As temperatures fell sharply and snow descended, the final weekend of the term became less an on field celebration of many players’ final time in their school colours and more of an off-field huddle round the fireplace.
Almost all fixtures were lost to the weather, our Ten to Watch became a Three to Watch, only seven other games have had results confirmed from the weekend. The weather hit the weekend hard.
The great shame of course is not just that games had to be cancelled, but that they had to be cancelled on this weekend of all weekend’s, the final games for many U6th players. The most emotional, passionate, and meaningful weekend of the season, every season.
Canford 25-29 Gordon’s
Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar 19-0 St Olave’s Grammar – Friday
Hampton 38-14 St John’s, Leatherhead
KES Five Ways 7-19 KES Birmingham – at Bournville RFC, Friday
King’s Canterbury 19-23 Eastbourne College
King’s Gloucester 18-29 Malvern College
King’s Macclesfield 22-51 Finborough (Schools Cup Quarter Final) – Friday
St Peter’s, York 57-5 Pocklington
The Judd 25-12 Skinners’ – Friday
Warwick 22-26 Bromsgrove
Four of Friday night’s games did go ahead, and if that emotion and passion was what the weekend was about, it was certainly on display in these two. The U18 Schools Cup had already seen drama through the week, an abandoned Marlborough College v Blundell’s game, Oakham completing an unbeaten term against RGS Newcastle to become the first of the semi finalists, and then a day later Trinity becoming the first side all season to defeat Harrow to complete their own unbeaten term, reach the semi finals, and go top of the NextGenXV Schools Rugby Table – you can watch that game again below.
On Friday Finborough joined them, completing their own unbeaten term in the most stunning fashion, defeating a King’s Macclesfield side that had only previously been beaten by Sedbergh in an extraordinary 51-22 performance away from home. Finborough are, quite simply, the story of the season, and it is a season that is going to now extend right through to March and those semi finals.
Another side that has had an extraordinary season are The Judd. On Friday they host Skinners’ in the 100thmeeting between the two. The Judd had the advantage over the years and on Saturday they wrapped up this most extraordinary of seasons with a 25-12 victory to stretch that advantage even further. A wonderful team.
Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar won their annual end of season clash with St Olave’s Grammar by an impressive 19-0 margin, while the KES derby, KES Five Ways v KES Birmingham at Bournville RFC went the way of KES Birmingham, 19-7.
Saturday didn’t see huge amount of action, but Warwick made use of their artificial surface, offering to host Bromsgrove given the weather, after the fixture was originally meant to be the other way around. Both sides put in a huge shift in this end of season classic, Bromsgrove just edging it 26-22.
That was the last of our Ten to Watch games, but there were some other classics too, not least a thrilling 29-25 away win for Gordon’s at Canford, a great encounter and hopefully one that paves the way for a few more school vs ace game after Gordon’s used a few of their ACE players.
Also winning narrowly away from home were Eastbourne College, shrugging their midweek Vase disappointment aside to round off a superb season with a good result and performance at King’s Canterbury, winning 23-19.
Hampton also finished off in superb form, at times this year they have been among the very best teams in the country, and they were in that kind of mood on Saturday with an outstanding 38-14 victory over St John’s Leatherhead.
Malvern College also had plenty to feel good about with a strong 29-18 victory against King’s Gloucester, a cracking game in arctic conditions and a superb fixture with which to sign off.
Meanwhile having the performance to remember in this closing weekend of the term though were St Peter’s York, who finished off their season in sensational fashion, beating Pocklington by a stunning 57-5 margin.
Still to Come:
Dartford Grammar v Gravesend Grammar
Eton College v Bishop Wordsworth’s
Gosfield v USP College – Friday
Graveney v Harris Academy – Friday
King’s Bruton v Wellington
Mill Hill v Brentwood
Roundwood Park v St George’s, Harpenden
Wellington College v Titans Academy