While much of the rugby world had their focus on the Guinness Six Nations this weekend, school players up and down the country were still turning out in their school colours and putting on a superb show.
With rugby in one form or another being played on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday, it was a busy weekend and a crucial one for many in the build up to the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s at the end of March for those that were involved in 7s action.
The weekend’s action began on Friday evening at Ealing Trailfinders RFC as Henley College and St Joseph’s College went head to head. It was a close game of rugby in the end, but it was the AASE side that just took it, Henley College winning 10-3 on the night.
Saturday saw plenty of action, including three of the four U18 Schools Cup finalists taking to the field. It was a good day at the office for two of them, in particular Whitgift, who sealed a superb victory over Hampton in a really well contested game that ended 22-17.
Northampton School for Boys were the other semi finalist in winning form, they enjoyed a 29-20 victory over Bishop Vesey’s to give them a useful burst of confidence ahead of that semi finals.
Warwick meanwhile were the only one of the three semi finalists in action to claim the victory, they travelled to a strong Sir Thomas Rich’s side, who put in an excellent shift for a 31-17 victory.
One of the most thrilling games of the weekend saw Solihull host King’s Macclesfield. The two sides threw absolutely everything at it and put on a real show, the hosts just edging it, 32-29.
Elsewhere Manchester Grammar won a bit of a thriller at Wirral Grammar, winning 43-24, while Judd were in sensational form, beating Coopers’ Coborn 53-0.
Scotland saw some incredible action too, not least a brilliant game at George Watson’s College, where Dollar Academy took the victory 38-35. Stewart’s Melville were also impressive, winning 19-12 at Merchiston Castle, no mean feat, while Earlston HS won 277-3 at Edinburgh Academy, George Heriot’s sealed a 25-14 home victory over Glasgow Academy, and Robert Gordon’s College beat Deeside 46-10.
Back in England there were plenty of other storming performances, RGS High Wycombe staying in classic form with a quite excellent 26-5 victory over St Benedict’s.
Lancaster RGS are also playing some lovely rugby at showed that for a 36-14 victory over St Ambrose College, while Old Swinford Hospital were on song again too, winning 31-15 at Loughborough Grammar. Meanwhile in the 1st XV fixture of a big block, KES Stratford beat King Henry VIII Coventry 22-7.
There was also some 7s action on Saturday, with Rossall School hosting Oswestry, Ripley, and Isle of Man U18 for a small festival, perfect preparation for the 7s challenges ahead.
There were some big 7s tournaments on Sunday, key indicators on the road to Rosslyn Park. Shiplake College hosted their annual 7s event and had a strong field heading out to meet them outside of Henley. It featured some of the best sides from the season just gone, the likes of Clifton College, Dulwich College, Tonbridge, and Cheltenham College, to name just a few, but it was the perennial 7s greats and one of the very best teams of the fifteen-a-side season, Wellington College, that sealed the title, their third of the 2019/20 schools rugby season following the St Joseph’s Festival and Champions Trophy. You can see our full roundup here: Shiplake 7s Roundup.
Portsmouth Grammar hosted the annual South Coast 7s on Sunday, and it too attracted a seriously strong field to the coastline. Sherborne, Canford, Millfield, and Brighton College were four huge names not even to make the Cup semi finals. Reaching the final were Epsom College, who won the first big tournament of the year last weekend at the Seaford 7s. However they were to be denied by a side that caught a few off guard at the St Joseph’s Festival back in October and did again on Sunday at the South Coast 7s. Whitchurch High School were the side to claim victory, 17-12 winners over Epsom in the final. You can see our roundup here: South Coast 7s Roundup.
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Schools Rugby Weekend Results – Saturday 1st February:
St Joseph’s College 3-10 Henley College – Ealing Trailfinders RFC
Edinburgh Academy 3-27 Earlston HS
George Heriot’s 25-14 Glasgow Academy
George Watson’s College 35-38 Dollar Academy
Hampton 17-22 Whitgift
Judd 53-0 Coopers’ Coborn
KES Stratford 22-7 King Henry VIII, Coventry
Lancaster RGS 36-14 St Ambrose College
Loughborough GS 15-31 Old Swinford Hospital
Merchiston Castle 12-19 Stewart’s Melville
Northampton School for Boys 29-20 Bishop Vesey’s GS
Repton 0-17 Welbeck
RGS High Wycombe 26-5 St Benedict’s
Robert Gordon’s College 46-10 Deeside
Sir Thomas Rich’s 31-17 Warwick
Solihull 32-29 King’s Macclesfield
Welbeck 27-32 Bablake
Wirral GS 24-43 Manchester GS
Rossall 7s – Isle of Man U18, Oswestry, Ripley, Rossall
Shiplake 7s – Wellington College – Click here for roundup
South Coast 7s – Whitchurch HS – Click here for roundup
Still to Come:
British School of Paris v Cobham International School
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS v Dartford GS
St George’s, Harpenden v Tiffin
St James’ v Waldegrave