Much like last week, this weekend’s School Rugby was highlighted by a number of exceptionally close games, including a couple of draws.
As the Ireland v New Zealand game showed us, and indeed England v New Zealand and England v South Africa before it, just because a game is not packed with tries does not make it absolutely gripping, and we saw plenty of games like that across the school game this weekend.
With also saw plenty with the attacking flair of Scotland v South Africa as some sides put in some sensational try-scoring performances.
Campion won a huge all state schools fixture at home to John Fisher on Saturday, building on their excellent for through the year for an impressive 22-5 victory.
Millfield meanwhile bounced back well from last week’s tight defeat to Blundell’s as they took an injury depleted side to Cheltenham College and came away with a 22-17 victory after a very well contested game.
One side that remain unbeaten are Woodhouse Grove and they showed their class once again on Saturday with an excellent 29-5 victory away at a good Durham side. With a run of tough fixtures to come, it was a crucial one for Woodhouse Grove to win as they prepare to take on some of the very best.
Among the many real classic schoolboy fixtures on Saturday was Eton College v St Paul’s. A close one was predicted, with St Paul’s minor favourites, but it was the home side that edged it in a really tight contest, 18-10. A fantastic victory for Eton.
The Oxford derby between Radley College and Abingdon was a fantastic derby match. A low-scoring, gripping, contest that Radley College just edged by a 10-7 margin to give them the bragging rights for another year.
Among the biggest games of the weekend was Sedbergh v Warwick, two sides who between them hoovered up most of the available major titles in schools rugby last year. Sedbergh have been in fine form, unbeaten so far, while Warwick had lost a couple but were looking pretty formidable themselves. A cracking contest unfolded, with both sides playing some good rugby, but ultimately Sedbergh’s superb threat with the ball in hand saw them score six tries to Warwick’s two, winning 38-20 to remain unbeaten heading into a huge few weeks of rugby.
One side whose unbeaten record was lost this weekend was Rugby School, but it was lost in one of the games of the weekend against an inspired Stamford side. At 14-0 down with just ten minutes gone, Stamford must have felt as though they were staring down the barrel. However rather than go into their shells, they responded with huge passion and spirit to turn things around and secure a simply brilliant 32-21 victory.
In York St Peter’s and Barnard Castle enjoyed a really great contest with just a try’s worth of points between the two sides. St Peter’s were the ones to take it, 19-14.
Wellington College really showed their class on Saturday afternoon against a strong Denstone College side they secured a 39-11 victory in front of a healthy crowd to set them up for Tuesday’s Champions Trophy semi final at Bristol Grammar in the perfect manner.
One of absolute games of the weekend though was one that right from the outset looked as though it was going to be a cracker, Whitgift v Dulwich College. Both sides had to dig to outrageous depths in a game that was just oh so close. Whitgift won it, 33-30, but it could have gone either way a both teams would have come off the field proud of what they had put into a brilliant game of rugby.
Around the Grounds
Close games pockmarked the results card this weekend, be it Bedford Modern beating St Columba’s 27-26, Seaford College continuing their fantastic recent form with a 24-23 win at Canford, or Portsmouth Grammar winning 22-20 at Bryanston.
Those close results just kept coming in, Wycliffe College edging Prior Park, 16-15, Watford Grammar beating UCS 23-22, and Monmouth winning 15-14 at RGS Worcester. Colston’s secured an excellent win away at Bristol Grammar, 19-17, their hosts perhaps trying to manage a tricky balancing act ahead of Tuesday’s Champions Trophy semi final against Wellington College.
The other Champions Trophy semi final takes place on Thursday and Hurstpierpoint College enjoyed a huge momentum building performance on Saturday in advance of hosting Epsom College as they beat KCS Wimbledon 58-12. Epsom College themselves also prepared well, beating RGS Guildford 25-13 away from home.
Elsewhere though it was those close result that kept dominating the incoming scores, a 10-8 win for Gravesend Grammar over King’s Rochester and Hampton edging Trinity 10-5. KES Birmingham meanwhile beat Loughborough Grammar 17-14, while Truro beat Shebbear College 17-15. Reed’s also won a pretty tight one, 26-22 against Skinners’, while QEH beat The Crypt 13-12.
There were some thrilling draws too, not least a 21-21 draw between Oakham and Bedford, while Malvern College held King’s Macclesfield to a 12-12 draw. Meanwhile in Scotland George Heriot’s and Edinburgh Academy could not be separated, drawing 17-17. At the other end of the spectrum just about everything went right for Robert Gordon’s as they beat Dundee High School by a stunning 92-19 margin.
There were some pretty impressive results for some schools against strong opposition too, not least a 41-12 victory for a very strong looking Clifton College over Sherborne, while St John’s Leatherhead were excellent for a 44-8 victory at home to Haileybury.
Tonbridge made it three weeks unbeaten with an excellent 31-0 win away at King’s Canterbury, while Dean Close showed their class in a 50-0 victory at King’s Worcester.
Friday was a massive day in the schools rugby world, and perhaps the biggest of all was Kirkham Grammar School’s trip to Harrow. Kirkham came down with plenty of promise and a load of good results, but Harrow put in a excellent performance to display their own strengths and secure a 25-12 victory.
There was a cracking game at Wymondham RFC in a huge Norfolk derby as unbeaten Norwich faced Vase holders Langley. A brilliant contest unfolded, with Norwich just taking it 17-10.
Things were even closer at Henley Hawks as St Benedict’s won a thriller under the lights against Shiplake College, 20-39, meanwhile Merchant Taylors’ won another close one, beating Reading Blue Coat 14-11.
Elsewhere Hereford Cathedral School were in good form at Cardiff Met Uni to beat Cathedral School Llandaff 33-8, while Langley Park beat St Olave’s 17-8, and Chislehurst & Sidcup beat Ravens Wood 9-0.
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:
To see more images from the weekend, please follow this link: Gallery – Saturday 17th November.
Schools Rugby Weekend Results – Saturday 17th November:
Campion 22-5 John Fisher
Cheltenham College 17-22 Millfield
Durham 5-29 Woodhouse Grove
Eton College 18-10 St Paul’s
Radley College 10-7 Abingdon
Sedbergh 38-20 Warwick
Stamford 32-21 Rugby
St Peter’s, York 19-14 Barnard Castle
Wellington College 39-11 Denstone College
Whitgift 33-30 Dulwich College
Ampleforth College 36-10 Newcastle School for Boys
Bancroft’s 12-26 Coopers’ Coborn
Bedford Modern 27-26 St Columba’s
Birkenhead 27-22 Rydal Penrhos
Bloxham 43-10 Bishop Vesey’s GS
Brentwood 21-31 Bishop’s Stortford HS
Bristol GS 17-19 Colston’s
Bromsgrove 33-22 RGS High Wycombe
Bryanston 20-22 Portsmouth GS
Canford 23-24 Seaford College
Caterham 45-28 St George’s College, Weybridge
Churcher’s College 24-10 KES Southampton
Clifton College 41-12 Sherborne
Clifton HS 50-29 St Edward’s, Cheltenham
Cranbrook 10-53 Dartford GS
Eastbourne College 8-19 Brighton College
George Heriot’s 17-17 Edinburgh Academy
Glasgow Academy 54-15 Dollar Academy
Glasgow HS 28-21 Stewart’s Melville
Grammar School at Leeds 15-10 Hymers College
Gravesend GS 10-8 King’s Rochester
Halliford 24-10 Wallington CGS
Hampton 10-5 Trinity
Hurstpierpoint College 58-12 KCS Wimbledon
Judd 41-0 Simon Langton
KES Birmingham 17-14 Loughborough GS
King’s Canterbury 0-31 Tonbridge
King’s College, Taunton 12-6 Exeter
King’s Ely 0-33 Culford
King’s Grantham 0-52 Northampton School for Boys
King Henry VIII, Coventry 17-7 Ratcliffe College
King’s Worcester 0-50 Dean Close
Latymer Upper 11-19 Colfe’s
London Oratory 5-43 Wimbledon College
Loretto 19-40 Strathallan
Magdalen College 48-10 KES, Stratford
Malvern College 12-12 King’s Macclesfield
Manchester GS 29-17 Altrincham GS
Mount Kelly 58-12 Warminster
Oakham 21-21 Bedford
Oundle 38-5 The Perse
Pangbourne College 47-7 Lord Wandsworth College
Pocklington 28-20 Dame Allan’s
QEGS Wakefield 36-12 Bradford GS
QEH 13-12 The Crypt
QES Barnet 7-60 Richard Hale
Reigate GS 5-26 City of London Freemen’s
RGS Colchester 10-19 St Joseph’s College
RGS Guildford 13-25 Epsom College
RGS Worcester 14-15 Monmouth
Robert Gordon’s College 92-19 Dundee High School
Royal Hospital School 0-45 Feslted
Sevenoaks 0-24 Sutton Valence
Sir Thomas Rich’s 41-10 Pate’s GS
Skinners’ 22-26 Reed’s
Solihull 46-31 Nottingham HS
St Dunstan’s College 27-5 Ashford
St George’s, Harpenden 10-17 St Albans
St John’s, Leatherhead 44-8 Haileybury
Stockport GS 32-54 Bolton
Taunton 21-31 KES Bath
Truro 17-15 Shebbear College
Warminster 12-58 Mount Kelly
Watford GS 23-22 UCS
Welbeck 48-14 Trent College
Wellingborough 41-0 Princethorpe College
Wellington School 5-22 Monkton Combe
Wells Cathedral 7-12 West Buckland
Windsor Boys 0-36 Tiffin
Wisbech GS 40-19 Worksop College
Wycliffe College 16-15 Prior Park College
Chislehurst & Sidcup 9-0 Ravens Wood
Harrow 25-12 Kirkham GS
Hereford Cathedral 33-8 Cathedral School, Llandaff (Cardiff Met Uni)
Langley 10-17 Norwich (Wymondham RFC)
Merchant Taylors’ 14-11 Reading Blue Coat
Shiplake College 29-30 St Benedict’s
St Olave’s GS 8-17 Langley Park (Beckenham RFC)
Still to come
Bishop Wordsworth’s v Downside
Cheadle Hulme v Wilmslow HS
Dauntsey’s v Kingswood
Hill House v Birkdale
King’s Bruton v Clayesmore
Liverpool College v Newcastle-Under-Lyme
Queen’s College, Taunton v Plymouth College
St Ambrose College v Sandbach