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School Rugby

Schools Rugby Weekend Preview: Saturday 3rd November

1st November 2018
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After what has seemed a long half term break, rugby returns for most schools this weekend and while many eyes will be on the autumn internationals, there is plenty of exciting rugby happening at school level this weekend too.

 

With players such as Zach Mercer, Tom Curry, and Adam Hastings in action for their international sides this weekend just a couple of years after leaving school, there is no shortage of inspiration for those pulling on their school jerseys this weekend and indeed through the whole of November.

 

This second half of term is always interesting, form and patterns of the season are relatively settled now, however the change in weather, and indeed daylight, can have a real impact and we may see a few sides emerging whose game is better suited to what will likely be poorer playing conditions.

 

Focus On

 

Barnard Castle v Ampleforth College

 

Two schools with a huge amount of rugby pedigree behind them, but whose glory years are somewhat in the past – for now. Barnard Castle are having a good season, only Woodhouse Grove and RGS Newcastle have beaten them, and we all know how good those two are, particularly after RGS’ St Joseph’s Festival win. Ampleforth have found the going tougher, but will surely be buoyed ahead of this one following a very successful half term tour.

 

Prediction: Barnard Castle

Who will win Barnard Castle v Ampleforth College?

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Canford v Marlborough College

 

Canford have not quite hit the heights of the last couple of seasons but will be determined to change their fortunes in this second half of the season. Marlborough will be a tough proposition though, the Wiltshire side have lost just once all season and can count a very good Clifton College side among their many scalps.

 

Predictions: Marlborough College

Who will win Canford v Marlborough College?

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Clifton College v Blundell’s

 

One of the biggest games of the weekend between two heavyweights of the South West. Clifton have been in flying form this season with four wins from six, one defeat was to an exceptionally good Millfield side, whom they ran closer than anyone else has this season. Blundell’s are also in great form this year, their only defeat came in the Champions Trophy to an inspired St John’s Leatherhead. Clifton will be their toughest opponents so far though, so they will have to be absolutely on their game. It could be a classic.

 

Prediction: Clifton College

Who will win Clifton College v Blundell's?

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John Fisher v Eton College

 

This is always a massive game and one with plenty of sub plots as one of the most famous rugby state schools in the country hosts the most well-known public school in the world. Fisher have won four and lost four this season, and will be keen to make that record look more positive in this second half of term, beginning with this huge fixture on Saturday. Eton will be tough though, they may have lost more than they have won so far this season but they have played some top teams, and among their victories was a win over the exceptionally good Marlborough College. They will be a tough outfit.

 

Prediction: Eton College

Who will win John Fisher v Eton College?

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Monmouth v Sir Thomas Rich’s

 

It has been a tough season so far for Monmouth but you can be absolutely certain that they will be absolutely firing and ready as they look to turn things around for this second half of the season. Sir Thomas Rich’s are going to be a really tough side to turn the tide against though, they have won five of their seven games so far this season. Only Kirkham Grammar School and Clifton College have beaten them, two of the very best sides around, marking out Sir Thomas Rich’s as a top team.

 

Prediction: Sir Thomas Rich’s

Who will win Monmouth v Sir Thomas Rich's?

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Pocklington v Bradford Grammar School

 

This ought to be a really good game of schools rugby. Bradford Grammar have a slightly better record than Pocklington, who had a tough run heading into half term, but given each side’s opponents it looks as though this game should be a belter. A strong result for either side on Saturday could really kick off a strong run of form in this second half of term.

 

Prediction: Bradford Grammar

Who will win Pocklington v Bradford Grammar?

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St Paul’s v Radley College

 

Only Epsom College and Harrow have beaten St Paul’s, who are enjoying a really strong season – so much so that they will be travelling to Bristol Grammar on Wednesday for the Champions Trophy quarter final. Radley College look like tough opposition on Saturday though, they too have only lost twice and have claimed some impressive scalps. It all sets up for a cracking game on Saturday, one of the oldest fixtures on the calendar. It ought to be a wonderful occasion, as ever.

 

Prediction: St Paul’s

Who will win St Paul's v Radley College?

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Stowe v St Edward’s, Oxford

 

This is a very interesting games. Both schools have great history and reputations but struggled in the first half of term, without a win over another school to either name. St Edward’s have come close though, running a couple of sides to within a handful of points. Saturday is the big one for both, it could be the game that kickstarts their season. Either way, both will see this as a massive opportunity and a chance to set a great tone for the remainder of the season.

 

Prediction: St Edward’s, Oxford

Who will win Stowe v St Edward's, Oxford?

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Tonbridge v Harrow

 

Another real classic game that headlines this weekends fixture card. It has not be the easiest season so far for Tonbridge but they come into this with some momentum after a win over Eastbourne College in their last game before the half term break. Harrow are in flying form, Berkhamsted, St Paul’s, and a very strong Epsom College side have been beaten, while on exceptional sides in Dulwich College and Warwick have beaten them. With some huge opponents to come this half of term, Harrow will be itching to kick things off well.

 

Prediction: Harrow

Who will win Tonbridge v Harrow?

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Uppingham v Oundle

 

A massive derby game between two huge rivals. Upoingham are having a strong season, only the outstanding Rugby School and their close rivals Oakham have beaten them, Oundle meanwhile had a tricky start to the season but won their last two games in the build up to half term to give them some great momentum heading into this one. Uppingham’s famous Leicester 1st XV pitch will be rocking on Saturday and after winning this fixture for the first time since 2012 last year they will be itching to make it back to back success and get that home win over their great rivals, Oundle though will be giving everything to get in the way of that aim. It should be a special afternoon.

 

Prediction: Uppingham

Who will win Uppingham v Oundle?

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Around the Grounds

 

The fixture list remains a little thin with a decent number of sides still on half term, however there are some cracking fixtures and top teams in action all over the country.

 

Judd v Campion ought to be a cracking contest, two sides that are fiercly competitive, while the outstanding Norwich make the trip to The Leys as they look to continue the stunning form of their first half of the season, The Leys are a dangerous side too though.

 

Oakham enjoyed a strong first half of term and they will want to continue that form in this second half of term, they kick off with a trip to Loughborough Grammar.

 

Brighton College are back in action too after a good showing at the St Joseph’s Festival, they face a trip to Skinners’, which is always a tricky place to play.

 

There is plenty of other cracking schools rugby on Saturday too, not least a first home game of the season for St Benedict’s, with Reigate Grammar the visitors, while in Cambridge The Perse host Royal Hospital School.

 

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 3rd November (predictions in bold):

 

Focus On

 

Barnard Castle v Ampleforth College

Canford v Marlborough College

Clifton College v Blundell’s

John Fisher v Eton College

Monmouth v Sir Thomas Rich’s

Pocklington v Bradford GS

St Paul’s v Radley College

Stowe v St Edward’s, Oxford

Tonbridge v Harrow

Uppingham v Oundle

 

Saturday

 

Aylesbury GS v Northampton School for Boys

Claremont v Gunnersbury

Cranbrook v Chislehurst & Sidcup GS
Dartford GS v Maidstone GS

Duke of York’s RMS v Sevenoaks

George Watson’s v Dollar Academy

Gresham’s v Wymondham College

Hutcheson’s GS v Glasgow Academy

Judd v Campion

King’s Bruton v Bryanston

Langley Park v Glyn

The Leys v Norwich

Liverpool College v St Edward’s College

London Oratory v Robert Clack

Loretto v Glenalmond College

Loughborough GS v Oakham

Merchiston Castle v Edinburgh Academy

Mill Hill v Windsor Boys’

The Oratory v Churcher’s College

Pate’s GS v St Peter’s, Gloucester

The Perse v Royal Hospital School

QES Barnet v St George’s, Harpenden

Ratcliffe College v Wisbech GS

Shiplake College v UCS

Skinners’ v Brighton College

St Aloysius’ College v Kelvinside Academy

St Ambrose College v Wirral GS

St Benedict’s v Reigate GS

St Olave’s GS v RGS Colchester

Stewart’s Melville v Strathallan

Wimbledon College v Emanuel

Woodlands v Beth’s GS

Worth v Christ’s Hospital