For the majority of teams Saturday was the last game of this first half of term, and as could have been expected given what we have seen so far, the rugby lived up to the hype.
There were some fantastically well contested fixtures, notably in some of our Focus On game, while elsewhere a number of sides really stepped up and delivered big performances after results that they felt had not showcased their efforts and qualities effectively.
Overall it made for another outstanding weekend of schools rugby, with plenty of top class games to keep everyone entertained.
Blundell’s bounced right back from their pulsating Champions Trophy defeat to St John’s with an excellent 22-8 victory over Canford, sending them into half term full of confidence again.
Both Brighton College and RGS High Wycombe will be at the St Joseph’s Festival at the weekend and will have every chance of meeting given their respective records at the Suffolk tournament. They met on Saturday, with Brighton laying down a real pre-Festival marker with a superb 40-12 victory.
Back in the South West there was a massive encounter between two sides performing exceptionally well this year Bristol Grammar, who in midweek booked their Champions Trophy quarter final spot, and Clifton College, who have been showing week after week just how good they are. As expected, it went to the wire, with Clifton edging it by a score, 12-7.
Caterham hosted Cranleigh on Saturday, and the home side were looking to preserve an unbeaten first half of term. Cranleigh though were undoubtedly the strongest side they have faced so far this season, and that showed as the visitors put in a top display for a brilliant 49-5 victory.
Harrow were in need of a statement victory after a few up and down results, and that came on Saturday with a fantastic 27-17 victory over a very strong Epsom College side who have reached the Champions Trophy quarter finals and have looked in excellent form.
In our preview we said that Rugby School’s game against Bromsgrove was going to be their biggest test of the season so far and that a win would not only send them into half term unbeaten but would also mark them out as not just a good term but a very good team that all will fear. They did jus that, winning 20-12, a fantastic win, capping a fantastic opening half of term.
It was been a stunning opening half term for Sedbergh too, so far, and that continued again on Saturday with a 38-14 victory over St Peter’s York. With the likes of captain Tom Curtis back fit, the Cumbrians will be eagerly anticipating Wednesday’s game against Kirkham Grammar as these two unbeaten giants go head to head in one of the biggest games of the season to date.
Another unbeaten giant is Millfield, who continued that run with a fine 36-13 victory away to Sherborne on Saturday, setting them up very nicely indeed ahead of the St Joseph’s Festival, for which they are among the favourites, perhaps even the outright favourites.
We were treated to a really tight and exciting game in Oxford on Saturday as Cheltenham College won an agonising one at St Edward’s, Oxford, 13-11. A superb win that will give them something to build on after half term. Teddies will not be too disappointed either though, having run Cheltenham so close.
If there is a side that could break Sedbergh and Kirkham’s stranglehold in the north this year, it is surely Woodhouse Grove, who once again showed their outstanding quality to beat a strong Denstone College side 27-19 on Saturday. By all accounts it was a high class game of rugby, a battle hardening that will no doubt aid Denstone at St Joseph’s, while for Woodhouse Grove the completion of a fantastic unbeaten first half of term.
Around the Grounds
Sticking with impressive performances from schools in the Northern region, Durham were on fire on Saturday with a 40-0 win at Ampleforth College, while Grammar School at Leeds were quite simply unstoppable at Bradford Grammar, winning by an unbelievable 71-0 margin.
Barnard Castle meanwhile picked up a really impressive away win at a high performing Lancaster RGS, 14-10, while Mount St Mary’s impressive season continued with another win, 64-14 at home to Pocklington. Stonyhurst College were also on form, 50-0 winners over Rydal Penrhos.
In the Midlands there was a thriller at Bablake as they beat Wellingborough 25-24, a hugely tense game. Warwick were on form at Stamford for a 22-12 win, while the side they beat in the Cup in midweek, Solihull, bounced back well for a 36-10 win at home to Malvern College.
Bloxham’s brilliant season continues, they were 43-3 winners away at Pangbourne College, while the Oratory secured a good 19-10 win against Wellington College 2nd XV. Aylesbury Grammar, meanwhile won a tight one at Merchant Taylors’, 19-15.
Wisbech Grammar made a long trek to Hereford Cathedral, but it will have felt worth it after they came home with a 38-0 win. St Peter’s Gloucester were also fine winners on Saturday, 23-18 away at Bishop Vesey’s.
Bishop’s Stortford High School bounced back from that midweek Cup defeat to local rivals Bishop’s Stortford College, beating The Perse by an impressive 47-12 margin. Even more impressive were Haileybury, who had a welcome return to form with a stunning 66-0 win over Bedford Modern.
Felsted picked up probably their best result of the season against a Berkhamsted confident after their Champions Trophy success in midweek. Felsted were on form in a really top game of rugby for a 24-17 victory.
Two other sides in Champions Trophy action in midweek were Bedford and reigning Champions Dulwich College. Both were knocked out, Dulwich in heartbreaking circumstances as they conceded a try against Hampton in the final play of the game on Wednesday. In front of the home support though, Dulwich showed great character through the 70 minutes as they secured a brilliant 33-0 victory on Saturday.
Norwich have been impressive all season and were so against on Saturday with a brilliant 66-7 win at Brentwood, while Whitgift were almost in the wrong weight division really with an excellent 83-12 effort against Chislehurst and Sidcup.
Hampton maintained their momentum from Wednesday’s Champions Trophy win with a 19-12 victory away at a determined Seaford College side. RGS Guildford meanwhile bounced back from their midweek loss with a 5-3 win in a game called very very early against Judd.
Framlingham College sealed an unbeaten start to the campaign with their 26-20 effort at RGS Colchester, New Hall were in fine nick too, beating Ipswich in a thriller, 59-35.
Meanwhile in the South West there was another thriller at Bryanston, with King’s College Taunton just winning out, 27-26. Sir Thomas Rich’s meanwhile were in great form for a 41-7 victory over a Colston’s side that has been playing some truly outstanding rugby.
So too were Dean Close, who beat Taunton 48-7, while back in the South East Hurstpierpoint College backed up their brilliant midweek Champions Trophy win with a brilliant 52-12 effort over Skinners’.
There was also a brilliant draw at the weekend as Portsmouth Grammar and Magdalen College could not be separated in a thrilling 28-28 draw.
There was just the one game that took place on Friday night as St John’s Leatherhead backed up Tuesday’s superb Champions Trophy win over Blundell’s with a 26-14 victory over Trinity, setting them up for a long and well-deserved rest over half term.
You can see a gallery of images from the weekend’s rugby here: Gallery – Saturday 13th October.
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:
Schools Rugby Results – Saturday 13th October:
Blundell’s 22-8 Canford
Brighton College 40-12 RGS High Wycombe
Bristol GS 7-12 Clifton College
Caterham 5-49 Cranleigh
Harrow 27-17 Epsom College
Rugby 20-12 Bromsgrove
Sedbergh 38-14 St Peter’s, York
Sherborne 13-36 Millfield
St Edward’s, Oxford 11-13 Cheltenham College
Woodhouse Grove 27-19 Denstone College
Ampleforth College 0-40 Durham
Ashford 17-32 Kent College
Ashville College 29-12 Hymers College
Bablake 25-24 Wellingborough
Bishop’s Stortford HS 47-12 The Perse
Bishop Vesey’s GS 18-23 St Peter’s, Gloucester
Bradford GS 0-71 Grammar School at Leeds
Brentwood 7-66 Norwich
Bryanston 26-27 King’s College, Taunton
Campion 24-0 St Albans
Churcher’s College 20-38 Reading Blue Coat
Colston’s 7-41 Sir Thomas Rich’s
Cranbrook 15-26 St Lawrence College
Dean Close 48-7 Taunton
Dulwich College 33-0 Bedford
Ellesmere College 32-5 Adams GS
Exeter 38-10 Queen’s College, Taunton
Felsted 24-17 Berkhamsted
Glenalmond College 20-12 Strathallan
Haileybury 66-0 Bedford Modern
Hereford Cathedral 0-38 Wisbech GS
Hurstpierpoint College 52-12 Skinners’
Ipswich 35-59 New Hall
KCS Wimbledon 7-13 Reed’s
KES Bath 46-5 King’s Bruton
KES Stratford 34-17 The Crypt
King’s Canterbury 39-19 Simon Langton GS
King’s Worcester 27-17 KES Birmingham
Kirkham GS 2nd XV 17-10 Manchester GS
Lancaster RGS 10-14 Barnard Castle
Latymer Upper 12-22 Gordon’s
Liverpool College 33-19 Cheadle Hulme
Merchant Taylors’ 15-19 Aylesbury GS
Milton Abbey 10-52 Shebbear College
Monkton Combe 63-10 Wycliffe College
Mount St Mary’s 64-14 Pocklington
Nottingham HS 34-10 Trent College
The Oratory 19-10 Wellington College 2nd XV
Pangbourne College 3-43 Bloxham
Portsmouth GS 28-28 Magdalen College
Princethrope College 26-17 King Henry VIII, Coventry
QEH 30-19 Prior Park College
QES, Barnet 7-26 St Columba’s College
RGS Colchester 20-26 Framlingham College
RGS Guildford 5-3 Judd
RGS Newcastle 38-7 Dame Allan’s
Richard Hale 39-5 Bancroft’s
Seaford College 12-19 Hampton
Shiplake College 26-20 City of London Freemen’s
Solihull 36-10 Malvern College
Stamford 12-22 Warwick
Stonyhurst College 50-0 Rydal Penrhos
Sutton Valence 24-19 Whitgift 2nd XV
Watford GS 10-12 St George’s, Harpenden
Whitgift 83-12 Chislehurst & Sidcup GS
Trinity 14-26 St John’s, Leatherhead
Still to Come
Bedstone College v Abraham Darby
Chatham & Clarendon v King’s Rochester
Colfe’s v Eltham College
Crossley Heath v QEGS Wakefield
John Fisher v London Oratory
Lymm HS v Stockport GS
Newcastle School for Boys v Yarm
Old Swinford Hospital v Wrekin College
Sandbach v Wilmslow HS
Sir Joseph Williamson’s v Maidstone GS
St Ignatius College v St Edmund’s College
St Olave’s GS v St Dunstan’s College