Prior to fixtures of this past weekend we spoke about how vital it was for each and every side to give everything and make lasting memories in these last couple of games of the term.
That was certainly the case with some absolutely outstanding performances from a huge number of sides, be that through everything clicking and putting in a commanding performance, or through an incredibly close and tight game between to evenly matched sides.
This week’s Top 5 reflects that, including some sides that hit absolute peaks on Saturday and others that were involved in incredibly tight contests and came through on top.
Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend
When Clifton College travelled to Bromsgrove on Saturday it was a meeting of two sides that have proved themselves among the best around this year. A remarkable game broke out, incredibly physical and with neither side able to create much separation between them and their opponent. All year though, Clifton have proved incredibly dogged, and though they were behind in the late stages of this game they kept clinging on. With the very last play of the game they earned a penalty, 9-8 behind, and landed it for an 11-9 victory. It was a victory that just about keeps them in the hunt for the Daily Mail Trophy, and certainly earned them a place in this week’s Top 5.
Exeter School were favourites against Colston’s this weekend, at least so suggested their respective records. Nevertheless what few could possibly have predicted was that they would win by such a dominant margin. Against Bristol Grammar, a top school side, a couple of weeks ago Colston’s had kept things relatively tight. However on Saturday Exeter hit absolute peak form, earning a 66-0 victory that must send them into their U18 Schools Vase quarter final at Wellington School in absolute peak confidence. Another performance like Saturday and it will be hard to stop them from reaching the semi finals at Allianz Park.
Merchant Taylors’ travelled to Reed’s on Saturday with a perfect eight out of eight record. However Reed’s looked a real threat to that record, Merchant Taylors’ have never beaten the Surrey side before. Someone clearly forgot to let the away side know that because they were utterly unfazed, putting in arguably their best performance of the season to secure a 41-15 victory, keeping their unbeaten record and leaving them just a victory away from an unbeaten season. All eyes will be on their game with St Albans on Saturday as they aim to make a little bit of history.
Portsmouth Grammar School
Portsmouth Grammar School had not won a game since September, and that was their only victory of the season to date. Their opponents on Saturday, KES Southampton, were coming off the back of a victory. The relative records suggested an even enough game on Saturday, however what happened instead was simply stunning as Portsmouth Grammar School put in a startling performance for an 84-12 victory. A quite stunning result, and one that must send them into this last week of the season absolutely beaming.
The Perse hosted U18 Schools Vase champions Samuel Whitbread on Saturday in what proved to be an epic game. It was a tight affair throughout and leading into the end of the game Samuel Whitbread were leading 16-15. The home side refused to panic though and set about a drop goal routine that would be the envy of a number of top level sides now, for whom the drop goal seems to have gone dramatically out of fashion. With a couple of drives to take them into the 22 and dead central they used the clock to perfection and set the stage for a fantastic drop goal with the very last play of the game to secure a dramatic 18-16 victory and a place in this week’s Top 5.
— Samuel Whitbread PE (@SamWhitPE) December 1, 2019
Elsewhere there were plenty of stunning performances this weekend, not least a 41-7 victory away at Marlborough College for Cranleigh, a victory that sent them to the top of the Daily Mail Trophy table. Elsewhere Tonbridge were once again in awesome form, they beat old rivals Radley College 46-0.
Millfield have made the last couple of Top 5s and were close again this week with a fantastic 52-17 victory over Monmouth. There were impressive scorelines from the likes of Campion, Bristol Grammar School, King’s Ely, and Reigate Grammar School, too.
Reading Blue Coat continue to impress, they won 53-5 at Tiffin, while Oakham were in fantastic form too to win 55-18 at Solihill. The Leys, meanwhile, were in awesome home form, earing a 67-21 victory over St Edmund’s College.
In closer games Sherborne against showed their absolute quality with a 34-21 victory over a very strong Cheltenham College side, similarly Haileybury were back to winning ways, as they have been almost all season, winning 26-19 at Eton College.
St John’s Leatherhead earned a superb victory over Seaford College, 29-17, while Eastoburne College were on form at home to Caterham, 42-20. St Edward’s Oxford meanwhile enjoyed one of their best results of the season, beating Malvern College 33-17 away from home.