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School Rugby

Champions Trophy: Quarter Final Previews

5th November 2018
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The Champions Trophy returns this week with the quarter final stage and four fantastic looking games of rugby.

 

With reigning the champions, Dulwich College, and 2015 champions, Bedford, both knocked out last round, along with the 2016 champions, Tonbridge, in the opening round, all of the former champions in the draw are now out, meaning that we are guaranteed a new champion. This continues the remarkable run of a fresh champion each year in this competition. Indeed unless Epsom College make it to the final there will not even be a side that has made the final before.

 

Former champions or not though, this competition is stacked with quality. Berkhamsted have been in brilliant form this year, so too Bristol Grammar School. Epsom College are consistently one of the best in this competition, with a finals appearance in 2015 and consistent appearances in the semi finals.

 

Hampton’s quality and resilience are well known, particularly after that last-gasp win over Dulwich, while Hurstpierpoint College have been punching right up at the top end of the school tree this year. St John’s Leatherhead too are punching high and were excellent last year too, where they reached the semi finals.

 

St Paul’s have been in excellent form all year and have beaten some top sides, while Wellington College are one of the biggest names in schools rugby and once again look like one of the top three or four sides in the country.

 

Quarter Final Previews

 

Berkhamsted v Wellington College – Tuesday 2.30pm

 

A massive game. Schools rugby history suggests Wellington College are favourites, and on form this year that history seems accurate. However the Champions Trophy is rarely that simple and Berkhamsted are a top class side. They were well beaten by Sedbergh just prior to half term but it was a game with far more too it than that. They actually caused Sedbergh huge problems and only the Cumbrians clinical rugby in the last quarter cut them loose. Berkhamsted will have learned from that and will know that if they can stay in the fight for 70 minutes, they can beat anyone. Wellington will be tough though, only Millfield have beaten them and they have some formidable talent in their side. At this stage they are probably tournament favourites, but this tournament rarely gives up much without a major fight.

 

Prediction: Wellington College

Who will win Berkhamsted v Wellington College?

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Bristol Grammar School v St Paul’s – Wednesday 2.30pm

 

The only quarter final to take us out of the South East region, indeed Bristol Grammar School are the only side left in the competition from outside of the South East really. They have impressed so far, beating Bryanston and Eton College pretty comfortably and their season in general has been outstanding, only Sir Thomas Rich’s and Clifton College have beaten them, two excellent sides. St Paul’s will be one of their toughest tests to date though, they two have only lost twice, to Epsom College and by a single point to Harrow. The Barnes school have a long way to travel but will be excited by the prospect and we could have a fantastic game on our hands on Wednesday. How might it go? Take your pick.

 

Prediction: St Paul’s

Who will win Bristol Grammar School v St Paul's?

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Hurstpierpoint College v Hampton – Thursday 2.15pm

 

Another fascinating one. Hurstpierpoint started with a good win at Eastbourne College and then really shook things up in the last 16 by knocking out the 2015 champions Bedford, one of the most consistent sides in this competition’s history. Hampton have been outstanding too though, first with a thumping win over St Albans before they made arguably the biggest impact on this tournament so far when a last second try gave them a 25-22 victory over reigning champions Dulwich College in the previous round. Momentum and excitement are certainly with Hampton and only Bromsgrove have beaten them, while in Louis Lynagh they have one of the outstanding players in schools rugby. Hurstpierpoint have plenty of momentum too though, and only Brighton College and Cranleigh have beaten them – both narrowly. This should be a truly outstanding game.

 

Prediction: Hampton

Who will win Hurstpierpoint College v Hampton?

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St John’s Leatherhead v Epsom College – Tuesday 2.30pm

 

Last year these two were knocked out by the two finalists, St John’s by Dulwich College in the semi finals, Epsom by Blundell’s (for whom Epsom had been a nemesis in previous years) in the last 16. These two are just 4.8 miles apart as well, making this a proper local derby game. As such, we can expect packed touchlines and a fantastic atmosphere. Not only that, but a great game too. St John’s were outstanding in their last 16 victory over Blundell’s and have looked good all year, only Brighton and Hurstpierpoint getting the better of them and both in close games. Epsom College are in hot form too, they were brilliant at home to Grammar School at Leeds last round and only Dulwich and Harrow have beaten them this year. One of these two will fall to a third defeat on Tuesday, but you can be sure that it is going to be a spirited game between two determined and classy sides.

 

Prediction: Epsom College

Who will win St John's Leatherhead v Epsom College?

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A reminder that we welcome any photos, videos, and reports from your school’s games – the more the merrier! You can send them in to us via any of the methods below:

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Champions Trophy Quarter Finals:

 

Berkhamsted v Wellington College – Tuesday 2.30pm

Bristol Grammar v St Paul’s – Wednesday 2.30pm

Hurstpierpoint College v Hampton – Thursday 2.15pm

St John’s Leatherhead v Epsom College – Tuesday 2.30pm

 

Champions Trophy Last 16 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 20-22 St Paul’s

St John’s Leatherhead 20-5 Blundell’s

Wellington College 47-0 RGS Guildford

 

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