The end of the term’s school rugby is just days away, but that has not lessened the competitiveness through this midweek of school rugby, with some incredibly intense and competitive games.
Little wonder, it was U18 Schools Cup, Plate, Vase, and Bowl quarter finals week as well as Cup Finals day in Scotland, with the U18 and U16 Scottish Schools Cup, Shield, Plate, and Bowl Finals taking place at BT Murrayfield and the DAM Health Arena.
NextGenXV had two live streams through the week in the U18 Schools Cup quarter finals, on Wednesday taking in Marlborough College v Blundell’s which unfortunately had to be abandoned due to an injury to one of the Blundell’s players, with the game right in the balance. That one will be replayed at a later date.
Thursday then took in arguably the contest of the season as Harrow and Trinity went head to head in a game for the ages, Daily Mail Trophy champions v Schools Cup champions, with a place in the semi finals, top spot in the NextGenXV Table, and bragging right all on the line. A classic contest broke out, and you can relive it all again below.
It was about more than just those high-intensity games though, the week was also about final appearances in the shirts for many, emotion, passion, and a glorious opportunity to make lasting memories in these famous shirts, a theme explored in this week’s NextGenXV Podcast as the guys looked at their greatest school coaches of the last decade.
Bloxham 11-14 Haileybury (Schools Plate QF)
Collegiate 31-19 Beechen Cliff
Kirkham Grammar 53-5 The Rhinos, South Africa
Leicester Grammar 5-57 Stamford
Tuesday was a cracking start to the week, in the Schools Plate Haileybury continued their great recent form in a brilliant game at the home of former champions Bloxham. It was a game totally in the balance that could have gone either way, but Haileybury held out for a 14-11 victory and a place in the semi finals. A superb achievement.
Elsewhere, Kirkham Grammar School once more demonstrating their ruthless quality this year in another magnificent performance at home against South Africa tourists, The Rhinos. Kirkham were utterly brilliant, as they have been throughout this unbeaten season, winning 53-5, setting up for a massive game against RGS Newcastle on Saturday where they could complete that unbeaten season.
Stamford are another of those sides that have been superb this year and particularly of late, they have come closer than anyone to beating Oakham. On Tuesday they showed that quality again in a 57-5 victory over Leicester Grammar. Collegiate were also on strong form, hosting Beechen Cliff’s non-ace side and securing a hard-earned 31-19 victory.
Barnard Castle 25-12 Solihull (Schools Plate QF)
Brentwood 24-12 Philip Morant
Claires Court 22-47 Old Swinford Hospital (Schools Vase QF)
Durham 22-36 Samuel Whitbread Academy (Schools Vase QF)
Ellesmere College 10-12 Wirral Grammar
Fulham Boys 10-15 Ewell Castle
George Heriot’s 27-17 Marr College (Scottish Schools Plate Final)
Gordon’s 24-29 The Oratory
Grammar School at Leeds 34-21 Hymers College
Hayes 12-8 Caterham
Hull Collegiate 0-61 Hill House
John Fisher 7-10 Wallington County Grammar
Leighton Park 28-15 Reddam House
Lord Williams 10-5 Aylesbury Grammar
Maidstone Grammar 35-17 Simon Langton Grammar
Marlborough College v Blundell’s (Schools Cup QF) – Abandoned
Merchiston Castle 19-7 Edinburgh Academy (Scottish Schools Cup Final)
Monmouth 46-3 Wimbledon College (Schools Plate QF)
Morrison’s Acacdemy 41-7 Lomond (Scottish Schools Bowl Final)
Mount St Mary’s College 38-12 King’s Grantham
Peter Symonds’ College 29-29 Ryde (County Cup Final)
Portsmouth Grammar 22-12 Dartford Grammar (Schools Bowl QF)
RGS High Wycombe 22-20 Epsom College (Schools Plate QF)
RGS Newcastle 0-39 Oakham (Schools Cup QF)
St Aloysius’ College 30-22 Glasgow High (Scottish Schools Bowl Final)
St Ambrose College 43-19 Dr Challoner’s Grammar (Schools Vase QF)
St Edward’s, Cheltenham 29-22 Burford
St James’ 19-48 Salesian
Tiffin 38-14 Saint Cecilia’s
Wednesday was a huge day, in Scotland Merchiston Castle made it back to back Scottish Schools Cup titles with a 19-7 defeat of Edinburgh Academy, the oldest continuous schools rugby fixture in the world. It was their first meeting in a final though, and Merchiston’s experience and quality told for a 19-7 victory.
In the Plate, George Heriot’s claimed the silverware with a 27-17 victory over Marr College, with Morrison’s Academy earning the Bowl with a 41-7 victory over Lomond, and St Aloysius’ College won the Shield with a 30-22 victory over Glasgow High School.
In England, the Schools Cup Quarter Finals got underway, as mentioned the Marlborough College v Blundell’s game was abandoned, but in the North East another was flying along. RGS Newcastle hosted unbeaten Oakham having only been beaten by Sedbergh this year. On Wednesday though they faced an inspired Oakham side, the two time champions were simply magnificent as they stormed to a 39-0 victory. Nobody is going to want to meet this superb Rutland side in a semi final.
In the Plate, Barnard Castle followed Haileybury’s lead, booking their place in the semi finals with a fantastic 25-12 defeat of Solihull. Monmouth will be joining them, the Welsh side were quite simply sensational against Wimbledon College as they earned a stunning 46-3 victory. Game of the day in the Plate though was at RGS High Wycombe where Epsom College were the visitors. The sides could barley be separated, but it was the former champions RGS High Wycombe that made it through to the semi final after a cracking encounter, 22-20.
Three of the Vase quarter finals took place on Wednesday, former champions Samuel Whitbread Academy made it through to the semis after an absolutely fantastic performance in a cracking game at Durham, winning 36-22. St Ambrose College will join them after a stunning performance of their own, winning 43-19 against Dr Challoner’s Grammar. Former Schools Cup finalists Old Swinford Hospital are also into the semi finals after a 47-22 victory at Claires Court, who had an incredibly young side that will be a force to be reckoned with over the next couple of years.
In the Bowl, meanwhile, Portsmouth Grammar made it through to the semi finals, earning a 22-12 victory over Dartford Grammar after a top contest.
There was also County Cup action on Wednesday, and in the Hampshire County Cup final it was epic action, a 29-29 draw between Peter Symonds’ College and Ryde.
Elsewhere, Grammar School at Leeds won a cracking game 34-21 against Hymers College, while Mount St Mary’s College won 38-12 against King’s Grantham. Hill House were, meanwhile, sensational against Hull Collegiate, winning 61-0.
Wirral Grammar and Ellesmere College had a fantastic game, with away side Wirral Grammar winning 12-10. Further South, St Edward’s Cheltenham won a cracker against Burford, 29-22.
Lord Williams earned a 10-5 victory over Aylesbury Grammar, while Leighton Park earned a 28-15 victory over Reddam House, with Salesian in stunning form, beating St James’ 48-19 away from home.
The Oratory and Gordon’s met in a thriller at the StoneX Stadium, The Oratory rounding of their centenary year of rugby with a brilliant 29-24 victory. Ewell Castle meanwhile won 15-10 agaisnt Fulham Boys, while Wallington County Grammar had to work hard for an excellent 10-7 victory against John Fisher.
Tiffin were in top form, beating Saint Cecilia’s 38-14, with Hayes winning a tight one against Caterham 12-8. Meanwhile Maidstone Grammar won 35-17 at home to Simon Langton Grammar, and Brentwood sealed a 24-12 victory over Philip Morant.
Harrow 15-18 Trinity (Schools Cup QF) – LIVE STREAMED
Loughborough Grammar 24-21 Oakham 2nd XV – at Loughborough University
Rugby 39-7 Framlingham College
Sutton Valence 31-8 Eastbourne College (Schools Vase QF)
Thursday’s big even last that live streamed U18 Schools Cup quarter final, with Harrow and Trinity going head to head in a contest for the ages. Perhaps the match up of the season, maybe the two best teams in the country, challenging each other in ways that neither has been challenged in too often this season at all. It was touch and go the whole way, a game that lived up to the hype and some. In the end, it was the Trinity defence that was the difference maker, surviving some intense Harrow play at the end to take an 18-15 victory and to keep their dream of back to back titles alive. You can watch it all again below.
There was also Schools Vase action on Thursday, last year’s finalists Sutton Valence keeping their hopes of going a step further alive thanks to a brilliant 31-8 victory over Eastbourne College, who have been superb this year.
There was a special game at Rugby School too as they gave their U6th a great final opportunity in the shirt, hosting Framlingham College side in a fantastic occasion and securing a 39-7 victory on a very special day. Over at Loughborough University, Loughborough Grammar hosted Oakham’s 2nd XV in a brilliant game and edged out the visitors for a 24-21 victory.
Still to Come:
Dundee High v Glenalmond College – Tuesday
Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby v Bedstone College
Hereford Cathedral School v Cathedral School, Llandaff
KES Aston v Newcastle Under Lyme
KES Five Ways v Queen Mary’s Grammar
Langley Park v Titans Rugby, South Africa – Thursday
Next Phase Academy v Royal Latin
RGS Colchester v Woodbridge – Tuesday
Stonyhurst v Crossley Heath
The Crypt v Cokethorpe
Verulam v Beaumont