With each passing week, knowing where each side sits in the schools rugby pecking order this season gets a little easier.
In turn, that makes selecting who is deserving of a spot in our Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend that little bit easier, although only marginally, and just two weeks into the season it is still a nightmare!
This weekend certainly provided us with plenty of sides to choose from, that was of no doubt, and there truly was some stunning rugby played around the country and some highly impressive results. After a lot of thought though, the following five sides made our list this week.
Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend
Dulwich College headed to Epsom College on Saturday as the slight underdogs on paper. They have had a quiet couple of years by their own exceptionally high standards, and while Epsom had won last weekend, Dulwich College had lost, albeit away to Wellington College. Fast forward seven days and the world looks very rosy for Dulwich indeed. Wellington had put serious points on two schools with big reputations, Tonbridge and RGS High Wycombe, while Dulwich caused them real problems – suddenly that loss has some very favourable context for Dulwich. To top it all off, Dulwich came away from Epsom with a hard fought and dogged 13-12 victory, a victory at a place that very very few sides come away with the points.
Before kick off few would have been backing Hurstpierpoint College to beat Brighton College. That is exactly what they did though, beating an underperforming Brighton 28-27 in an absolute thriller. It was the perfect response to going down to local rivals Seaford College last weekend, and a famous win for them against a side that was in the hunt for just about everything that they entered last year. With some big names coming up, including St John’s and Cranleigh, it was an important win for Hurstpierpoint, and should send them into those games absolutely full of confidence.
Scoring over seventy points in a seventy minute game is never an easy feat – no matter what. That is what Sedbergh did on Saturday though, beating RGS Newcastle 73-0. It is not the 73 that gets them here though, or even the nil, it is the fact that it was against RGS Newcastle. This might not be a vintage RGS Newcastle side, although they had a fantastic start to the season up to this point so they are definitely not a bad side, but they are RGS Newcastle, and that means something. They are never pushovers. It is a serious victory for Sedbergh, a highly impressive win.
St Edward’s Oxford
St Edward’s Oxford’s 20-0 win over Rugby School on Saturday was hardly the most eye-catching or flashy victory of the weekend, without doubt. However it was one that really impressed us. Teddies have had a couple of so-so seasons and had lost their opening game of the season against Haileybury. Rugby, meanwhile, enjoyed an unbeaten season last year and had won their opening game against King’s Macclesfield. So for Teddies to turn things around from last week against a side that had that much success and confidence in the memory bank was impressive. To shut them out even more so. It is the sort of win that could lead to a number of other notable wins for St Edward’s this season.
If you beat Tonbridge 65-7 you pretty much guarantee yourself a place in the Top 5. Every year the question on many lips is will Wellington College be as good this year, surely not? Every year they seem to prove that they are just as good, perhaps better. This year was perhaps one with ever more pressure, with a new head coach. However three wins from three including a big win over RGS High Wycombe and then this stunning victory over Tonbridge, the Champions Trophy holders no less, says that Wellington are every good as last year, and the year before, and the year before that… It looks as though it will take something special to beat them.