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School Rugby

Champions Trophy: Semi finals preview – Allianz Park beckons for the winners

18th November 2019
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The Champions Trophy semi finals take place on Wednesday, with four sides of undoubted quality in action.

 

Epsom College will be hosting Wellington College in a repeat of last year’s final at 12.45pm, with Rugby hosting Hampton at 2.15pm. Both games will be live streamed and with the staggered kick offs it should be possible to watch them back to back.

 

Champions Trophy Semi Finals

 

Live Stream:

 

 

Epsom College v Wellington College (Wednesday, 12.45pm)

 

This is going to be a huge game, and not just because it is a repeat of last year’s final, but because these are unquestionably two of the very best teams in the country. In the quarter finals Epsom College travelled to Blundell’s, a side that they have met in all but one of the six editions of this competition, and came away with a fantastic 20-0 victory after an incredibly controlled performance, backing up a strong victory over Bristol Grammar in the previous round and echoing the sheer brilliance of their season so far.

 

Wellington College meanwhile had a real task on their hands against Dulwich College in their quarter final, with a bit of an injury crisis after their St Joseph’s Festival triumph at the start of half term. They dug incredibly deep though, scoring two tries for a 12-6 victory to maintain their unbeaten record, keep their hopes of being the first side to ever win back to back titles alive, and the chance of an historic St joseph’s Festival & Champions Trophy double.

 

The two arrive after contrasting weekends, Epsom College lost their unbeaten record as they travelled to the also unbeaten Cranleigh who put in an epic performance to beat them. Wellington College meanwhile were in a game of astonishing intensity at Clifton College, one of the best around, and came through 19-14. So Wellington College will probably arrive the more confident, but how much the weekend’s activities have taken out of both sides remains to be seen. It should be an epic contest.

 

Who will win Epsom College v Wellington College?

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Rugby v Hampton (Wednesday, 2.15pm)

 

Rugby v Hampton will be another absolutely huge contest and a guarantee of a new Champions Trophy finalist, Hampton have never reached the semi finals, let alone the final, while this is Rugby’s first ever appearance in the Champions Trophy full stop.

 

Both sides have been outstanding all season, Rugby had been sweeping just about everyone put in front of them until a surprise loss to Bromgrove just before half term. In the quarter final they had to come through a really tough encounter against Oakham in challenging conditions, but did so in a real show of forward strength for a 13-8 victory to follow dominant early round wins over RGS Guildford and former champions, Bedford. However ever since that Bromsgrove defeat their games have been much more hard fought compared to their early season dominance.

 

Hampton meanwhile have looked electric all year, but particularly in this competition. The first round saw them beat former champions Tonbridge with a real display of defensive solidity and clinical attacking play, 24-15, before they followed up with a quite brilliant 38-0 away win over Berkhamsted in round 2. Their 27-7 quarter final victory over Uppingham was another impressive display, a clinical backline performance securing them four tries, while an incredibly stubborn defensive performance saw them frustrate the visitors, who actually enjoyed long periods of possession and territory.

 

Both Hampton and Rugby are utterly unfamiliar to each other, one of the great aspects of this tournament, and the form from the season so far suggests that we could well be in for a cracker of a game, especially if the weather holds out. Both are also incredibly well rested heading into this game having each had a weekend off in order to prepare for this epic contest at the birthplace of the game.

 

Who will win Rugby v Hampton?

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The Final

 

The final will again take place at Allianz Park and will be part of a double header with the AASE Final again. It takes place on Wednesday 4th December, and whatever happens there is going to be a huge story to go alongside it. Could Wellington College become the first side ever to win the competition twice, securing an incredible St Joseph’s/Champions Trophy double in the process, perhaps Epsom College will win it at the third time of asking, or one of the new finalists, Rugby or Hampton, could win it in their first final. Should it be Epsom, Rugby, or Hampton, it would make it a different champion in each of the six editions of this tremendous schools rugby competition.

 

Champions Trophy Semi Finals:

 

Epsom College v Wellington College (Wednesday, 12.45pm)

Rugby v Hampton (Wednesday, 2.15pm)

 

Champions Trophy Quarter Finals:

 

Blundell’s 0-20 Epsom College

Hampton 27-7 Uppingham

Rugby 13-8 Oakham

Wellington College 12-6 Dulwich College

 

Champions Trophy Round 2:

 

Rugby 45-0 RGS Guildford

St Paul’s 6-15 Blundell’s

Oakham 25-19 Clifton College

Berkhamsted 0-38 Hampton

Hurstpierpoint College 19-20 Uppingham

Kingswood 26-56 Wellington College

Epsom College 31-12 Bristol Grammar

Dulwich College 24-13 St John’s, Leatherhead

 

Champions Trophy Round 1:

 

Bedford 7-66 Rugby

Clifton College 24-18 Monmouth

Hampton 24-15 Tonbridge

RGS Guildford 17-3 Bryanston

St Paul’s v BYE

Oakham v BYE

Berkhamsted v BYE

Hurstpierpoint College v BYE

Bristol GS v BYE

Kingswood v BYE

Blundell’s v BYE

St John’s, Leatherhead v BYE

Epsom College v BYE

Dulwich College v BYE

Uppingham v BYE

Wellington College v BYE