Schools Rugby’s 2020 kick off came on Saturday with some fantastic fixtures around the country, even if the weather did get in the way of a few planned fixtures.
Scotland was particularly badly hit, though one big game did go ahead, but most games in England were on and produced plenty of excitement.
One of the big stories was an 18-14 victory for John Fisher away at Schools Cup semi finalists, Warwick. The hosts may have been missing a few players to the U18 Academy League, but it was still a superb effort from the John Fisher side, whose are always worth keeping an eye on as we near the 7s season.
As are Hampton, whose fifteen-a-side form remains outstanding as we kick off the 2020 action. They travelled to Tiffin on Saturday and despite being without some top players due to U18 Academy action, they sealed a brilliant 55-12 victory.
St Joseph’s College were also in utterly sublime form, an 82-0 victory at home to Coopers’ Coborn helping them to a fine start to the year. Manchester Grammar were in similar for as they sealed a 66-27 victory away at Calday Grange Grammar.
There was classic contest over at Solihull, they hosted Sir Thomas Rich’s and the two were engaged in a really tight game of rugby, the hosts coming through for a 17-12 victory. Meanwhile KES Stratford were also victorious, winning 17-5 at Bablake.
Like Warwick, Northampton School for Boys are also in the semi finals of the Schools Cup, and despite a good number of key absentees they were able to kick off 2020 with a bang as they beat Loughborough Grammar 28-7.
Elsewhere there was a 29-22 victory at Repton for Abraham Darby, while in the South East Judd travelled to Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar and emerged for an incredibly tight contest as the 15-10 victors.
King’s Macclesfield put in a storming display on Saturday for a 33-7 victory against a strong St Ambrose College side. Meanwhile Mount St Mary’s College were without 12 regulars yet still managed a hugely impressive 21-5 victory away at Hymers College. Newcastle School for Boys continued their good work from last term, beating Austin Friars 33-19.
Meanwhile back in the South East St Benedict’s were in fine form, sealing a 21-12 victory against Eastbourne College to really set 2020 off with a bang for the West London school.
Saturday also saw action in an experimental triangular at Portsmouth Grammar School, with Brighton College and Millfield also in attendance as the three sides played a series of games with adjusted laws to really test and develop their players. Brighton College were also in action in a similar mid season pre-season game against St Paul’s Catholic College on Friday night, with the game split into three 23 minute thirds, with laws amended to increase the ball in play time.
Of course this term the focus begins to switch from the fifteen-a-side game to the seven-a-side game for many, and on Saturday there was somewhat of a halfway house at Pocklington as they hosted a ten-a-side Festival to ease a few teams back into the rugby groove and to prepare for the short format season, with Ampleforth College, Bradford Grammar, Durham, and Grammar School at Leeds all also in attendance for the get together.
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Schools Rugby Results – Saturday 11th January:
Austin Friars 19-33 Newcastle School for Boys
Bablake 5-17 KES Stratford
Calday Grange GS 27-66 Manchester GS
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS 10-15 Judd
Dollar Academy 12-42 Merchiston Castle
Eastbourne College 12-21 St Benedict’s
Hymers College 5-21 Mount St Mary’s College
Northampton SfB 28-7 Loughborough GS
Portsmouth GS v Brighton College v Millfield (Triangular)
Repton 22-29 Abraham Darby
Solihull 17-12 Sir Thomas Rich’s
St Ambrose College 7-33 King’s Macclesfield
St Joseph’s College 82-0 Coopers’ Coborn
Tiffin 12-55 Hampton
Warwick 14-18 John Fisher
Pocklington 10s: Ampleforth College, Bradford Grammar, Durham, Grammar School at Leeds, Pocklington
Still to Come:
Crossley Heath v Altinrincham GS
Shrewsbury v Birkenhead
Skinners’ v Campion
Images via Newcastle School for Boys and Brighton College