Thursday sees one of the great derby games of the south of England as Seaford College and Hurstpierpoint College go head to head in the Sussex Derby.
Both sides have produced some wonderful sides through the years and some compelling games, and this year the NextGenXV live streaming cameras will be at Seaford College to broadcast it live, the game will be available on our YouTube channel, on our TikTok channel, and is available through the embedded link below.
Both sides have had some superb highs this year, and indeed have a little bit of silverware; Seaford College winning the Plate at the Merchiston Castle Festival and Hurstpierpoint College winning the Bowl at the St Joseph’s Festival.
They have also had some utterly thrilling victories, Hurstpierpoint winning 29-27 against St John’s Leatherhead in September, and just last week Seaford College winning 24-23 at Canford.
Hurstpierpoint also had a close one v Canford, back in September, going down 14-12. They have a couple of other oppositions in common too, both had close games against Epsom College, Seaford winning 19-10 and Hurstpierpoint losing out in the Schools Plate 15-12, while both had tricky days at the office against a Hampton side that has been truly outstanding this year.
For a long time Hurstpierpoint College dominated this fixture, in the late 2000s and early 2010s, but their last victory in this game came in 2013, since then it was been dominated by Seaford College, so the visitors are going to be determined to turn that pattern around, and given close results in 2016, 2017, and 2019 there is reason for hope for the visitors. More so than history though, hope comes in the form of their U6th, who, as U15s and U14s, earned strong victories over Seaford College.
For the hosts though that recent 1st XV history should be a real source of confidence, and not least that 41-14 victory last year. Seaford College rugby has been booming in recent times and the confidence from seeing the likes of last year’s skipper Jonny Green reach such incredible hights this year should be a source of huge inspiration. While the U6th might have tough memories as youngsters against Hurstpierpoint, they earned victory last year at 1st XV level and the L6th, as U16s last year, earned a 26-20 victory.
So Seaford College go into this one as the favourites, but in reality games like this are about so much more than favourites and scorelines, they are about the excitement at wearing the jersey, special fixtures that pique the interest of the entire school community. We can expect packed touchlines, plenty of passion, and a huge amount of friendship.
It will be schools rugby at its finest.