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School Rugby

Schools Rugby Weekend Preview: Saturday 10th November

8th November 2018
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After some superb knockout fixtures this week, a massive weekend of schoolboy rugby awaits us.

 

The big games come thick and fast, and with so many games taking place in the morning, too, a lot of you will be able to catch the Autumn Internationals as well.

 

So far since half term the quality of rugby that we became used to in the first half of the season seems to still be on show, with ambition and quality attacking rugby making for a great spectacle from the sidelines and no doubt an enjoyable game to play in. If perhaps a little tough on the lungs!

 

There are some huge head to heads this weekend, particularly in our 10 Focus On fixtures, which feature a host of key games.

 

Focus On

 

Brighton College v Epsom College

 

Two fantastic sides, each with just two defeats to their name so far this season. Epsom College will be riding high after a superb Champions Trophy quarter final win over local rivals St John’s Leatherhead on Tuesday, the only question might be how well have they recovered physically. Brighton College have won the last three of these fixtures, most impressively last year at Epsom and will be keen to make it 4. Both play exciting rugby, so start in for an entertaining seventy minutes of rugby!

 

Prediction: Brighton College

Who will win Brighton College v Epsom College?

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Clifton College v Cheltenham College

 

Two cracking teams, Cheltenham College went unbeaten last year and while they have lost twice this year they are looking good – only Rugby and Marlborough have beaten them, two sides playing excellent rugby. Clifton College are looking strong too though, they also have just two defeats, to Millfield and Marlborough too. They very nearly beat Millfield, who are one of the top 2 or 3 sides around, while the Marlborough defeat was almost identical to Cheltenham’s, suggesting a really close game on Saturday. Clifton ought to be full of confidence too, having really knuckled in for a tight victory over Blundell’s on Saturday.

 

Prediction: Clifton College

Who will win Clifton College v Cheltenham College?

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Hampton v Wellington College – Cancelled

 

Unfortunately after each side had huge Champions Trophy quarter finals in midweek, including Hampton playing as recently as Thursday, this one has had to be cancelled due to the number of walking wounded.

 

Prediction: Wellington College

Who will win Hampton v Wellington College?

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Langley v St Joseph’s College

 

A good East Anglian derby this between two sides that probably do not get talked about as much as others and yet are stacked with quality. The two actually met prior to half term in an absolute thriller in the Schools Plate competition. It was a dramatic affair, full of tension, with Langley running out as the 35-33 victors. This time though there is no import rule as it is not a Cup game, and that will benefit St Joseph’s who will be able to bring in a few players who were unavailable for that one. Could it swing the result? It will certainly have an influence, but Langley are a top class side and particularly at home they are not going to sit quietly.

 

Prediction: Langley

Who will win Langley v St Joseph's College?

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Marlborough College v Radley College

 

A real classic fixture this. Marlborough are playing some stunning rugby this year, including a strong win in the Schools Cup over Downside in midweek. They have been beaten just once, a narrow one to Eton College who have also beaten Radley. Victories over the likes of Clifton show just what a side this Marlborough side is, but Radley have plenty about them too, the likes of Sherborne and Tonbridge are among those that they have beaten. All in all it should set up for an awesome game of rugby on Saturday in the brilliant surrounds that is Marlborough’s 1st XV pitch.

 

Prediction: Marlborough College

Who will win Marlborough College v Radley College?

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Millfield v Blundell’s

 

Another really high level clash. Millfield are regarded as one of the very best in the business this year, having reached the final of the St Joseph’s Festival and gone through the rest of the season unbeaten so far, including a win over Wellington College and a good 19-7 effort over Llandovery College on Wednesday in their first game after half term. Blundell’s are a really good side too though, they have only lost twice, to St John’s and then at the weekend to Clifton College by just three point, a side who came oh so close to toppling Millfield. It should be a fantastic contest on a pristine surface, one that should be among the very best games of the weekend.

 

Prediction: Millfield

Who will win Millfield v Blundell's?

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Oundle v Oakham

 

A good local rivalry, the Oundle, Oakham, Uppingham, Stamford quartet always produce excellent games against each other and this one should be no different. Oakham have the stronger form this season, and probably come in with slightly greater confidence after a big win over Loughborough Grammar School on Saturday, while Oundle were defeated by Uppingham, whom Oakham beat in their opening game of the season. As mentioned though, these games are always a great spectacle and should be again on Saturday in Oundle’s amphitheatre 1st XV pitch.

 

Prediction: Oakham

Who will win Oundle v Oakham?

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QEGS Wakefield v Barnard Castle

 

Two absolute giants of the school game go head to head on Saturday in the form of QEGS Wakefield and Barnard Castle. Last year QEGS won an absolute thriller 38-37, and Barnard Castle will be itching to get their own back. They might have a chance too, QEGS have found life tricky this year, winning just twice so far, Barnard Castle by contrast have only been beaten by Woodhouse Grove and RGS Newcastle, two sides that are absolutely outstanding. This is QEGS’ first game after half term though and they will be absolutely determined to change their fortunes in this second half of the season, starting on Saturday in this classic schools rugby contest.

 

Prediction: Barnard Castle

Who will win QEGS Wakefield v Barnard Castle?

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RGS Newcastle v St Peter’s, York (Schools Cup)

 

This already huge game is made even bigger on Saturday by doubling up as a Schools Cup last 32 game, which is effectively the regional semi final. It is going to be a tough task for the winner though, Woodhouse Grove await after their win against King’s Macclesfield on Wednesday. Woodhouse Grove have already beaten both sides this season. RGS Newcastle will be full of confidence on Saturday though after their magnificent St Joseph’s Festival triumph just prior to half term, which included a 15-10 victory over St Peter’s York in the opening groups. Having only lost to Woodhouse Grove and Sedbergh, and won that St Joseph’s Festival, RGS have proved it will take a very special St Peter’s performance to overturn them, but St Peter’s are very capable of that sort of performance.

 

Prediction: RGS Newcastle

Who will win RGS Newcastle v St Peter's, York?

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St Paul’s v Tonbridge

 

Another of the real classic schools rugby clashes on this week’s fixture list. St Paul’s have been in really great form this season but will be smarting a bit after defeat in the Champions Trophy quarter final on Wednesday to Bristol Grammar, 15-7. If the bodies have recovered, that could make them a bit of a wounded animal and therefore a dangerous proposition, but Tonbridge will be a dangerous side too. After a tough first half of the season, they responded to the tragedy of the death of their former full back Suanu Saro-Wiva with a brilliant and emotional performance on Saturday to defeat Harrow in a thriller, a side that have beaten St Paul’s. If they can keep that level and that spirit up, they will be a handful for anyone, if it slips, St Paul’s are more than ready to pounce.

 

Prediction: St Paul’s

Who will win St Paul's v Tonbridge?

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Around the Grounds

 

There are some massive games outside of our ‘Focus On’ fixtures too, not least as back to back Schools Cup champions Warwick make the trip to Bedford, who are chasing after a win over a big name to kick start their season. Warwick take on Bromsgrove in the Schools Cup next week, and Bromsgrove have a tough old game this weekend too as they welcome a Sir Thomas Rich’s side who are playing some superb rugby this season.

 

Eton College, who have picked up some really impressive victories so far this season, at home to an Abingdon side that a chasing a signature victory to kick off this second half of term.

 

Over in Norfolk there is a massive game as a strong Gresham’s side host the unbeaten Norwich. The two have already met this season in the Cup with Norwich winning 32-10, and you can be sure that Norwich will not give up their unbeaten record easily. Meanwhile in North West London there is a massive game between two sides that that suffered agonizingly close defeats last weekend, Harrow and Northampton School for Boys.

 

Old rivals John Fisher and Dulwich College are in action in Croydon, while Sedbergh dip their toe in the water for the first time since half term with their trip to Lancaster RGS. We are just two weeks away from one of the biggest showdowns of the season, Sedbergh v Woodhouse Grove, and Woodhouse Grove restart their season on Saturday at home to Grammar School at Leeds.

 

There are some massive games in Scotland this weekend, perhaps none more so than Merchiston Castle v George Watson’s College, two of the most well known rugby schools in Scotland who have produced countless internationals between them.

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Portsmouth Grammar School enjoyed a superb Schools Cup win over Bishop Wordsworth’s in midweek and are straight back in action with another massively tough game at home to Seaford College on Saturday, another game that should be a cracker. Sherborne were also victorious in midweek, they host Canford on Saturday, while Berkhamsted look to bounce back from their midweek Champions Trophy loss to Wellington with their trip to Stamford.

 

St Edward’s Oxford just missed out on a first win of the season last weekend when they lost 13-10 to Stowe, who were also chasing a first win, they will hope to break the duck this weekend, but host an Uppingham side enjoying one of their best season’s in a while. Stowe meanwhile face a tough task in trying to make it back to back wins on Saturday, they travel to unbeaten Rugby, who are playing some of the top rugby in the country.

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Whitgift have been in sensational form all year, only Sedbergh and Wellington have stopped them in their tracks, and they will be eager to stretch that fantastic form into the second half of the season, beginning with a trip to RGS High Wycombe, who will be itching for a signature scalp.

 

Friday

 

There is a massive game on Friday evening at Broadstreet RFC on Friday evening, as King Henry VIII, Coventry and Bablake meet for their annual classic clash. It is always a fantastic occasion, and ought to see a packed out Broadstreet ground.

 

There are a couple of other cracking games on Friday too, with Liverpool College heading across to the Isle of Man to take on King William’s College. St Peter’s Gloucester meanwhile host The Crypt.

 

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:

Twitter: @FifteenRugbyXV

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby

Instagram: @fifteenrugbyxv

Email: writers@fifteenrugby.com

 

Schools Rugby Weekend Fixtures – Saturday 10th November (predictions in bold):

 

Focus On

 

Brighton College v Epsom College

Clifton College v Cheltenham College

Hampton v Wellington College

Langley v St Joseph’s College

Marlborough College v Radley College

Millfield v Blundell’s

Oundle v Oakham

QEGS Wakefield v Barnard Castle

RGS Newcastle v St Peter’s, York (Schools Cup)

St Paul’s v Tonbridge

 

Saturday

 

Ampleforth College v Stonyhurst College

Bancroft’s v RGS Colchester

Bedford v Warwick

Bishops Stortford HS v Ipswich

Bradford GS v Giggleswick

Bristol GS v King’s Worcester

Bromsgrove v Sir Thomas Rich’s

Chislehurst & Sidcup GS v Maidstone GS

Churcher’s College v Pangbourne College

Christ’s Hospital v Reigate GS

City of London Freemen’s v Emanuel

Coopers’ Coborn v Richard Hale

Crossley Heath v Silcoates

Culford v Woodbridge

Dame Allan’s v Newcastle SfB

Dollar Academy v Strathallan

Dundee HS v Loretto

Durham v Yarm

Ellesmere College v Calday Grange GS

Enfield GS v Dame Alice Owen’s

Eton College v Abingdon

Exeter v Truro

Felsted v New Hall

Fettes College v Bell Baxter

Framlingham College v King’s Ely

Glasgow Academy v George Heriot’s

Glenalmond College v Robert Gordon’s College

Gresham’s v Norwich

Haberdashers’ v Watford GS

Haileybury v Reed’s

Harrow v Northampton SfB

Hereford Cathedral School v Wrekin College

Hurstpierpoint College v Trinity

Hymers College v Pocklington

John Fisher v Dulwich College

KCS Wimbledon v Skinners’

Kelvinside Academy v Hutchesons’ GS

KES Bath v QEH

KES Birmingham v Princethorpe College

KES Southampton v Lord Wandsworth College

King’s Canterbury v Worth

King’s Macclesfield v Chearle Hulme

King’s Rochester v Kent College

Kingswood v Colston’s

Lancaster RGS v Sedbergh

Langley Park v Campion

Latymer Upper v Gunnersbury

Loughborough GS v Nottingham HS

Magdalen College v Aylesbury GS

Malvern College v Dean Close

Merchant Taylors’ v Wilmslow HS

Merchiston Castle v George Watson’s College

Mill Hill v Shiplake College

Monkton Combe v King’s Bruton

Monmouth v King’s College, Taunton

Pate’s GS v KES Stratford

Portsmouth GS v Seaford College

Prior Park College v Downside

Queen Ethelburga’s v Kirkham GS

Ravens Wood v Robert Clack

RGS Guildford v Cranleigh

RGS High Wycombe v Whitgift

RGS Worcester v Old Swinford Hospital

Royal Hospital School v The Leys

Rugby v Stowe

Sevenoaks v Eltham College

Sherborne v Canford

Sir Joseph Williamson’s v Judd

Stamford v Berkhamsted

Stewart’s Melville v Edinburgh Academy

St Albans v QES Barnet

St Ambrose College v Lymm HS

St Columba’s College v St George’s, Harpenden

St Dunstan’s College v Wallington CGS

St Edward’s College v Rydal Penrhos

St Edward’s, Oxford v Uppingham

St George’s College, Weybridge v Tiffin

St Lawrence College v Duke of York’s RMS

Sutton Valence v Caterham

Taunton v Bryanston

Trent College v Denstone College

Wellingborough v Bloxham

West Buckland v Plymouth College

Wimbledon College v Dartford GS

Windsor Boys’ v UCS

Wirral GS v Manchester GS

Woodhouse Grove v Grammar School at Leeds

Worksop College v Ashville College

Wycliffe College v Wellington School

Wymondham College v Wisbech GS

 

Friday

 

King Henry VIII, Coventry v Bablake (at Broadstreet RFC)

King William’s College v Liverpool College

St Peter’s, Gloucester v The Crypt