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School Rugby

Champions Trophy: Last 16 Update & Preview

9th October 2018
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It is Champions Trophy week this week, with all eight games of the last 16 taking place.

 

Tuesday saw half of the round completed, with four games taking place, while Wednesday saw the next two played, with the round culminating on Thursday with the final two games, Wellington College v RGS Guildford and Oakham v St Paul’s.

 

One thing we know before those final two games kick off is that we’re looking for a new champion now – and not just any old champion, whoever wins the Champions Trophy now will be a first time champion.

 

Tuesday Results:

 

Berkhamsted 63-14 Kingswood

 

Smooth progress into the quarter finals for Berkhamsted, who enjoyed one of the performances of the round against Haileybury in Round 1 and look to have repeated the trick in some style on Tuesday against Kingswood.

 

Bryanston 17-46 Bristol Grammar

 

Bryanston could not repeat their thrilling first round over Monmouth, instead it was Bristol Grammar School thoroughly impressing for the second round running, having beaten Eton College in the opening round and now putting in a sterling display against Bryanston to reach the quarter finals.

 

Epsom College 38-5 Grammar School at Leeds

 

Two former finalists but Epsom were the form pick heading into this one and that told through in the end as the 2015 runners up picked up a strong 38-5 win. Can they go one better than 2015 this year? Great spirit and sportsmanship from both sides on social media after this one.

 

St John’s Leatherhead 20-5 Blundell’s

 

We had a feeling this might be the tie of the round, and so it proved. A hugely intense game unfolded, with Blundell’s taking a 5-0 lead and looking strong. St John’s were truly outstanding in defence though, and then as they settled down they began to put the squeeze on in attack, creating long periods of pressure. They scored twice before half time to lead 10-5, before a brilliant second half yielded two further scores for a 20-5 win in a brutal yet superb game of rugby. An awesome match.

 

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Wednesday Results:

 

Bedford 11-26 Hurstpierpoint College

 

Bedford might be former Champions, in 2015, and runners up a year later, but Hurstpierpoint went into this one as a real form horse in the schools rugby world having already claimed a major scalp in the form of Tonbridge and run the likes of Cranleigh and Brighton College very close indeed. Their quality was on evidence in the late afternoon sunshine in Bedford on Wednesday too as they sealed an impressive 26-11 win and a first ever quarter-final spot.

 

Hampton 25-22 Dulwich College

 

Schools rugby really does not get much better than this. The Champions Trophy has become known for serious quality and high-drama, but this might just take all of that to a new level. Reigning champions Dulwich College led 21-18 with about ten minutes remaining. It looked as though Hampton might score to go ahead or level but Dulwich continually repelled and repelled them. Finally though, with the clock deep in the red, Hampton worked their way upfield and secured a lineout around 15 metres out. They set it up and then bursting through the middle came their Head Boy, JT, who crashed over the line, sparking huge celebration and sending his side into the quarter finals in sensational style. A finish to match the game, a wonderful spectacle for all.

 

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Further Last 16 Ties:

 

Thursday 11th October

 

Oakham v St Paul’s – 2.30pm

 

Oakham have a pretty strong record in this competition and certainly got off to a good start this year thanks to a 36-19 defeat of Stowe. St Paul’s, meanwhile had a first round bye, making this their first foray of the year. As far as the season so far goes, Oakham are looking good with four wins from six, including beating local rivals Uppingham and Stamford, while only losing narrowly in their two defeats. St Paul’s meanwhile are three from five including some impressive scalps such as Bishop Wordsworth’s. Bar a bit of a tough loss to Epsom in the opening week, things have looked good for them, even on Saturday defeat to Harrow had plenty of positives, running the side that were unbeaten last year incredibly close, just going down 7-6. This one could be another very tight game of rugby on Thursday.

 

Prediction: St Paul’s

 

Wellington College v RGS Guildford – 3pm

 

RGS Guilford opened the tournament by beating 2016 champions Tonbridge 33-22, so another big name will not frighten them. Wellington College on the other hand had a first round bye. Last year there was some controversy when the legendary school side sent a 2nd XV to Grammar School at Leeds and lost, so the question is what side will they play on Thursday. Hopefully a 1st XV as they are a fantastic side, they have lost just once and it was possibly the game of the season against Millfield, they bounced back spectacularly too, beating Warwick 40-3 to add them to the likes of Dulwich and Whitgift on their list of victories this year. RGS will have no fear though, that strong start against Tonbridge will have them believing they can beat anyone and indeed only St Paul’s and St John’s have beaten them this season.

 

Prediction: Wellington College

 

Champions Trophy Last 16 Fixtures/Results:

 

Bedford 11-26 Hurstpierpoint College

Berkhamsted 63-14 Kingswood

Bryanston 17-46 Bristol Grammar School

Epsom College 38-5 Grammar School at Leeds

Hampton 25-22 Dulwich College

Oakham v St Paul’s – Thursday, 2.30pm

St John’s Leatherhead 20-5 Blundell’s

Wellington College v RGS Guildford – Thursday, 3pm

 

Champions Trophy Round 1 Results:

 

Berkhamsted 39-12 Haileybury

Bristol Grammar 33-10 Eton College

Eastbourne College 7-24 Hurstpierpoint College

Hampton 57-10 St Albans

Monmouth 23-24 Bryanston

Oakham 36-19 Stowe

Tonbridge 22-33 RGS Guildford

 

Byes

 

Bedford, Blundell’s, Dulwich College, Epsom College, Grammar School at Leeds, Kingswood, St John’s Leatherhead, St Paul’s, Wellington College