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School Rugby

Schools Rugby Weekend Preview: Saturday 17th November

15th November 2018
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A crucial weekend of schools rugby awaits us as across the country, with some of the best in the country going head to head and some cracking local derbies taking place as well.

 

It looks likely to be a highly competitive weekend once again, last week we saw a huge proportion of games going right to the wire and being settled by less than a single score in a huge number of cases. With any luck, we could be in for a similar weekend given the competitiveness of so many fixtures on the card.

 

Focus On

 

Campion v John Fisher

 

One of the biggest state school clashes in the whole of the country. These two have incredibly strong rugby histories, and Campion are once again enjoying a brilliant season, so far reaching the last 16 of the Schools Cup and losing just once all season, to Eltham College who were unbeaten until Wednesday. John Fisher’s season has been a little tougher, however it is somewhat of a false reflection as their fixture list is so strong. They will give absolutely everything in this and it really could go either way. It is not one to be missed.

 

Prediction: Campion

Who will win Campion v John Fisher?

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Cheltenham College v Millfield

 

These two are both incredibly strong sides, but both suffered defeats last weekend and will be desperate to quickly turn back to winning ways. Cheltenham were defeated fairly convincingly by Clifton College, who ran Millfield close earlier in the season, so they know that they will need to be bang on form. Millfield lost their unbeaten record on Saturday though, with Blundell’s edging them out by a point. You can be certain that Millfield will come out absolutely firing after that, and that could set us up for a really exciting 70 minutes of rugby.

 

Prediction: Millfield

Who will win Cheltenham College v Millfield?

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Durham v Woodhouse Grove

 

Woodhouse Grove remain unbeaten this season and are looking like one of the very best around. This is a crucial game though, with RGS Newcastle in the Cup plus Sedbergh and Kirkham Grammar, all coming up they are entering the key point of their season, the point that will determine whether they are a very good side or one of the very best in the country. Durham will provide a test, only Sedbergh, RGS Newcastle, and St Peter’s have beaten them this year, and they will be eagerly chasing this scalp. It could be a very interesting game, and a key one of Woodhouse Grove’s momentum.

 

Prediction: Woodhouse Grove

Who will win Durham v Woodhouse Grove?

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Eton College v St Paul’s

 

A real schoolboy classic between two of the most prestigious schools in the country. Rugby-wise, St Paul’s have really been on song this year. A slow start against Epsom College was followed by a brilliant run in which on Harrow and Bristol Grammar have beaten them, and only narrowly. However Eton have every chance here, they have been in good form this season and could just sense an opportunity against St Paul’s, who lost out to Bristol Grammar last midweek and then drew with Tonbridge on Saturday. We could be in for a real cracker on Saturday, one that really could go either way.

 

Prediction: St Paul’s

Who will win Eton College v St Paul's?

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Radley College v Abingdon

 

The ever exciting Oxford derby, or indeed to get even more local, the Abingdon derby. This has been a fantastic game in recent years, Abingdon won three in a row between 2014 and 2016 before last year’s incredibly tight game ended 5-3 in Radley’s favour. This year form is one Radley’s side, they have been looking good, particularly in recent weeks, while Abingdon have had a bit of a tough season. However in midweek they had a really strong victory over St Peter’s York in the Schools Plate, which could prove a timely boost. Either way, in such derbies form goes out of the window, this is about enjoyment and passion, and should be an excellent afternoon of rugby.

 

Prediction: Radley College

Who will win Radley College v Abingdon?

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Sedbergh v Warwick

 

A massive game of rugby between two sides that mopped up almost all of the major schools rugby trophies between them last season, Sedbergh winning the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s, Sedbergh 10s, and Daily Mail Trophy, while Warwick won the Schools Cup. Both are playing well again this year, Sedbergh are unbeaten, while Warwick have reached the last 16 of the Cup again and have only been defeated by Wellington College and Whitgift, two top teams. Indeed Whitgift came within seconds of beating Sedbergh. This should be another great game of rugby, Sedbergh will be favourites but it will be full of passion and whichever side gets things right consistently will surely come out the winner.

 

Prediction: Sedbergh

Who will win Sedbergh v Warwick?

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Stamford v Rugby

 

Three losses on the bounce is not ideal preparation for Stamford as they get ready to face the unbeaten Rugby, but Stamford are a side with a proud home record historically and they will be going all guns blazing to get on top of it again. For Rugby each game now is crucial, undoubtedly the players will now be deeply keen to go unbeaten through the season, which adds extra spice to each and every game. They are a fantastic side though, and you would expect them not to feel the heat too much.

 

Prediction: Rugby

Who will win Stamford v Rugby?

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St Peter’s, York v Barnard Castle

 

A fairly torrid St Joseph’s Festival followed by defeat to RGS Newcastle at the weekend has left things looking a little downhill for St Peter’s, but prior to half term they were ticking along nicely and they will be targeting Saturday as a chance to shift back the momentum. Two comfortable wins over Barnard Castle in the last two years ought to fuel some confidence. However Barnard Castle are having a really strong season, only superstars Woodhouse Grove and RGS Newcastle have beaten them and they are on a four game winning streak, they will fancy a first win over St Peter’s since 2015.

 

Prediction: Barnard Castle

Who will win St Peter's, York v Barnard Castle?

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Wellington College v Denstone College

 

It is a first meeting between these two sides but it should be a good one, both are fantastic outfits. Wellington have been one of the best in the country for a long while and are looking good again this year, only Millfield have beaten them and they are in the Champions Trophy semi finals and looking like probable favourites for the title. Denstone are having a cracking season too though, a strong St Joseph’s Festival performance impressed many and their regular season form has only seen them lose to Woodhouse Grove and Sedbergh, two sides acknowledged as being among the best. Their experiences against them should stand Denstone in good stead against Wellington, who are of a similar standard, but naturally it will take something special. It should be a cracking game of rugby.

 

Prediction: Wellington College

Who will win Wellington College v Denstone College?

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Whitgift v Dulwich College

 

This is always one of the highlights of the season, a relatively local rivalry between two sides that are almost always right at the upper echelons of the school game. Both are looking in fine fettle this season too, Whitgift are unbeaten since late September and only Wellington College and Sedbergh have toppled them, indeed it took a last second score form Sedbergh to settle things. Dulwich, too, are in good nick. Like Whitgift they were defeat by Wellington, though by slighty less, while Hampton are the only other side to defeat them, scoring a last minute try in their Champions Trophy tie. This one really does look incredibly finely balanced and could go either way easily. It should make for fascinating viewing.

 

Prediction: Whitgift

Who will win Whitgift v Dulwich College?

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Around the Grounds

 

There are loads of really exciting fixtures this weekend, not least Epsom College, fresh from reaching the Champions Trophy semi finals, travel to RGS Guildford, who will doubtless give a strong account of themselves making for a cracking game.

 

Moving to Yorkshire, there is a fantastic looking game as QEGS Wakefield and Bradford Grammar compete in what really ought to be a superb game between two well-matched sides. Meanwhile in the Midlands Oakham host Bedford, with Bedford looking for a signature win, though Oakham are in great form, Oundle meanwhile host The Perse, in what promises to be an excellent game.

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There are some awesome games in the South West, among them Bishop Wordsworth’s hosting Downside, it looks as though it should be a really close game. Bristol Grammar meanwhile prepare for Tuesday Champions Trophy semi final against Wellington with a home game against Colston’s, a tough tes particularly as they will likely have to rest a couple of bodies.

 

Sticking in the region, in form Clifton College are hosting a good Sherborne side in what should be a real highlight of the weekend. Canford, meanwhile, face the tricky task of welcoming a Seaford College side that is playing some brilliant rugby.

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The South East sees Brighton College travel along to Eastbourne College, where they will look to add to last week’s strong performance against Epsom. Meanwhile Tonbridge, in great form since half term, are travelling to King’s Canterbury.

 

St John’s Leatherhead host Haileybury in what has started to become a really strong fixture on the schools rugby list, while Felsted are in action at a good Royal Hospital School side.

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Bromsgrove, meanwhile, look to bounce back from their midweek Schools Cup defeat to Warwick with a home game against RGS High Wycombe.

 

Friday

 

It is one of the busiest Fridays of the season this week, one major highlight will be Kirkham Grammar School’s trip to Harrow, a massive game between two of the top sides in the country over the past couple of years.

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There is an absolutely massive game at Wymondham RFC on Friday too as Langley, the current Vase holders, take on the unbeaten Norwich in a huge Norfolk derby. There is a big Suffolk derby too as Ipswich host Woodbridge, while Chislehurst & Sidcup host Ravens Wood.

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Beckenham RFC hosts St Olave’s Grammar v Langley Park, which ought to be a cracker. Meanwhile Merchant Taylors’ ‘rugby week’ is rounded off with their game against Reading Blue Coat. Shiplake College and St Benedict’s are also in action in a massive game on Friday, while at Cardiff Met Uni Hereford Cathedral School and Llandaff Cathedral School both meet.

 

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 17th November (predictions in bold):

 

Focus On

 

Campion v John Fisher

Cheltenham College v Millfield

Durham v Woodhouse Grove

Eton College v St Paul’s

Radley College v Abingdon

Sedbergh v Warwick

Stamford v Rugby

St Peter’s, York v Barnard Castle

Wellington College v Denstone College

Whitgift v Dulwich College

 

Saturday

 

Ampleforth College v Newcastle School for Boys

Bancroft’s v Coopers’ Coborn

Bedford Modern v St Columba’s

Birkenhead v Rydal Penrhos

Bishop Wordsworth’s v Downside

Bloxham v Bishop Vesey’s GS

Brentwood v Bishop’s Stortford HS

Bristol GS v Colston’s

Bromsgrove v RGS High Wycombe

Bryanston v Portsmouth GS

Canford v Seaford College

Caterham v St George’s College, Weybridge

Cheadle Hulme v Wilmslow HS

Churcher’s College v KES Southampton

Clifton College v Sherborne

Clifton HS v St Edward’s, Cheltenham

Cranbrook v Dartford GS

Dauntsey’s v Kingswood

Dundee HS v Stewart’s Melville

Eastbourne College v Brighton College

George Heriot’s v Edinburgh Academy

Glasgow Academy v Dollar Academy

Grammar School at Leeds v Hymers College

Gravesend GS v King’s Rochester

Halliford v Wallington CGS

Hampton v Trinity

Hill House v Birkdale

Hurstpierpoint College v KCS Wimbledon

Judd v Simon Langton

KES Birmingham v Loughborough GS

King’s Bruton v Clayesmore

King’s Canterbury v Tonbridge

King’s College, Taunton v Exeter

King’s Ely v Culford

King’s Grantham v Northampton School for Boys

King Henry VIII, Coventry v Ratcliffe College

King’s Worcester v Dean Close

Latymer Upper v Colfe’s

Liverpool College v Newcastle-Under-Lyme

London Oratory v Wimbledon College

Loretto v Strathallan

Magdalen College v KES, Stratford

Malvern College v King’s Macclesfield

Manchester GS v Altrincham GS

Mount Kelly v Warminster

Oakham v Bedford

Oundle v The Perse

Pangbourne College v Lord Wandsworth College

Pocklington v Dame Allan’s

QEGS Wakefield v Bradford GS

QEH v The Crypt

QES Barnet v Richard Hale

Queen’s College, Taunton v Plymouth College

RGS Colchester v St Joseph’s College

RGS Guildford v Epsom College

RGS Worcester v Monmouth

Robert Gordon’s College v Dundee High School

Royal Hospital School v Feslted

Sevenoaks v Sutton Valence

Sir Thomas Rich’s v Pate’s GS

Skinners’ v Reed’s

Solihull v Nottingham HS

St Ambrose College v Sandbach

St Dunstan’s College v Ashford

St George’s, Harpenden v St Albans

St John’s, Leatherhead v Haileybury

St Lawrence College v Chatham & Clarendon

Stockport GS v Bolton

Taunton v KES Bath

Tettenhall College v St Joseph’s College, Stoke

Truro v Shebbear College

Watford GS v UCS

Welbeck v Trent College

Wellingborough v Princethorpe College

Wellington School v Monkton Combe

Wells Cathedral v West Buckland

Windsor Boys v Tiffin

Wisbech GS v Worksop College

Wycliffe College v Prior Park College

Yarm v Pocklington 2nd XV

 

Friday

 

Chislehurst & Sidcup v Ravens Wood

Harrow v Kirkham GS

Hereford Cathedral v Cathedral School, Llandaff (Cardiff Met Uni)

Ipswich v Woodbridge

Langley v Norwich (Wymondham RFC)

Merchant Taylors’ v Reading Blue Coat

Shiplake College v St Benedict’s

St Olave’s GS v Langley Park (Beckenham RFC)