammar 49-0 Tring (Schools Vase)
Beth’s Grammar 0-62 Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar (Schools Vase)
Bradford Grammar 12-26 Rishworth (Schools Vase)
Brentwood 76-7 Southend High (Schools Vase)
Calday Grange Grammar 15-22 Wirral Grammar (Schools Vase)
Cedars 48-5 Harris City Academy (Schools Bowl)
Claires Court 50-0 Haberdashers’ Elstree (Schools Vase)
Eastbourne College 52-7 Churcher’s College (Schools Vase)
Ellesmere College 36-7 Newcastle-Under-Lyme (Schools Vase)
Embley 0-50 Portsmouth Grammar (Schools Bowl)
Gravesend Grammar 36-0 Sevenoaks (Schools Vase)
Grey Court 40-12 UCS (Schools Vase)
Gryphon 7-26 West Buckland (Schools Bowl)
Halliford 17-27 Reed’s (Schools Vase)
Hill House 7-44 Mount St Mary’s College (Schools Vase)
KES Southampton 31-32 Ryde (Schools Vase)
Langley 7-50 Framlingham College (Schools Vase)
Lord Wandsworth College 54-7 Windsor Boys’ (Schools Vase)
Loughborough Grammar 57-7 Robert Smyth (Schools Vase)
Maidstone Grammar 29-34 Skinners’ (Schools Vase)
Manchester Grammar 62-5 Wilmslow High (Schools Vase)
Marling 12-26 The Crypt (Schools Vase)
Pocklington 29-17 Prince Henry’s Grammar (Schools Vase)
Princethorpe College 43-7 Kenilworth (Schools Vase)
Queen Mary’s Grammar 0-59 Bishop Vesey’s Grammar (Schools Vase)
Ravens Wood 34-27 Hayes (Schools Vase)
Saint Cecilia’s 45-0 Carshalton (Schools Bowl)
Samuel Whitbread Academy 43-0 Roundwood Park (Schools Vase)
Simon Langton Grammar 5-48 Sutton Valence (Schools Vase)
St Ambrose College 63-0 Bolton (Schools Vase)
St John’s Leatherhead 48-15 Christ’s Hospital (Schools Vase)
The Perse 41-5 Watford Grammar (Schools Vase)
Tunbridge Wells Grammar 38-26 (Schools Vase)
Wallington County Grammar 34-24 Emanuel (Schools Vase)
Wednesday saw loads of action, with regular season games as well as a huge number of Vase and Bowl fixtures. On the regular season front, The Oratory were in fine form in a special fixture under the lights against Pangbourne College, winning 33-5. Meanwhile Holyport sealed a 21-15 victory at Reading and Reddam House won a try-fest against LVS Ascot, 43-21.
Bloxham were back on song, and impressive 24-3 defeat of Wellingborough, while Dr Challoner’s were flying, 52-0 over Royal Latin. KES Five Ways meanwhile secured a good 33-17 victory over a King’s Gloucester side that is playing some good stuff.
St George’s College enjoyed themselves against Salesian, but things were tighter at Royal Alexandra & Albert, a 12-5 victory for the hosts against Riddlesdown Collegiate, while Leighton Park secured a 28-7 victory at home to The Forest.
Further North, Bradford Grammar’s 2nd XV showed that their 1st XVs form extends through, heading to Ashville Harrogate’s 1st XV and winning 38-10. Over in Wales Christ College were in excellent form for a 50-17 victory over Plasmawr, and Cardiff & Vale won a bit of a thriller at Llandovery College, 47-29.
Over in the Vase there was so much action. North A saw Wirral Grammar progress thanks to a Wirral Derby win at Calday Grange, 22-15. Ellesmere College join them after a brilliant 36-7 victory over Newcastle-Under-Lyme. St Ambrose College, meanwhile, are also through after a stunning 63-0 victory over Bolton.
North B saw reigning champions Mount St Mary’s through with an impressive 44-7 victory at Hill House. Joining them are Rishworth, who did brilliantly to defeat the very much in form Bradford Grammar 26-12. Manchester Grammar were flying, progressing with a 62-5 victory over Wilmslow High, while Pocklingtonare also through after a 29-17 home win over Prince Henry’s Grammar.
Midlands A saw a series of fairly dominant performances, Alyesbury Grammar winning 49-0 over Tring and Loughborough Grammar winning 57-7 over Robert Smyth. Joining those two in round 3 are Princethorpe College, who beat Kenilworth 43-7, and Bishop Vesey’s Grammar, who won 59-0 away at Queen Mary’s.
Over in Midlands B former champions Samuel Whitbread Academy are through, they beat Roundwood Park 43-0. Joining them are Framlingham College, who look formidable, they beat Langley 50-7 away from home.The Perse are also through after a 41-5 defeat of Watford Grammar.
London & South East A saw Brentwood through with storming display over Southend High, similarly Claires Court over Haberdashsers’ Elstree. Reed’s came through a really tough test at Halliford, 27-17, while St John’s Leatherhead were highly impressive for a 48-15 victory over Christ’s Hospital to progress, similarly Grey Court, who beat UCS 40-12.
London & South East B was a busy one, Ravens Wood won a thriller against Hayes 34-27, and it was similar for Wallington County Grammar over Emanuel, 34-24, so too for Tunbridge Wells Grammar, who progress following a 38-26 victory.
Skinners’ also won a tight one, 34-29 at Maidstone Grammar ahead of that massive game against Tonbridge tomorrow, while here were strong performances from Chislehurst & Sidcup at Beth’s Grammar and Gravesend Grammar at home to Sevenoaks. Sutton Valence again look like real contenders, they progressed thanks to a 48-5 victory at Simon Langton Grammar.
South West A was much quieter, but The Crypt will be happy with a good performance for a 26-12 victory at Marling. Over in South West B Eastbourne College were sensational for a 52-7 victory over Churcher’s College. Joining them in the next round are Lord Wandsworth College, who were excellent in a 54-7 victory over Windsor Boys. Game of the day in South West B though was surely KES Southampton v Ryde. It was an absolute thriller but it was the away side that progress after just edging it, 32-21.
Over in the Bowl, Cedars, Portsmouth Grammar, West Buckland, and Carshalton all performed superbly well to progress to Round 2.
Bryanston 41-7 Beechen Cliff 2nd XV
Clifton College 43-10 St Andrew’s Scots, Argentina
George Heriot’s 8-43 Loretto
Glenalmond College 33-17 Dundee High
Warminster 8-24 Clayesmore
Bishop Stopford 0-54 The Leys (Schools Bowl)
King’s Ely 26-53 Richard Hale (Schools Vase)
Ratcliffe College 19-25 Leicester Grammar (Schools Bowl)
Trent College 17-21 Nottingham High (Schools Vase)
Thursday rounded the week off superbly, Clifton College showed their class in an impressive 43-10 victory over Argentine tourists St Andrew’s Scots, while elsewhere in the South West Clayesmore secured a 24-8 victory at Warminster and Bryanston were flying against Beechen Cliff’s non-ACE side, winning 41-7.
In Scotland, meanwhile, Loretto stunned George Heriot’s, 43-8 away from home, and Glenalmond were on form for a 33-17 victory over Dundee High.
Over in the Vase, Richard Hale are quietly putting together a brilliant season and they really underlined that point on Thursday with a 53-26 away victory over King’s Ely. Further North the Nottinghamshire derby was the game to watch, a really tense fixture between Trent College and Nottingham High School ending 21-17 to Nottingham High.
The Bowl, meanwhile, saw The Leys secure a strong 54-0 victory at Bishop Stopford, while Leicester Grammar found good form for a 25-19 victory at Ratcliffe College.
Still to Come:
Birkenhead v King William’s College (Schools Bowl) – Wednesday
Chesham Grammar v Sir William Borlase’s – Wednesday
Reading Blue Coat v St Bartholomew’s (Schools Vase) – Wednesday
Rydal Penrhos v Wirral Grammar 2nd XV – Wednesday
St Edward’s College, Liverpool v Merchant Taylors’ – Wednesday
Ullswater v Giggleswick (Schools Vase) – Wednesday
Worksop College v Lady Manners (Schools Bowl) – Wednesday
Kingswood v Westonbirt – Thursday