This weekend was surely one of the best of the schools rugby season as some major debates were settled.
Coming into the weekend, for instance, we knew that Millfield were good, but were they good enough to beat Wellington College? Could Whitgift claim a big scalp away at Warwick, would Dulwich College’s great run of big scalps continue away at Brighton College, and could fast-rising Denstone College spring a surprise against Sedbergh – to name just a few of the high profile questions.
There was much much more besides, with some fantastic games of rugby played out across the country.
Dulwich College continued their fantastic run of form by adding Brighton College to their list of scalps that also includes Epsom College and Harrow in recent weeks. It was a remarkably tight game, 17-17 until the very last play of the game, when Dulwich broke the length of the field to seal the most dramatic of victories against a superb Brighton College side.
Another side in remarkable form, arguably the best form in the country, are Sedbergh. They continued that fine unbeaten start to the season against Denstone College on Saturday but it was undoubtedly one of their toughest so far. They took themselves out to a 26-5 lead, but this high-quality and determined Denstone College side fought back to 26-17 to give the final score a much more reflective feel. For Sedbergh though, it was a continuation of their powerful start to the season, achieved without a number of their star names.
If those seem like big games, the next one was arguably even bigger, Millfield v Wellington College, two of the biggest names in school rugby, who have both started the season in stunning form and with unbeaten records. For one side that record would fall on Saturday, but not after a titanic tussle that was a true advert for schools rugby as these two gave everything to the cause. Millfield were the victors, 20-12, an impressive achievement after such a tough game against Clifton in midweek, and a win that again sets them up as one of the top sides in the country, be assured though, so are Wellington.
Another fantastic game came of the outskirts of Oxford, where Radley College hosted Cheltenham College, the first time in a long time that this one was played on a Saturday, not a Thursday. The two were expected to be relatively evenly matched, and so it proved as Cheltenham snatched a tight one, 12-5.
Stamford’s fine start to the season continued against another local rival on Saturday as they beat Oundle 28-14, a fine result that leaves them still with just one very narrow defeat to their name so far.
St John’s Leatherhead v Hurstpierpoint College was expected to be close, both sides are really climbing the ladder and becoming a real threat to some of the top teams around and they showed that on Saturday as they played out a fantastic game. Hurstpierpoint took it, 26-22, but they were made to fight for it all the way by their hosts.
St Paul’s v RGS Guildford was another interesting game, both sides have had ups and downs but arrived in good form, and this game seemed as though it would be a good indicator of where they are. On the evidence of the result then, it would seem that St Paul’s are in a very good place as they recorded a highly impressive 46-12 victory over their visitors.
One of the biggest games of the day was a repeat of last year’s Schools Cup semi final, between two sides who again look to be among the best around, Warwick and Whitgift. Warwick hosted the game with an unbeaten record, while Whitgift had been struggling for wins, however that was a misleading stat as Whitgift had been taking some of the very best teams in the country very close week after week. Finally in the West Midlands they got their reward for those efforts with a 23-19 victory in a game that was tight right the way through, a real schools rugby classic.
Woodhouse Grove’s superb unbeaten start to the season continued on Saturday when they beat one of the most famous names in all of schoolboy rugby, Barnard Castle, 36-12. The Yorkshire side are looking very strong indeed this year.
Finally in our focus on section was one of the biggest non fee paying games in the country as Wilmslow High School hosted Lymm High School. Always a classic game between two consistently high performers. It was Lymm this time that we’re in flying form though, taking a brilliant 36-7 victory.
Around the Grounds
There was a huge amount of exciting action outside of our ‘Focus On’ fixtures, not least Caterham’s continuing fantastic start to the season as they beat Christ’s Hospital 52-0.
Bristol Grammar were also in fine points scoring form as they beat Monmouth 52-28. Berkhamsted meanwhile, like Bristol, backed up their midweek Champions Trophy win with a 17-10 victory away at Abingdon.
Eton College, after that midweek loss to Bristol, were back in business on Saturday with an impressive 17-14 victory over a very good Marlborough College side, while Wimbledon College enjoyed a tight victory in a big south London derby as they beat John Fisher 15-14.
Moving North, Hymers College’s strong start to the season carried on with an impressive 40-14 victory over Bradford Grammar, while Kirkham Grammar continue to prove their excellence, this time with a superb 46-8 victory over Lancaster RGS.
Felsted put in one of the performances of the season to win a real tussle at Oakham, taking a close on 28-22, while Hampton were in good form at RGS High Wycombe, winning 34-22.
Rugby continue to go from strength to strength, adding to their resume for the season an excellent 27-12 home win over an Uppingham side that have been performing well this year.
Bishop’s Stortford High School, meanwhile, put in one of the performances of the weekend for a 74-0 win away at St Columba’s.
There was some great action on Friday night, not least at KCS Old Boys RFC, where KCS Wimbledon hosted St George’s College Weybridge and recorded with it a hugely impressive 31-19 victory. Langley Park, meanwhile edged a tight one with Trinity, 22-21, while in the Glasgow derby Glasgow High School beat Glasgow Academy 39-17.
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:
You can see photos from the weekend’s action in this week’s Gallery: Saturday 29th September.
Schools Rugby Weekend Results – Saturday 29th September:
Brighton College 17-22 Dulwich College
Denstone College 17-26 Sedbergh
Millfield 20-12 Wellington College
Radley College 5-12 Cheltenham College
Stamford 28-14 Oundle
St John’s, Leatherhead 22-26 Hurstpierpoint College
St Paul’s 46-12 RGS Guildford
Warwick 19-23 Whitgift
Wilmslow HS 7-36 Lymm HS
Woodhouse Grove 36-12 Barnard Castle
Abingdon 10-17 Berkhamsted
Aylesbury GS 18-21 Reading Blue Coat
Bede Academy 7-40 Austin Friars
Bel Baxter 5-63 Loretto
Birkdale 10-48 Ashville College
Bolton 17-21 Manchester Grammar
Bournemouth 7-33 KES Southampton
Bristol GS 52-28 Monmouth
Bromsgrove 25-5 Solihull
Caterham 52-0 Christ’s Hospital
Cheadle Hulme 17-17 Sandbach
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS 35-14 Sir Joseph Williamson’s
Dartford GS 45-5 Wallington CGS
Dean Close 34-17 KES Bath
Durham 50-0 Newcastle SfB
Edinburgh Academy 7-31 George Watson’s College
Eton College 17-14 Marlborough College
Glenalmond 62-14 Dundee HS
Glyn 57-0 Isleworth & Syon
Grammar School at Leeds 0-17 RGS Newcastle
Gresham’s 34-6 Culford
Haberdashers’ 36-5 Tring
Hereford Cathedral School 45-3 St Edward’s, Cheltenham
Hymers College 40-14 Bradford GS
John Fisher 14-15 Wimbledon College
Judd 19-14 Ravens Wood
King Henry VIII, Coventry 29-24 KES Camp Hill
King’s Gloucester 55-7 Clifton HS
King’s Macclesfield 52-0 Merchant Taylors’
Kirkham GS 46-8 Lancaster RGS
Latymer Upper 38-8 QES, Barnet
Leicester GS 38-17 Bablake
Loughborough GS 3-33 QEGS Wakefield
Magdalen College 15-20 Merchant Taylors’
Mill Hill 36-21 Richard Hale
Oakham 22-28 Felsted
Portsmouth GS 26-25 Churcher’s College
Princethorpe College 30-7 Bedford Modern
Ratcliffe College 7-50 Mount St Mary’s College
Reed’s 35-17 Eastbourne College
Reigate GS 15-47 Worth
RGS Colchester 26-36 Norwich
RGS High Wycombe 22-34 Hampton
RGS Worcester 45-10 Pate’s GS
Robert Gordon’s College v Fettes College
Rugby 27-12 Uppingham
Seaford College 66-7 Emanuel
Sir Thomas Rich’s 32-14 King’s Worcester
Stewart’s Melville 34-50 Dollar Academy
St Albans 20-19 St Benedict’s
St Columba’s College 0-74 Bishop’s Stortford HS
St George’s, Harpenden 12-39 London Oratory
Stockport GS 0-42 St Ambrose College
Strathallan 19-52 Merchiston Castle
Sutton Valence 40-26 Colfe’s
Taunton 60-5 QEH
Tiffin 14-15 Halliford
Truro 3-39 Blundell’s
Wellington School 15-26 King’s College, Taunton
West Buckland 17-41 Queen’s Colleg,e Taunton
Yarm 14-15 Ampleforth College
Glasgow HS 39-17 Glasgow Academy
KCS Wimbledon 31-19 St George’s College, Weybridge (KCS Old Boys RFC)
Trinity 21-22 Langley Park
Still to Come:
Bancroft’s v St Dunstan’s College
Campion v Royal Hospital School
City of London Freemen’s v Sevenoaks
Crossley Heath v Rodillian Academy
Culford v New Hall
KES Stratford v Adams GS
Liverpool College v King William’s College
The Oratory v UCS
Skinners’ v Brentwood
St Ignatius College v Enfield Grammar
St Olave’s GS v Gravesend GS